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Aug. 17, 2022

063 - Why do we need a handbook of fire and the environment with Brian Meacham and Margaret McNamee

063 - Why do we need a handbook of fire and the environment with Brian Meacham and Margaret McNamee

Do we need another fire handbook? If so, what handbook would that be? I guess a question like this must have gone through Brian Meachams' mind when he got the idea for a handbook of fire and environment. And he got a brilliant co-editor - Margaret McNamee to support him in this tough work. The effect - a complete piece on the environmental effects of fires - but beyond just smoke and contamination. A piece that deals with the complexities of the modern world, sustainability and resilience. One that considers product lifecycle assessment as much as the toxicity of its combustion products. A holistic view gives us fire engineers a different lens to view our work through.

In this episode, I interview Brian and Margaret on why this handbook came to life.  That why is probably the most important question to be asked. If there was no reason, why go through all this effort to structurize and condense the knowledge we have so far amassed? If why does not exist, why would anyone go through the hassle of considering one more (difficult) thing in their project?

Well, I hope I won't spoil the episode, but the why exists. And it is a pretty good one. And to learn it, you have to dig into this episode!

You can find the handbook here:
https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-94356-1#about-this-book

It is behind a paywall, but many universities and institutes should have free access!

The publisher describes this handbook as:
The fundamental purpose of this handbook is to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of fire and fire suppression, primarily within the fire engineering and firefighting communities, but also within the environmental engineering and planning disciplines. The Handbook provides readers with a fundamental understanding of the problem and its magnitude and includes a set of tools and methods for assessing environmental, social and financial impacts, and a set of tools for identifying and selecting appropriate mitigation options.

  • Presents previously unavailable material on identification, assessment and mitigation of environmental fires
  • Facilitates readers with knowledge in one area to focus on topics where they lack expertise
  • Extensively cites detailed studies and reports to support in-depth study in each of the topic areas
Transcript

Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Fire Science Show. the history of fire science and fire engineering. We had the important books that marked points on the timeline of development of fire. Protection engineering as a field. I guess we had the SFPE handbook being published at. For the first time gathered all the knowledge we had on fire engineering in one place, we had brilliant books by Quintiere by Drysdale, which paved the road to, teach fire engineering. as a real science. And every now and then, and important books come out dead. It's just important for the society. And today in today's episode. We're going to talk about the book. We're going to talk about a book that has just been published. It's called the handbook of fire and the environment. Edited by professor Brian Meacham and professor Margaret McNamee. You guessed correctly, both of them are the guests of the today's episodes. At, in this interview. I mean, it's not that we're going to tell a try and sell you the book. That's not the point of it. The point of it is to understand why today. We need handbook that covers fire. And the environment. That's a really tough question to answer that. It's something changed. Did we mature enough to start considering that? What do we even mean by. Considering the environmental aspects of fires. As I have been involving the writing this book through my chapter on fire and smoke modeling. Uh, I seen the process. It was a really long and interesting journey to have these piece of knowledge. Delivered to the community and looking through the book, I think it's gone up. Play an important role. In our society. And if you take a while to company me in this interview, listening what Margaret and Brian have to say on why they wrote the handbook and how they want it to be used. On what they expect of it to become, I guess you will shed my viewpoint. That book of this kind was very necessary for our profession. And it's going to benefit everyone. So, if you want to learn more about why environmental issues should be considered when doing fire engineering. Stay here with me. Lets spin the intro and jump into the interview. Hello everybody. Welcome to Fire Science Show I'm today here with Margaret McNamee. Margaret. Great to have you back in the podcast. Hi, Wojciech. Great to be. Really happy to have you here and together with us professor Brian Meacham,, you're also a come back to the show. Really happy to have you. Yeah, happy to be here. Wojciech? This is, great. And, uh, thank you very much for inviting me back. We have a good, reason to be here in this, group. And, uh, reasons to celebrate the handbook is out there. Handbook of fire and environment. Yay. Good job. Yay. Yes, it did it. Yes. must be an such a great feeling to have a handbook off your shoulders. Like Absolutely. really happy and very happy to be a part of it. guys, you've published a, a major piece handbook, fire and environment. I would really love to learn why, you did that? Like, what was the, what was your first thought many years ago when this started? When did it start even? so tell me the story of the beginnings of, of this book and why it was