Investigations Report Highlights Efforts for Safer Buildings

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has submitted to Congress the annual report of activities under the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Act, which authorizes the agency to conduct technical investigations of major building failures in the United States.

Although NIST did not conduct any new investigations of structural failures during the past year, the 2007 NCST report details significant progress in both the private and public sectors acting upon NIST's previous investigation-driven recommendations for improvement in building and fire standards, codes and practices.

Those recommendations stem from NIST's investigations into the failure of the two World Trade Center (WTC) towers following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and The Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island on Feb. 20, 2003, that killed 100 persons. NIST expects this summer to complete its investigation of the failure of WTC 7, the 47-story office building that also collapsed on 9/11.

The report highlights a discussion of the first comprehensive set of building code changes based on the NIST WTC investigation that were approved by the International Code Council (ICC) in 2007 and were incorporated into last year's supplement to the ICC's International Building Code (IBC), a model code used as the basis for building regulations promulgated and enforced by U.S. state and local jurisdictions. Those jurisdictions have the option of incorporating some or all of the code's provisions but generally adopt most of them.

The report also details the 47 proposals for code changes based on WTC investigation recommendations submitted to the ICC last August. These proposals address areas such as structural collapse, wind tunnel testing, emergency responder communications, sprinkler redundancy and sprayed-on fire resistive materials. All 47 items will be considered initially during this month's ICC Code Development Hearings for potential forwarding to the ICC Final Action Hearing in September. Code changes approved at that time will appear in the 2009 edition of the IBC.

NIST investigations under the NCST Act, signed into law in October 2002, are designed to establish the likely technical causes of the building failure and evaluate the technical aspects of emergency response and evacuation procedures in the wake of such failures. The goal is to recommend improvements to the way in which buildings are designed, constructed, maintained and used. The 2007 NCST report to Congress is available at www.nist.gov/ncst.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Easy to Use Safety Incident App

    Record incidents on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Collect data for multiple types of incidents including including near misses, vehicle and environmental incidents, and employee and non-employee injuries; at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus