With the trend toward sustainability practices in construction, safety has become a lot more complicated. There are countless factors involved, and a successful project is one that strikes the right balance while mitigating risk. Many developers have to contend with the strict LEED certification standards and fire protection engineering concerns while contending with perhaps the most influential factor of all: the almighty dollar. But there are many ways companies like Harrington Group can help find efficient, affordable solutions that keep everyone safe.

Here are a few examples of pragmatic measures we can take to mitigate risk in green buildings:

  • Automatic fire sprinkler systems are an essential part of most mitigation strategies. Sprinklers are still some of the most effective weapon in the arsenal of fire safety engineers, helping to prevent the fire from spreading while cutting down on the amount of combustible material burned and reducing total air emissions.
  • Smoke extraction techniques effectively help to release heat and remove the potentially deadly cocktail of gases, including carbon monoxide. These strategies vary based on building size and construction materials, but they are a crucial part of the fire safety conversation in green buildings.
  • Structural fire protection encompasses any physical materials or processes that help to offset risk at its source. These methods can be employed based on the particular issue. For example, thermal barriers are an effective way to counteract the effects of solar panels.

These are complex solutions, but they are based on the same idea. Fire protection and green technology can coexist if the structure adheres to all existing guidelines and codes. The rules don’t necessarily have to change, but we may have to find new and innovative ways to make sure we are following them.

In the meantime, every new situation provides fire protection engineers with valuable case studies. And Harrington Group is at the forefront of this movement, providing our clients with customized solutions that help mitigate risk while remaining economically viable.

By Jeff Harrington, CEO and Founder of Harrington Group, Inc.