important to, to write such a piece Well in the beginning, man, created fire by rubbing sticks together. And ever since then, there's been an impact on the environment that we haven't dealt with very well. But, after a few thousand years, we realized that fire really. Causes problems to the environment, whether it's the built environment with our buildings or the natural environment, with anything from wildfire or the impacts from, , manufacturing and, and human impact, In in our daily lives. And so we thought it was time to actually bring what we knew together into a single resource. That could be a starting point for people trying to understand better. What the problems or issues are relative to fire and environmental impact, you know, all the way from impacts on buildings to social structures, to the environment. And so we, uh, kicked this off. Back in 2016 and with a few issues on, on this little bug called COVID 19, that caused problems for a couple of years, we were finally able to pull it all together. So thanks to you Wojciech as an author, all the other authors and, and Margaret, and, uh, we made it. Yes, we, we made it When did you realize it's not a subject for a paper rather than is a subject for a handbook? Well, I think I've known for a long time that the topic itself is just incredibly diverse. There are so many different insane. When we talk about the environmental impact. Fire you know, it's, it's easy to see how many different aspects of fire safety and fire safety science. It really touches onto, Absolutely. myself in my career. I've worked in a number of different, topics, you know, both, industrial building related, social, firefighter, organizational, all sorts of different topic. That a lot of them have been, or most of them have been somewhere or other been related to the environmental impact of fires or fire and sustainability. And when you start to see how broad the topic is, then you realize as well, number one, it's a very important topic that many people are. Trying to relate, to trying to deal with in many different ways. And it's also something that, you know, we need to really bring together a lot of what we know at this point as kind of like a benchmark so that we can than have a whole lot of different individuals doing very disparate things about fire safety and sustainability. To try and actually bring different groups together and see if we can summarize, you know, what we know today and how we can move forward. And that's, you know, at least in part what we've tried to do, that's a really big ambition, but in part what we've to, with the handbook, my immediate thought, to the idea of writing a handbook was, oh, so, so we do start caring about environment now. I mean, it's, it's not an obvious one. Um, it's not that we did not care about environment at all, if you look to. How engineering was done, or at least the part of engineering, building engineering that I am familiar with. If I was my smoke control system, as long as I could exhaust the smoke from the building, I was good. I, I never really did care that much about where it will go I exhausted, you know, only interface environment and the problems of the environment, where really when we started doing wind engineering and the reason why you've invited us to the was to, to cover the, the wind and fire issue. we started doing wind engineering, it's very difficult to not notice your smoke is flying somewhere and that the fires, How to say region of damage does not end inside the building, but it it's not that I've started designing my buildings, uh, having an environment in the mind, from that point, recognize the issue, but it's not that I've started design. So, so you think we are in, in some paradigm shifting moment where environment starts to become a really important piece of the fire safety equation. Yeah. I think environment sustainability and, and resilience are becoming social objectives, right? And fire safety engineers to be responsible. Actors in society have to take, protection of the environment and the resilience of our. communities and, sustainability for the future as core values. And so it's really important for the fire safety science and engineering community to really look at, you know, the implications of fire on the environment and, the three aspects of sustainability, which include also, you know, economy. society and the environment and, and look at how we bring people together. And so when we kinda laid out the book in this first edition of the handbook, we wanted to tell that story. So we start with kind of historically significant fires. We talk about fire fundamentals in your chapter, on, on smoke modeling, we have emissions measurements so that we understand. People get a picture of fire and, and how you model it and, and how you measure the impact. Mm-hmm. then looking at fires and buildings, wild land, fire, the chemicals, and those impacts, and then how we can analyze and, and mitigate the fire. And the idea is. We want readers from all disciplines and all interests to look at this and they might have different starting points. And so we give them an overview of the issues and, and in the end we bring it together in really trying to think about development of sustainable and resilient fire, resilient, built environments, which tries to think holistically about the problem. Margaret you've authored the, historically significant fires chapter. I, I wonder going back to the history in a structured manner to write a handbook chapter and, uh, it's a lot of work to write a handbook chapter. You guys, you know, , I, I dunno if you realize before, but boy, that that's a journey in a structured way through the literature, through the historically significant fires, what