High-Rise Safety Event A Success: Featured International Experts, Cutting Edge Discussion

The Christian Regenhard Center held a day-long conference bringing together experts from the US, Canada, and Australia to assess the emerging threats in high-rise building safety and evacuation. The event, held on October 18, included presentations on diverse subjects including future high-rise building height, evacuation of mobility-impaired occupants, post-flashover fire development, and new technologies in high-rise firefighting. Updates on the Grenfell Tower inquiry and tall wood construction were also featured.

Presenters shown above are (L to R) Mark Chubb, Institution of Fire Engineers; Justin Francis, Queensland Fire Service; Asst. Chief Roger Sakowich,FDNY; Glenn Corbett, John Jay College; Norman Groner, John Jay College; Charles Jennings, John Jay College; Jake Pauls, Consultant on Building Use and Safety’ and James Quintiere, University of Maryland.¬†Jonathan Auerbach of Columbia University’s Department of Statistics is not pictured.

The keynote presentation was given by Jake Pauls, a leading authority on use of stairs for evacuation, who gave a talk spanning the history of building evacuation and highlighting the critical need for basic research to update calculations based on experiments from over 40 years ago. Pauls pointed out the changing fitness of the public, adoption of cell phones, and other trends hat may slow evacuation speeds from tall buildings.

Another highlight was Queensland (Australia) fire officer Justin Francis, presenting the results of his research across global cities on the management of high-rise building emergencies.

Proceedings from the conference are being prepared, and will be posted when available.

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