Portugal is in an interesting phase where they consider introducing and allowing fire safety engineering to a larger degree. As I pointed out in my presentation at their national conference, FSE (and performance based design in general) is necessary to develop the built environment to facilitate innovation, sustainability and modern architecture. There is a great opportunity - but also risks attached - by allowing fire safety engineering.
Me and three others was fortunate to be invited to present perspectives on FSE in UK, Sweden, Spain and Portugal respectively. The conference was in Estoril and organized by APSEI (www.apsei.org.pt), the national security association.
|Room with a view of Estoril which has a nice beach promenade|
|Adam Crowly from TAEC and you see the originally (?) Nordic PBD triangle|
in the backgorund that I also used in my presentation.
Intentions of the code is well described in the UK where this does not exist in Sweden. Recently the Swedish Fire Consultancy Company organization started a project to document the intentions of the Swedish regulatory requirements. A great initiative that I think will be valuable. In the future it would be great to get national such documents issued by the Swedish regulatory authority, Boverket.
Swedish fire safety regulations (will be updated to latest version by early 2017)
Swedish national guidelines for fire safety engineering is to be published by Oct 2016 at www.boverket.se
Gabriele Vignettes, director of JAVA in Madrid, have his perspective on the situation in Spain. FSE is slowly being accepted and it is necessary to allow unique and safe buildings. However, there's a lack of technical knowledge, non homogenous approach across the country, lack of engineering judgement and these factors lead to the risk of getting unsafe buildings.
|Gabriel Vigne presenting the situation in Spain. Too many empty rows in the front |
but soon we'll see a PBD boom in Portugal I hope :)
I'm also happy to hear that Paolo Ramos of Order dos Arquitectos is aiming to create a Portuguese SFPE chapter soon. That sounds great! SFPE may give good input to Portugal when developing the infrastructure needed for FSE.
Asking where Portugal will be in 5 years gave me a mixed answer. José Oliveira of ANPC (Autoridade Nacional de Protecão Civil) LINK mentioned that goals, objectives, requirements and tools need to be developed. They will look into other countries experiences. Paolos Ramos was a bit pessimistic about getting a fully PBD code, saying it could take 10-20 years due to resistance and distrust to FSE among parts of the authorities. However, some progress would be made still.
|Paolo Ramos on the Portuguese situation where he says that the main problem is to convince authorities.|