Fire Engineering

Our team of fire engineers develop innovative and cost-effective solutions for building code compliance. We currently provide the following fire engineering services:

  • Zone and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) based fire modelling
  • Combustible load and fire severity assessment
  • Fire hazard assessment
  • Fire risk analysis
  • Evacuation modelling
  • Performance-based design
  • Assessment of material behaviour in fire
  • Structural fire protection
  • Fire protection of existing and heritage buildings
  • Fire protection of industrial facilities
  • Heat transfer analyses
  • Design of smoke management systems
  • Building exposure protection

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Building Code

GHL’s practice focuses on Part 3  and Part 9 of the Canadian building codes and related fire safety codes, as well as the U.S. International Building Code and the NFPA Codes. We interpret and understand building products for compliance with fire test standards, such as the UL, ULC, CSA and ASTM Standards. We also work with structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers for other parts of the Building Code. GHL currently provides the following core Building Code consulting services:

  • Building code compliance reviews
  • Code compliance drawings
  • Engineering Judgments
  • Building code research
  • Alternative Solutions
  • Air Space Parcel Subdivision Building Code Programs
  • Pre-purchase (due diligence) reviews
  • Building permit processing assistance
  • Building code appeals preparation
  • Building design for accessibility
  • Stair safety / ergonomics

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Certified Professional Services

GHL can facilitate Building Permit issuance through the Certified Professional (CP) program in the City of Vancouver and City of Surrey. The CP Program is an alternate ‘fast-track’ Building Permit process that allows Building and Occupancy Permits to be delivered faster due to the involvement of a Certified Professional. The CP Program can save months at times of peak activity at the City’s Building Department. It is a system in which an Owner/Developer can retain an Architect or Engineer who is certified to represent the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) for ascertaining substantial compliance with the BC Building Code, greatly simplifying and expediting the processing of building and occupancy permit applications.

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Wood Fire Safety

In addition to our ability to work with a variety of construction materials, we have developed extensive fire engineering expertise on wood buildings. As an advisory consultant to the BC government in 2008 and 2011, we provided fire risk analysis that supported the permission of 5 and 6 storey wood-frame buildings of residential and office occupancies. We were also part of the APEGBC consortium that developed the APEGBC “Technical and Practice Bulletin” on 5 and 6 storey wood buildings.  Recently, we completed several landmark wood buildings, including the 18 storey Tall Wood building in Vancouver.  Our involvement with the CLT Handbook, CSA O86 task group, NEWBuildS and NSERC’s research network on innovative wood products makes GHL a leader in wood fire engineering.

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Legal and Forensic

GHL provides legal services in our capacity as an expert witness in mediation and litigation. Our fire science and building code background and access to the state of the art fire science research enables us to provide a high level of support to cause and origin and forensic investigation. Our fire modelling expertise enables us to reconstruct fire scenarios to analyze theories of cause and origin and fire growth.

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