were your realizations about where we are now in terms of recognition of environmental issue? I mean, we had some catastrophic fires, but Outside of this few, don't really hear the environmental aspect much, or you had a different, when you went through literature. Well, and I think when we went through the literature, there are so many historically, significant fires that we could have chosen. and when you go through the literature on different types of fires that have had a significant impact from one point of view or the other. Then often you don't get a lot of information about, okay, well, what was the environmental impact of that particular fire? historically we really haven't looked at it from that point of view. Historically, we've looked at it from the point of view of, okay. How many people have been impacted has business, being affected or how many buildings have been impacted, things like that, and not so much about, emissions or trying to understand what the cost of replacement of different types of products that were involved in the fire and so on. So, uh, it turns out that when we were putting together that. chapter, a lot of the fires that we would be interested in putting together more details about, because I think that it would be hopefully for the reader to be able to access that kind of information, then we don't have a lot of environmental impact type information available for some of the big fires. And, and that's something that I think would be interesting in the future to try and, produce, say a new. Of some of the big fires, looking through a different sustainability or environmental impact type of lens, but some of the fires that we've chosen have been chosen, particularly because of the fact that they were fires that were seen as being environmentally significant at the time that they occurred. And so people have, um, made an analysis of, and saved information about what the environmental impact of those fires was. in some cases you do find that, legislation has changed as a result of the fire and the environmental impact of the fire, the Sando fire, for example. Uh, but we're also trying in that chapter to push things a little bit in terms of understanding that it's not just the huge fires. The, the big industrial facilities or something like that that are causing an environmental impact, but also the everyday fires that occur on a regular basis over a period of, you know, a year or whatever, then they are accumulating to give a significant environmental impact as well. And so I, you know, I think that we need to be able to think of this in many different ways when we're moving forward, in order to be able to understand that it's not just industrial type fires, that we need to be making a consideration of the environmental impact, but all fires. love how you position that. because you don't have to burn a chemical factory to produce a very nasty in the fires. I'm It's just the way, what fires do they produce nasty substances. what you release to the environment. And if also mentioned Sandoz fire, which, which brings me to a question that I just wanted to ask you, in Sandoz there was, if I recall it correctly, it led to, um, pollution of the, river with, uh, mass, deaths of fish and a long, long distance of the river. So it was like a local catastrophic for ecosystem. So personally, for me, the pollution is smoke. You know, the, the I'm I'm a smoke control engineer. I'm sorry. I, I think in smoke, Maybe even more importantly, there's, uh, soil pollution, there is water pollution. And what is very interesting when you start to look at it a holistic, point of view, this does not necessarily come from just fire. Even the extinguishing action, the chemicals we use to contain fire, even those are, in some way. dangerous to the environment. And if you want to look at the big picture, you have to them into account. Maybe you can bring me the, the world of soil and water pollution in the other that smoke engineer could be blind for I'm sorry. yeah, it's certainly important to think of, Impact of fires as not just being through the plume. So through the, the smoke emissions, although that is a very important aspect. but also in terms of the fact that the plume can then lead to deposition or the debris can lead to interaction with, the soil or, uh, the fact that you can have, emissions coming into either surface or groundwater. but also that those are all your immediate local types of environmental impacts, but we also need to try and understand that the environmental impact of fire is not just related to that. It's also related to a more global understanding of, environmental impact that comes from the more. Uh, environmental field, if you will, rather than from the fire safety science field originally. And that's through thinking of things in terms of , the total life cycle, if you will, of the product. And the fact that if a product is involved in a fire, then that cuts that life cycle short. And so you would need to then replace that product in many cases and the replacement of that product before it's able to continue its full life cycle, that also has an environmental impact. and by not understanding that by not including that, then we would be significantly underestimating the benefits of making sure that we actually avoid fires. not just by avoiding the emissions from the fires, but also avoiding the fact that we would need to replace those products so that they can complete their life cycle. If you. I think that you also bring up an important point that we see here in the, that we tried to cover at least in the handbook having chapters on things like, okay, well, what is the environmental impact of the mitigation? The mitigation aspects that