What is dog detection in fire investigation?

Finding the origin and the cause of a fire requires the use of a recognised methodology based on, but not limited to, guide NFPA 921 : Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations. With few exceptions, the proper methodology for a fire investigation is to first determine the origin of the fire, and then to establish its cause. The cause of a fire is defined as the circumstances and conditions that [...]

By |February 21st, 2020|

The toilet speedway and the damage it can cause

In recent years, the number of claims submitted to insurers has almost doubled. Between 1995 and 1999, about $2.9 billion was claimed annually; this amount then increased to $5.7 billion between 2010 and 2014. The main cause of this increase would be related to water damage. Indeed, since the early 2000s, this type of incident has accounted for more than 50% of all claims. In addition, broken pipes inside a [...]

By |December 14th, 2019|

Buildings and waste management: Part 2

In our November newsletter, we saw the situation regarding waste management. Today, in this second part on this subject, we will look at the regulatory requirements and those of the code in relation to the challenge of designing compliant buildings. CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN REQUIREMENTS We all would like to find this information in a single place; however, in our experience, the specific requirements pertaining to waste management equipment are unfortunately [...]

By |December 10th, 2019|

Buildings and waste management: Part 1

THE BUILDING AS A TRANSIT POINT IN THE WASTE CYCLE While our collective consciousness makes us aware of the environmental footprint we are leaving, we are still far from a zero-waste society. Waste management remains a reality that concerns us all and to which designers, managers and owners must adapt. Construction and real estate stakeholders should be aware of the design and construction requirements specific to waste management, whether it [...]

By |November 7th, 2019|

Now that some municipalities are adjusting the pressure of their water systems, what is the impact on the compliance of sprinkler systems?

In recent years, when demand is low, the City of Montreal (like many other municipalities) has reduced the pressure of drinking water at the outlet of its production plants and pumping stations. As low water demands usually occur between 22:00 and 5:00, this water pressure « manipulation » has two main objectives: reduce waste within the drinking water distribution system due to its poor condition; and reduce stress in the [...]

By |November 7th, 2019|

Lightning Detection and Possible Cause of a Fire

Lightning has already been a subject of last January newsletter. We had then discussed the development of this event and its potential impact on structures (this newsletter can be (re)read here). We shall now be addressing two other lightning aspects: The detection of this event; and Lightning as a cause of fire. Lightning Detection Lightning is a phenomenon where a great power is released over a very brief period of [...]

By |September 19th, 2019|

Wooden Housing Constructions: Evolution of Practices

Context Elements The National Building Code of Canada (hereinafter NBC) has allowed, since its first publication in 1941, that buildings be of combustible construction (including wood) together with structural and non-structural elements. At that time, large timber buildings could have four (4) storeys while those with lightweight framing were limited to three (3) storeys. The presence of sprinklers only had a limited influence on the permitted building area. Even today, [...]

By |September 19th, 2019|

Floor Area’s Densification; Impact and Consequences on the Means of Egress

A new trend Floor area densification is an increasingly common practice, especially in the context of reorganization projects for existing office space. The labour market has adapted to several realities, therefore, it is not uncommon to find that employers now seek to densify their workspaces so to leverage such spaces and improve the flexibility of office spaces. Computer technology progress and the increase of employers’ openness to teleworking have also [...]

By |June 19th, 2019|

Snow Load in Quebec: Recordings for Winter 2018-2019

Winter 2018–2019 was particularly difficult in Quebec. Several damages have been observed by building owners due to the snow load on the roofs. Damages extended from simple cracks in the gypsum finishing of the ceilings to the partial collapse of the roof’s structures all the way to the complete collapse of the building. This winter was characterized by numerous rainfalls followed by sudden freezing temperatures within only a few hours. [...]

By |June 13th, 2019|
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