The Modern Building Alliance supports the International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering

The Modern Building Alliance supports the International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering

8 February 2021

The Modern Building Alliance is becoming an official contributor of the International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering programme (IMFSE).

The IMFSE is a two years educational Master co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. It offers an internationally recognised joint master degree commonly organised by seven universities: Ghent University (BE), Lund University (SE), the University of Edinburgh (UK), ETH Zürich (CH), the University of Queensland (Australia), the University of Maryland (USA) and more recently the University of Science en Technologie of China.

The Modern Building Alliance considers that developing fire safety science, engineering and education is a necessity, in particular to accompany the sustainable transformation of the building stock. The International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering being a pioneer programme and playing an important role in this aspect, is was obvious for the Modern Building Alliance to support it.

The Modern Building Alliance joins a group of 15 other associations and companies financially supporting the IMFSE to offer full and partial scholarships to students.

To know more about the IMFSE

To know more about the Modern Building Alliance Call for Action on Fire Safety Competency

We are hiring!

We are hiring!

19 January 2021

We are looking for a Fire Safety expert to support the Modern Building Alliance in its activities.

The position is for a highly motivated and well organised candidate having a fire safety engineering education or experience, able to coordinate technical work, to engage with various technical stakeholders and to communicate effectively about fire safety science to a broad audience. The scope of responsibilities of the successful candidate may grow with experience and with the development of the alliance.

Open the full job description



Please send your application with a cover letter and CV before February 28th 2021 with the subject “Fire Safety Expert” to:





835 architects consulted to measure their request for fire safety competencies

835 architects consulted to measure their request for fire safety competencies

19 November 2020


In June 2020, the Modern Building Alliance commissioned USP Marketing Consultancy to launch a survey targeted at architects from eight European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK). The survey aimed to discover how fire safety competencies are considered during the building design phase. A sample of 835 architects, working in offices composed of at least two architects excluding smaller projects, responded. The majority are primarily focused on residential buildings and engaged in both new builds and renovations.


Consult the full report


“Fire safety must neither lag behind, nor impede the renovation wave. It must accompany it. That’s why we must define clear role and responsibilities for fire safety during projects and ensure the involvement of the adequate level of fire expertise. Our architects survey shows that there is room for improvement and that an EU wide analysis would be useful” 

Quentin de Hults, Executive Chair of the Modern Building Alliance


Building design is a complex undertaking that must combine various expertise. As such, architects can request the involvement of specific experts, such as fire engineers, energy experts or sustainability experts, in their project.


Fire safety in particular is a complex issue requiring competent professionals with clear roles and responsibilities to be involved during a building’s design, construction and maintenance phases. Recent tragic events have highlighted how a lack of consideration for fire safety or a lack of compliance with fire safety regulations can have dire consequences.


Academic analysis has emphasized the need to improve fire safety competency and increase the involvement of fire safety expertise in building design and inspection. Moreover, studies have under-scored the need to improve the definition of competencies, enhance education and accreditation and establish a legal framework for the involvement of accredited fire safety professionals in building design and inspections (more information and references available here).


Our Analysis


We assume the involvement of a dedicated fire expert during the design phase of a construction or renovation project is indicative of the consideration paid to fire safety. Fire safety experts help architects ensure the necessary level of fire safety, along with all other safety and performance aspects, required in a project. With this in mind, we see room for improvement in the level of involvement of dedicated fire experts, particularly in housing renovations, as they are currently less involved than energy experts. This is crucial in light of the fact that most fire fatalities happen in residential buildings and that the EU planned renovation wave will particularly tackle housing.

The significant national differences suggest that analysis of the situation in each country regarding the legal requirements, the level of architects’ fire safety knowledge and the availability or recognition of fire experts would produce intriguing results. There is a need for further analysis and discussion on what type of projects fire experts should be involved and what level of competency fire experts and architects need.

This should be in tandem with fire safety responsibility. While allowing for EU countries to have various models of fire safety, fire safety responsibility should be clearly designated, which seems currently not the case in some countries.


Consult the full report




Publication: the B.I.O. factsheets

Publication: the B.I.O. factsheets

13 November 2020

A year ago, we introduced the B.I.O. framework, an original framework with a comprehensive and structured list of elements for the consideration of Member States in their regulatory approach to ensuring fire-safe buildings. This framework aligns with the EU subsidiarity principle and aids in structuring the exchange of information and best practices between Member States within the European Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP), established by the EU Commission in October 2017.

Fire safety is a complex puzzle covering a myriad of aspects. The Modern Building Alliance have built upon the B.I.O. framework to gather and present up-to-date information about various elements and technologies that can improve the fire safety of buildings. Drafted in collaboration with experts across various dedicated fields, the B.I.O. factsheets were developed.

The three factsheets to be issued this year will cover the following topics:

In collaboration with the European Fire Sprinklers Network, the factsheet on sprinklers debunks the myths around sprinklers and explains the current national legislations across the EU.  Indeed, the use of sprinklers varies a lot. For example, in Wales, sprinklers are mandatory in residential buildings but are not required in many other countries. Discover it here.


REHVA, the Federation of European Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations, provides us with an extensive understanding on the importance to manage smoke in case of a fire  in their Guidebook #24 Fire Safety in Building – Smoke Management Guidelines. Building on the Guidebook, the factsheet on smoke management presents the main strategies and technologies used to ensure the safe and efficient evacuation of occupants in the case of a fire.  Discover it here!


Alarms are vital Installation products to ensure early evacuation in the case of a fire. The use of smoke alarms is determined by national codes and varies from one country to another. This factsheet highlights the state of current national requirements on smoke alarms.

To be issued early January.


We wish you a pleasant reading!

If you want to help us draft a factsheet on a specific topic part of the B.I.O. framework, feel free to contact us: info[at]!

Fire Safety Competency is part of agenda for the European Fire Safety Week 2020

Fire Safety Competency is part of agenda for the European Fire Safety Week 2020

2 November 2020

For its second edition, the European Fire Safety Week 2020 (EUFSW2020) will take place virtually from 17–19 November. The ambitious objective of the week is to gather together policymakers, fire services, fire experts and other stakeholders to bring the topic of fire safety higher in the EU political agenda.

This year again, the European Fire Safety Alliance (EuroFSA) teams with a large group of stakeholders to amplify fruitful exchanges amongst them, building upon the European Fire Safety Action Plan.

Launched earlier this year in an event with policymakers, this action plan is supported by more than 120 firefighters, fire professionals, associations, academics, fire safety stakeholders and members of the European Parliament. It is never too late to support the Action Plan!

We are very proud and honored to get three Members of the European Parliament involved in the Webinar #5 related to the Energy Transition and buildings:


Maria da Graça Carvalho from Portugal. She was a senior advisor of Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, from November 2014 to December 2015. Previously, she was a member of the European Parliament, between July 2009 and May 2014. In that capacity, she was one of the rapporteurs of Horizon 2020. She was also Principal Adviser to President Barroso in the fields of Science, Higher Education, Innovation, Research Policy, Energy, Environment and Climate Change from 2006 to 2009. She is a Full Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico (University of Lisbon).





Strong supporter of the European Fire Safety Alliance, Member of the European Parliament Carlos Zorrinho from Portugal will close the session related to Buildings and Fire Safety Competency. Mr Zorrinho is also one of the first MEP that officially signed to support the European Fire Safety Action Plan and hosted its launch last September.





Author of the Motion for a Resolution to set up a EU Fire Safety Day, Member of the European Parliament Željana Zovko from Croatia will open the webinar focusing on the context of the Energy Transition and Fire Safety of Buildings on Thursday.







The Modern Building Alliance is immensely proud to contribute to this significant milestone for fire safety and hopes this edition of the Fire Safety Week will be as successful as the last.

In collaboration with the European Fire Safety Alliance, Europacable and the Forum for European Electrical Domestic Safety (FEEDS), the Modern Building Alliance is co-organising the fifth session, dedicated to the stake of the Energy Transition for buildings and the role of fire safety competency.

Download the PDF programme


Download the PDF programme


Quentin de Hults, the executive chair of the Modern Building Alliance, will present exclusive results from an architects’ survey about the involvement of fire safety experts during a building’s design.

We will learn about the best practices on the involvement of fire experts in construction projects and the organisation of electrical inspections at national levels. Together with architects, fire engineers, academics and policymakers, we will map the necessary roles and responsibilities of fire safety professional needed during the design, construction and operation phases of a building. Moreover, we will discuss how to strengthen their role, skills and competencies to accompany the renovation wave.