we're trying to introduce in order to be able to, uh, mitigate the fire. So things like using different types of chemicals or using sprinklers, or, different building methods and things like that, that, that can change the way a fire could occur or the development of the fire. And recognizing that those mitigation, , activities may also have an environmental impact. I, I really love how for you. this. Environmental care and sustainability and, and resilience truly are like one thing. Like if I talk to you, like you just jump from one to another, like they're one exact same thing. And I think that's a very nice way to think about it because these things are like so connected to each other. They, they may be HDR, one thing, Many engineers would not think like that. I, I hope the message of the and what we are doing outside of the handbook. all, all these talks that will help build this, uh, message in people's head. Because once you realize that once you start thinking in that way, inevitable, you have to deal with the environmental consequences of your. There's no way out. It's ridiculous to not do that. So, subconscious what you do, but I really appreciate it. I like it lot. Brian, to what extent wildfires were thing for you when we you've started work on this handbook, if you think about the scale of the fire, I, I think, emissions from a single huge wildfire would stop emissions from any petrochemical plant fire. Maybe I don't, know that that's an opinion, not effect, but, wildfire seem to be. Significant contributor to the environmental damage and they are in the book. There is a chapter on wild fire. There's a chapter on mitigation strategies for wild fires. So you've obviously thought about that, I would love to hear, like, to what extent this was an important thing and how you place this, fire risk against, for example, building risks or risks. Yeah, it's really a, pretty complex topic and it was important to cover wildfires, but we also have to remember that wildfires are natural events. And so that's been part of the environment. since the beginning of time and some of the issues are the climate change that is resulting from, poor resource management is increasing temperatures, which is driving the magnitude and number of wildfires. Plus we're building more. In the wild land or what we call the wild land, urban interface. And as we put more buildings, uh, which are not only residential, but we put more industry into those areas. Now you're taking what was natural fires that. Would be burning anyway, and you're adding the contribution of the buildings and the materials stored in the buildings and the other components that make the actual fire impacts all the more significant. So again, you have to kinda look at it as a holistic system. We've always had wild land fire. It it's part of the environment, but. The way we have managed or not managed wildfires and wildfires in the wild land, urban interface and not controlled the buildings that are put in those spaces. And now we're bringing it all together. Multiplies that environmental impact at. Different scales. Right? So you have a wild land fire. You have a much bigger scale problem. You have factories within that wild land fire. Area then, you know, get back to your smoke and, and, and fire modeling. Your plumes are bigger. Your, your dispersion is bigger. The area of impact is bigger and, we're creating bigger problems and we don't think about each aspect. How do you control, you know, the forest management? How do you control the design of the urban environ? To have natural fire breaks and other things. Do you need additional fire protection on buildings in those areas to mitigate the additional environmental impact if a wildland fire occurs. And so what we're doing is multiplying the problems that you might have at a local, community level when you put it in the WUI when you. Get to the bigger fires we're having because of climate change, because we haven't been sustainable. So it's back to, it's all integrated and we really haven't thought enough about it. Obviously we don't very good solutions. I like, this way of thinking as it leads to producing solutions now. Uh, handbook is, is published in the SFP engineers series. let's try to do some engineering. , so it's also meant to be, a useful tool for engineers. I think you've either said that in the introduction or in the green room, it's like for an engineer to, you know, take the book to the hand and work with it, on, on this aspect. So I. First thing that comes to my mind is do we measure environmental issues? do we measure, environmental issues of fires and, impact. you know, I think that there are a lot of answers to this question. and it's a surprisingly, uh, multi-layered question in some ways, depending on what aspect of the environmental impact size you're interested in, then there will be different input provided to you. I think in the handbook, in a number of the different chapters. So, in order to be able to, start looking at what the environmental impact of fires is then you need to understand, say what is a fire and how does it develop and, and what kinds of emissions are, are going to be produced? how do you characterize what those are? where might those emissions go in terms of how they interact with the environment and then what kinds of models do we have out there that, , these, this kind of data can be input into. And, and there are a number of different chapters in the handbook that can give you guidance on lots of different points of this. and, and I think one of the things that we've been sort of talking about that each of us comes back to this whole idea of looking at things holistically you know, is both within the chapter that I, I coauthored