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Building and Fire Research at NBS/NIST, 1975-2000.

pdf icon Building and Fire Research at NBS/NIST, 1975-2000. (145 K)
Wright, R. N.

NIST BSS 179; 347 p. December 2003.


building research; fire research; built environment; codes; earthquakes; economics research; environmental systems; fire hazard assessment; simulation; fire suppression; life-cycle cost methods; materials; measurements; refrigerants; smoke detectors; standards; structures; test methods; wind effects; costs; construction; building construction; fire safety; safety engineering; fire science


In the last quarter of the 20th Century, building and fire research programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, formerly the National Bureau of Standards, provided one of the most significant sources of technology, measurements and standards for the construction and fire safety communities of the world. These communities are of great social and economic importance. The built environment shelters and supports most human activities. Its functionality, safety, environmental quality, aesthetics, and economy are important to everyone.s quality of life and productivity. In the United States, new construction, renovation, operation and maintenance of constructed facilities amount to over 1/8 of the Gross Domestic Product, and the costs of fire protection and losses to unwanted fires exceed $200 billion, annually. This history summarizes the technical accomplishments of these programs and their impacts, the existential and management challenges faced by the programs, and the visions and efforts of the staff.