This paper presents sustainable buildings from the perspective of fire and life safety.

Sustainable buildings are high-performance buildings from an environmental perspective, which care for the occupant's welfare, comfort and health distinctly whose safety is equally important.

Obviously, a building on fire threats the safety of the occupants and firefighters, and has a negative impact on the environment through the discharge of gaseous and particulate products of combustion into the atmosphere. Furthermore, the groundwater runoff from the water used to extinguish the fire contains toxic compounds and debris that may pollute the surrounding water bodies.

Many buildings can be recycled at the end of their life cycle; however, if a building's life cycle ends in a fire, it will not be fit for reuse and may have to go to landfill. There is also an additional economic impact resulting from the direct loss of the building and its contents. Further indirect loss is caused by business interruption, job losses and disruption of services to the community. Accordingly, fire prevention can be considered “green” due to the natural resources saved by preventing a fire.

So the question is “how sustainable is a building if it is not fire safe”?

Some sustainability and energy efficiency practices can increase fire risk. For example, green roofs and photovoltaic panels can increase building energy efficiency but also increase the fire risk by providing more fuel unless there is a design approach to mitigate these effects.

A building that is sustainable in the face of fire is one that minimizes not only the environmental impacts of fire, but also the economic and social impacts of fire.

An integration design approach employed at an early stage of the design process increases the communication among the involved parties, leading to fewer conflicts between green building practices and fire safety, where the objectives of the fire safety design should be clearly defined. While the protection of life is the main objective of fire safety legislation, the financial impact of fire on a business as a result of direct property damage or lost production might also be important considerations. By pointing out the possible conflicts before construction has even began, there is time to make the necessary changes to the plans and avoid waste of time and money during the actual construction of the building.


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