on tools and for impact analysis, where we're looking at lifecycle. Types of techniques or lifestyle, life cycle thinking, uh, so different types of models that maybe aren't a full life cycle assessment, but are using that kind of methodology in order to be able to approach the complexity of the, , fire and environment question. but then the final chapter that maybe Brian wants to speak to more that is, you know, about trying to put together a methodology where we can look at. the multifaceted, aspects of say an engineering approach to design to make sure that we, you know, we take care of different, both fire safety and sustainability type questions. When we're in the design process. Yeah, I don't know Brian, you were, we wrote that CTA together, but you were the, genius behind the basic idea that we, we discussed and worked out. Mastermind Yeah, well, I don't know about genius, but, I mean mastermind. Yes, it, you know, if you look at the, the structure of the book a little bit, what we try to do handbook is take you from the fundamentals, from the fire, the smoke modeling emissions to buildings, to wild land, fire, and, and tools. Mitigation strategies and then looking at how it all comes together. and you really do that. Like what Margaret just said, what is the fire? What emissions does the fire produce? Where do they go? How do we measure what they do there how do we mitigate what they do there? It's. it's, that's table of C of the handbook, really there is a chapter for every of these questions, and I certainly appreciate that. much so, so then you reach the final chapter, the safer be, methodology or framework, , so go Bryan, tell us more about, about the concept of. Yeah. So, What we wanted to do was tell the story, right? You have all of these issues that are important to understand. And if you come in from a different discipline, you have a different understanding. So some people will start at the beginning and others will come in later in the story. But at the end of the day, the intent is really that we should be thinking about how we develop sustainable and fire resilient. Environment. So that's the safer be idea. And that's really made up of, three components, uh, sustainable and fire, resilient buildings, infrastructure, and communities, because you have to look at across those scales from the buildings and the contents and all the issues Margaret talked about before with LCA and other to looking. The infrastructure systems that we have that includes water resource includes energy systems and others to support the community. And then you have the community, particularly when you are in this wildland urban interface that you're trying to make sure it's resilient to these fire effects. And so you can't look at any of those scales to building the infrastructure of the community without thinking. What are attributes to sustainability? A community or a building owner or an individual is trying to put into place. And how could fire cast a problem on achieving a sustainability objective or actually work to counter that by producing a bigger, uh, Environmental impact because you didn't consider fire as part of your overall sustainability, concepts. So what we're trying to do is to get people to think that you can kind of create, you know, the sustainability objectives that. People wanna achieve and energy efficiency, resource efficiency, and so forth and achieve the fire safety objectives that you want to in terms of people, property, environment, heritage, and all the rest. But you do it holistically so that you don't. Take for example, the intent to make a building energy efficient, for sustainability reasons, without considering the fire impact of the photovoltaic system as an ignition source or insulation systems that may be combustible or structural systems that may be combustible such that, uh, sustainability for one purpose creates. Potential fire problem. You try to balance the sustainability objectives with the fire safety objectives so that you have a robust system from a sustainability and fire resilience perspective. And then you can scale that. Concept from the building to the connecting infrastructure, to the community so that you have, a holistic approach to this idea that a sustainable future is one that requires a fire resilience. Base. And I think that's what we're trying to do is to create not only the thinking there, but, in the future tools for helping to actually design for, uh, sustainable and fire resilient built environments. So it's, it's kind of laying the groundwork for hopefully much more development in the future. But trying to get everybody to kind of think in this way, so that the decisions they make about building fire safety design and about sustainability design are integrated and also community design and so forth. But then again, of these levels, at each of these layers, need to be able to identify issues, measure the issues. Design some scenarios to consider, I guess these are the parts of the framework that really go into the work. It's not uh, philosophical thinking about let's think that the most holistic way I can think about the fire scenario, it is by measuring them and, finding the answer. And, and I think, you know, one of the beauties of the way of looking at things like this is that from a fire safety community , point of view, then, we obviously are very focused on the idea that, to meet or introducing extra regulatory sustainability objectives into the design process has had some unexpected impact on fire safety. But I think, you know, historically we can also see that some trying to meet some of our fire safety objectives has also had some, implications. And so the model works in both ways. It can help us, by, you