Fire Performance Evaluations for the Construction Industry
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has provided fire
evaluation services to the construction industry for more than 40 years.
SwRI evaluates the fire performance of a variety of materials, products, and construction elements following high-rise curves and positive pressure requirements in strict accordance with procedures specified by agencies and fire codes such as:
Using large vertical and horizontal furnaces, SwRI tests
full-scale (loaded or unloaded) walls, doors, windows, floors, suspended ceilings,
bulkheads, decks, penetration seals, beams, and columns. Sections of walls and floors,
mechanically attached fittings, penetration seals, and miscellaneous construction
components are evaluated for developmental screening purposes in a small horizontal
furnace. SwRI evaluates exterior multistory wall panel systems in accordance with UBC 26-4
(full scale), UBC 26-9 (intermediate scale), and radiant panel procedures. Interior finish
materials are evaluated for flame propagation, smoke generation, rate of heat release, and
other parameters used by regulatory agencies.
SwRI uses state-of-the-art computer software to provide detailed, accurate, and timely fire-performance information. All information is confidential. Clients are encouraged to arrange a tour of the test facilities.
The SwRI Department of Fire Technology is accredited
by the International Accreditation Service, Inc. (IAS), which encompasses the
three major model building code jurisdictions in the United States, as a
qualified testing laboratory and a third-party quality assurance and inspection
agency in accordance with IAS Report Nos.
The Department has been designated a "Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL)"
by OSHA and has been accredited in all major state and local jurisdictions
throughout the U.S., including the city of Los Angeles, Miami-Dade County, and
the city of New York. The Department has been accepted by the U.S. Coast Guard
to provide testing and follow-up programs in support of Type Approval per the
IMO FTP Code. Internationally, the Department is recognized by The Standards
Council of Canada, Lloyd's Register of Shipping, Det Norske Veritas (DNV), and
the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).
This flyer was originally published in January 1997. For more information about fire performance evaluations for the construction industry, contact Karen Carpenter, Department of Fire Technology, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510, Phone (210) 522-3718, Fax (210) 522-3377.