Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

Monitoring Full-Scale Fire Test for Wooden School Building

Hidehiko Fumoto

By Hidehiko Fumoto

Deputy Director and Manager Technical Services, Canada Wood Japan

May 2, 2012

As previously reported, the full-scale fire test for wooden school building on February 22nd, 2012 resulted in collapse of the entire specimen with fire expansion that was much quicker than had been predicted.  Although some media reports that this test gave negative impact to Wood-Is-Good concept, fire researchers who conducted this test insist that the test was successful in that they were able to collect valuable data showing the fire behaviours being observable only by full-scale tests. Nevertheless, some officials in Japan’s and Canada’s building industries expressed concern that fire preventative designs and suppressant technologies will need to be extensively employed during the next test scheduled for 2013. It is important for Canadian wooden industries to monitor carefully what were the acquired data and how the results of the first test will be utilized in the preparation of the next full-size test.  The Building Research Institute (BRI) plans to conduct another full-scale fire test for wooden school building once again in February, 2013.  After some lobbying with fire experts at the BRI, COFI Japan has succeeded in applying to become a fire subcommittee member from FY2012.  It is expected that the participation in this subcommittee would facilitate the monitoring of this issue very closely.  The first subcommittee meeting in FY2012 is scheduled in June.