know, bringing these two topics together, it can help us both to make sure that any of the mitigation, activities that we take part of in order to be able to create something that is fire safe, that they don't have unexpected sustainability, implications and the same in the opposite direction. And I think also, , and this may be counter to most, engineer's way of thinking, but we tend to go into details before we understand the problem. And really what we're trying to do here is to lay out the problem so that you're solving the right problem. Instead of solving that piece of the puzzle that you can quantify and feel comfortable with. And, whether it's performance based design that I've been talking about for a few decades now, too many people solve the wrong problem by looking at it's like the drunk looking for the car keys under a street light, you know, when the car is two blocks away. So why are you looking under the street light while that's where the light is? Right. So if you're only looking. That part of the problem that you know, how to tackle, you have no idea whether or not you're creating more problems in the bigger picture. So, at least I personally didn't want to go to too many details to tell people how to do this until they understand what the problem is, because then we'll fall right back into, well, what's the size design fire we should use and, and which. You know, product of combustion is the most environmentally toxic that we have to that misses members of the design. Yeah, without the bigger picture. You're not really seeking for the answer. give a lot of examples where. Sustainability objectives would create this, unexpected impact on fire safety. mean, out of a hat, facade, and the way how they've evolved is like number one example. But, there's there's more even batteries in buildings, storage in buildings. That's an answer to a sustainability problem. How do we store How do we prevent blackouts introducing, uh, something that's possibly dangerous, even electric vehicles, uh, It's in a way, an answer to sustainability issue that we need to change the modes of transfer to, to non-mission ones. in my country doesn't work, it's just with coal based power. like, doesn't the point? To be honest. Even Poland is gonna get into the future soon. You'll see. With, with the, with the current call prices, it's it's sooner than ever. but, um, maybe you can give me a, do you know, an example of, of fire safety objective that really affected sustainability Yes. I mean, one of them is, the fact that we see firefighting foams have come very much into question, for example. So the fluorinated foams that we know have. Some very significant implications for the environment because of the fact that they're, persistent chemicals that stay in the environment for long periods of time. And so, they tend to get into the water system. They can contaminate, different areas where they've been, Significantly. So there is something where we've made some choices for fire safety that then have led to some questionable results from a sustainability point of view. but there are other examples. I mean, um, uh, a number of different flame retardants have been questioned for example. And certainly a lot of the research that I've done has tried to, bring, say maybe a more balanced, approach to that discussion of, when can we see fire performance through flame RET retirements as being a good, sustainable solution. And, and when should we be seeking other sustainable solutions? So the, the question is, is often quite complicated. I was just gonna say it, it, it works in the other way. There are fire mitigation measures that are. Sustainable solutions, you know, and a good example of that is sprinklers. Right? There is a good study by FM global there's studies by Bre. Right? If buildings don't burn down, if you control the size of fire to being much smaller, You're reducing the environmental impact. And particularly with sprinklers, that's a lower amount of water than for example, the fire service would need if they're responding to a fire, to put out the fire. and so we know that by controlling the size of the fire, we're controlling the environmental impact and that's a sustainability measure as well. Where do you see sprinklers as a sustainability objective, fit into any building regulation? You don't, you see policy makers talking all the time about we have a new European green deal. We're trying to do more to save the planet. Okay. Put sprinklers in buildings, you save lives, property and the environment, but nobody's thinking that way. So it it's gotta work both ways. And that type of thinking helps us look at photovoltaics energy storage systems, , building envelopes, you know, Urban design in the wildland urban interface, putting buildings close together and getting radiant ignition. Right. This was a problem. We had centuries ago that we thought we had solved. Right. Conation which we're seeing again. So we just have to be smart about, , what we're looking at and, and how we apply, what we know to the problem. If I apply Margaret's mindset and try to look at sprinklers, it's an evident, uh, life cycle thing, you know, prolonging life cycle of a building. If doesn't burn down, it lives longer. That's as simple as that, you don't have to replace it. don't have to fix it to the extent where you would have, was a fully damaged building. So, there's brilliant. Also had a podcast episode with the engineer, Ingo Riess he's a tunnel guy and Ingo was talking about resilient tunnels. And, I, I think we've covered that in our episode, Brian, the tunnels are often that the piece where they, they are. the front of innovation in fire. these guys are already thinking that I have sprinklers in my tunnel, I