EU Fire Safety Week 2021 - Energy Transition and Fire Safety event
About the European Fire Safety Week 2021
This year again, the Modern Building Alliance was involved in the third edition of the European Fire Safety Week.
Being THE annual opportunity to gather stakeholders and policy makers, we are very proud to be part of it, as it brings fire safety higher in the political debate.
In collaboration with the European Fire Safety Alliance (EuroFSA), the Modern Building Alliance and the Forum for European Electrical Safety (FEEDS) organized a three-folded event on the 1st December. Eighteen speakers with backgrounds in fire services, research, fire engineering, cross-party politics, industry, etc., brought their expertise and thoughts on how to raise the importance of fire safety in the context of the energy transition.
The day started with Session I organized by FEEDS. It addressed electrical safety aspects of buildings. Session II was led by the Modern Building Alliance and enlightened on the relevance to apply fire safety engineering and performance-based design methodologies to address fire safety in the context of the Renovation Wave.
Opened by the Member of the European Parliament Sean Kelly and moderated by the former Member of the European Parliament Theresa Griffin, the Session III welcomed high-level speakers from the European Commission DG GROW and DG ENER to exchange about current legislative opportunities to address fire safety.
Discover our Policy Briefing for Members of the European Parliament
It gives clear recommendations on how to integrate fire safety considerations in the recast of the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD).
Energy Transition & Fire Safety conference: Event report
How can we ensure safe and sustainable buildings in a fast-transforming process led by the energy transition and the renovation wave?
New conditions, new circumstances, new methods and relevant expertise
What did they say?
MEP Maria da Graça Carvalho
‘The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is an opportunity to make our buildings safer. Fire safety is an inseparable part of the energy transition. As an engineer and academic professor, I strongly believe that we need the right set of skills to address complex challenges such as fire safety.’
Michael Strömgren, BRIAB
‘Fire safety engineering methods and performance- based design approach enhance the production of reliable and scientifically based analyses to advise architects and building contractors on the most appropriate fire safety measures.’
‘Buildings need to reduce their carbon footprint and also to adapt to the effect of climate change. Therefore, we need to challenge our traditional way of constructing and create an efficient and flexible built environment with new technologies, construction concepts and materials. It requires us to be more inventive and less dependent on traditional solutions. National legislative framework needs to address this and embrace innovation.’
Perrine Ethuin, Modern Building Alliance
‘Performance-based design goes side by side with fire safety skills and competency. Getting skilled and competent professionals will ensure that buildings are fire safe while meeting all other requirements requested by the EU: energy efficiency, performance, sustainability, circularity, electrification, renewable energies, inclusivity, aesthetic, comfort, etc.’
Adamantia Athanasopoulou, European Commission, JRC
The JRC recognises the added value of such methods [Fire Safety Engineering and Performance-Based Design] and is currently working on mapping the situation in the EU
Member States. In the future, a wider use of the fire engineering approach should be allowed and incorporated into the fire safety regulations of EU Member States.
‘At the JRC, we are well aware of the challenge brought by fire safety and we explore the feasibility and opportunities for creating a stronger European fire safety standardization environment. The JRC is looking at how to incorporate fire engineering approaches into the Member States regulatory frameworks. We work to define and support the needs of the EU Member States for guidance and training for fire safety practitioners.’
Professor Patrick van Hees, Lund University
Professor van Hees explained that fire is a complex phenomenon that combines heat transfer, combustion, fluid dynamics and structural behaviour with societal aspects and human behaviour. He claimed that there is a need to acknowledge this complexity and prepare future engineers and PhDs in this overall holistic approach. The educational challenges should be tackled at the international level, for example via the or PhD schools for detailed specialisation. The EU is in a key position to support such exchanges and education programmes. It should become a leader in this field.
MEP Maria da Graça Carvalho
‘All across the EU, we observe gaps of technicians, engineers and specialists to ensure a safe transition. We need in our education system special attention to have engineers and expertise to ensure the quality, comfort and safety of renovated buildings.’
Session I: Electrical Safety
Session II: Fire Safety to support the Renovation Wave
Programme and Biographies of speakers
* Copyright drawings: Floris Oudshoorn Comic House.nl