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Fire research

The fire team investigates critical aspects of building fire safety design. Our research has informed Building Code and standards changes and development of computer models used by New Zealand fire safety practitioners to predict fire and smoke spread.

What we do

BRANZ fire research and experimental capabilities have evolved alongside the emergence of new materials and increases in housing density.

Many of the fire team’s current activities are part of the Building fire-safe densified housing programme. This programme of research looks at the fire resistance of façade systems and solutions to limit the external spread of fire, safe use of engineered wood products and solutions for egress in high-density housing.

Examples of projects that are part of this programme include:

  • fire safe use of timber
  • fire risks associated with lithium batteries
  • fire safety of combustible façades.

There are also several projects on topics that involve more than one discipline, including:

  • indoor pollutants in buildings exposed to fire (materials and fire engineering)
  • fire performance of hollow-core floors (structural engineering and fire engineering).

Working with system players

The fire team collaborates on research activities with domestic and international stakeholders throughout the building system. Stakeholders include:

  • industry players
  • professional bodies
  • practitioners (engineers, designers and architects)
  • government agencies
  • tertiary institutions
  • standards development bodies
  • Crown research institutes.

Research and resources

Outputs from BRANZ fire team research are documented in in-depth and actionable study reports and useful resources including fire-modelling software, Build articles, fact sheets and publications.