The importance of fire safety competency has already been recognised in an own-initiative report of the EU Parliament. Join the webinar to help us to move the discussion forward!


Download the PDF programme


EU Renovation Wave: an opportunity for fire safety

EU Renovation Wave: an opportunity for fire safety

15 October 2020

The communication on the Renovation Wave has been published.

The Renovation Wave strategy is a flagship initiative of the EU Green Deal and of the Next Generation EU recovery plan. The ambition of the Renovation Wave is to rapidly double the current renovation rate of buildings to boost climate protection and circularity while creating thousands of new jobs. We welcome this vital strategy to put the EU economy back on track. Indeed, the Renovation Wave brings multiple positive side effects that will sustainably improve the quality of life of EU citizens.

The plastics industry offers numerous materials and products that contribute to sustainable construction due to the many advantageous attributes of plastics, such as their performance, durability, weather resistance, low-maintenance, cost-effectiveness and flexible and lightweight designs.

Click here to learn more.


Plastics in construction are cost effective



The Modern Building Alliance particularly welcomes the intervention area that will ensure the construction system is ‘fit to deliver sustainable renovation’. The Skills Agenda is necessary to ensure that the refurbishment will meet the expected quality and energy savings while complying with other requirements - including safety. Developing skills and competencies of professionals involved in aspects such as fire safety is an opportunity to ensure a holistic, material-neutral and performance-based renovation wave that combines sustainability, health and safety.

In a recently voted report, the European Parliament confirmed its intention to increase building renovations and also underlined, ‘that ensuring quality, compliance, and safety requires adequate competencies and skills of professionals involved during the design and construction/renovation’.

When it comes to ensuring the fire safety of buildings, we are convinced that this complex issue requires competent professionals with clear roles and responsibilities who are involved in the buildings’ design, construction and maintenance phases. The involvement of fire safety engineers during a building’s design is not yet common practice. Recent tragic events have illustrated how a lack of compliance with fire safety measures can have serious consequences. The work of fire safety experts must be reinforced to accompany the sustainable transformation of building stock, in particular in the context of the energy transition that includes the electrification of buildings (e-mobility, solar panels, batteries…) and the decentralisation of the energy production. Regular fire safety checks of buildings, including inspections of electrical and fire safety installations, are also necessary.

We, therefore, call on policymakers to include fire safety skills and competencies into the Skills Agenda of the Renovation Wave so that it will also be an opportunity for fire safety.


Read more about our call for action on fire safety competency.







The International Fire Safety Standards coalition launched its common principles

The International Fire Safety Standards coalition launched its common principles

9 October 2020

The International Fire Safety Standard Coalition (IFSS)—a global coalition of over 80 fire safety leadership organisations—has been working on a set of common principles for the fire safety of buildings that can be applied around the world. After two years of work and a broad consultation, the IFSS has launched an internationally consistent approach for the safety and management of buildings with the aim of saving more lives by reducing risk and preventing devastating fires.

We welcome the launch of these International Fire Safety Standard - Common Principles (IFSS-CP) as it confirms the importance of performance-based approaches to be applied at all stage of a building’s lifecycle (design, construction and maintenance). Moreover, it emphasises the importance of the principles of prevention, detection and communication, occupant protection, containment and extinguishment. It echoes our proposed regulatory framework (B.I.O. framework) and reinforces the importance of enforcing legislation around fire safety competencies to ensure the fire safety, compliance and quality of buildings.




MEPs and EU Commission representatives support EuroFSA’s European Fire Safety Action Plan

MEPs and EU Commission representatives support EuroFSA’s European Fire Safety Action Plan

29 September 2020


Many fruitful exchanges on fire safety took place today during an online conference organised by the European Fire Safety Alliance and hosted by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), Pernille Weiss (DK, EPP) and Carlos Zorrinho (PT, S&D).

Representatives of the European Commission from DG GROW, DG ECHO, the JRC, four MEPs and numerous stakeholders joined the discussion to establish the six priority focus areas where fire safety should be improved according to EuroFSA.

These areas are:

  • The growing vulnerable community
  • The reduction of dangerous escape times
  • The energy transition
  • The awareness of fire safety
  • EU-wide data on residential fires
  • EU-wide communication and collaboration

These focus areas led to the development of a list of 10 actions to improve fire safety in Europe.

The Modern Building Alliance supports the entirety of the action plan and its holistic approach. We are particularly keen to contribute to Action 5, which relates to energy transition and must be accompanied by fire safety knowledge and competency. This echoes our Call for Action on Fire Safety Competency.

Invited to present on what role the EU can play in these areas, Quentin de Hults recalled that fire safety was taken into account in recent political developments, such as an own-initiative report voted in at beginning of September. He also stated that compliance and enforcement of the current regulations are crucial to ensure the fire safety of buildings. This requires the presence of the proper skills and competencies during all stages of the building’s lifetime, from design and construction to maintenance.

The sustainable evolution of building stocks offers new opportunities, however, there are similarly new fire risks. For this reason, we must ensure that fire safety skills and competencies will accompany a safe transformation of the building stock.

Quentin de Hults explained that the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) requires the involvement of accredited energy experts for the certification of buildings, as well as for the inspection of heating and cooling installation. While fire safety was mentioned during the latest revision of the directive in 2018, he suggested that the EPBD could go one step further by establishing the importance of including accredited experts during the design of fire safe buildings and for the inspection of electrical and safety installations.

The Modern Building Alliance will join forces with EuroFSA to work on Action 5. Together, we will see how we can further collaborate on three main ideas:

  1. Define the roles, responsibilities and required competencies for accredited fire safety professionals, such as fire safety engineers, fire safety designers and electrical/fire safety inspectors.
    • Compare with the current situation and analyse shortcomings.
    • Map the current situation and analyse any gaps.
  2. Identify a way to embed the need for fire safety competency in legislation.
    • The EPBD should require accredited fire experts to be involved in aspects of building design, construction, renovation and inspection.
  3. Develop knowledge and education at the national and EU levels.
    • Erasmus +, Horizon programmes, BuildUpSkills and others can be used to develop knowledge, research and education on fire safety.

The Modern Building Alliance represents the plastics industry in the construction sector. An essential pillar of our cause is the ambition for greater fire safety across the construction industry. A key driver of our product design and manufacturing is to improve the fire safety of buildings. It is a joint responsibility of the whole value chain to be involved in building and construction.

By engaging with policymakers and stakeholders, we are committed to supporting the EU in ensuring safe and sustainable construction for people across Europe.




European Parliament reminds the importance of Fire Safety Competencies to accompany the renovation wave

European Parliament reminds the importance of Fire Safety Competencies to accompany the renovation wave

17 September 2020

Today, the European Parliament has adopted in plenary the Own initiative report ‘Maximising the Energy Efficiency potential of the EU building stock’.  This reports goes beyond strictly energy efficiency aspects and reminds the importance of addressing fire safety during the renovation of the building stock. Via several mentions to fire safety, the report supports a holistic, performance-based and material-neutral approach that relies on the competencies and skills of professionals.

Full story here

The report was adopted by 526 votes in favour (+), 77 against (-) and 94 abstentions (0).


The importance of Fire Safety Competencies to accompany the renovation wave will also be on the agenda of an online event organised by EuroFSA and hosted by the shadow rapporteur Pernille Weiss (EPP – Denmark) on the 29 September.




The Modern Building Alliance supports the European Fire Safety Action Plan

The Modern Building Alliance supports the European Fire Safety Action Plan

3 September 2020

Today, the Modern Building Alliance joins the long list of supporters of the 'European Fire Safety Action Plan' drafted by the European Fire Safety Alliance (EuroFSA).

The action plan builds upon the very first European Fire Safety Week that took place in November 2019. Ten concrete actions have been identified by experts from the fire services, with a strong focus on the social dimension of fire safety and targeted prevention efforts.

When writing these lines, 65 individuals, associations and companies representing a large range of interests have already joined EuroFSA’s call for more fire safety across the EU.

Quentin de Hults, Executive Chair of Modern Building Alliance, commented: ‘This action plan is holistic. We welcome the ambition of EU Fire Services to reduce fires and the resulting casualties via increased prevention activities and prioritization of the most vulnerable groups. The EU can and must play a role in supporting these efforts; we are proud to support EuroFSA in advocating for this priority’.

As the Modern Building Alliance, we see our main role and responsibility in the specific action #5 directly related to construction. It aims to develop knowledge and competency to ensure fire safety adequately accompanies the energy transition.

It’s your turn! Support EuroFSA with their Action Plan!