close it for one day after a fire. If I don't, I close it for months or years, or maybe forever, which, uh, gives you completely different outcome in terms of resiliency of the building, but also the sustainability of the, of the solution. So, I guess this is this new lens. We are trying to in here and show how to use, not necessarily the, the old fashioned, how much kilograms of smoke I've emitted how bad is that, uh, kilometer away. Right. Well, I think there's a whole range of, components. part of it is, you know, what is the emission? And, what's the transport, what's the deposition going to be, and what's the impact locally or globally from that. But there's also, if you don't have that fire and you don't have that emission, then you don't have to calculate that. And. Mm. Your impacts are lower overall. And as a benefit, you get a more resilient built environment because you're, you're not replacing materials in all the rest. And so, the measurements, the impacts, the scale doesn't have to change, but the solution in terms of thinking how you can reduce the impact, maybe. Presents more opportunities at the design stage, which haven't been necessarily considered in the same framing. Yeah. And you know, I think that the handbook is trying to, uh, you know, approach these questions in this way, by providing all of the different pieces. Well, maybe not all of them. I think that's. we're not, we're not quite there as far as getting everything in there, providing a lot of the pieces of the puzzle so that people can start. Thinking int thinking outside of the box, thinking outside of their own comfort zone in order to be able to, bring a more balanced approach to, building design and to thinking about sustainability, you know, we're, Playing a little bit of catch up to a certain degree in terms of getting this handbook out. I think that's why we both felt it was really important to, to finally, it actually come out and be available to our colleagues around the world. and that's because of the fact that for, for some time now, uh, we have a regulatory process which approaches fire safety and fire safety requirements in the built environment. And then we have an extra regulatory process. That, some, that there sustainability objectives that are being dealt with. And because of the fact that one is regulatory and one is extra regulatory, then they're not necessarily, with each other perfectly. And so I, I would hope that this handbook is going to give some tools to some people that are involved in, in building design can help to open this dialogue and to give, um, a method. For practitioners to actually start thinking in terms sustainability practitioners to start thinking in terms of fire safety and resiliency and fire safety scientists to start thinking in terms of sustainability. Brilliant. And if you were starting the process today, what would be the chapter four theme that, that would you add having the knowledge of today versus what you knew in 2000 16, 17, 18, when this was, uh, coming to life? Brian you're the godfather. Tell me Well, you know, I think partly it's, it's maybe not so much which chapter, but how much each chapter might develop. In more detail. So there are, some things like, being able to do more with the LCA analysis, that's Margaret covers that in her chapter, but that could be, Done more. We could add, material properties that are, available now in terms of data that could be used to support some of these analyses, which we don't necessarily have enough of in there. We have some mitigation strategies. You know for wildfires, but we don't have mitigation strategies for buildings in the wildland, urban interface. You know, some of that can build from the general chapter on mitigation strategies for buildings, but as you co-locate these buildings differently, you have different hazards and, and different mitigation strategies. That you need to think about, I think more on the suppression side, I think we have a good chapter on firefighting chemicals, but that's really a very big area that, you know, could, could have many other topics in terms of, it's not just the chemicals, but interactions. So, I'll, I'll stop there and, and go over to Margaret. But I think it, it's not hard to look and see, You can make some pretty good additions here to, to build out the picture. Yeah. I mean, I, I would agree, in terms of that, I, I think for the moment, one of the things that I would like to see in the future, maybe some, some more worked examples of how do we actually apply some of the thinking that's presented here. to actual, building or community development. so some examples of how this thinking has led to improvements in robustness of, of building design. if I think about it, Obvious user of the book is an engineer, fire safety engineer, someone who's designing a building community region, whatever, I, I think a really good target for this would be people who are, the lawmakers, you know, the, the policymakers, the people in charge, because. Holistic, view when you are designing your piece of the pie you are burdened with a holistic view, it's, it's very difficult, you know, usually would like to drop this problem of yours into someone's else's garden and, and it's their problem now. And. deal with it or, or drop it further away. so holistic thinking is not easy in, in, in fire safety engineering, is traditionally done in silos, it should not be, but it is what it is. I think lawmakers, they, they have the, the full field. They have the possibility , to really changed the playing field, the whole thing to, to promote this type of a holistic thinking and this type of, creating the world, seeing only the most immediate aspects of, of the fire, but seeing the greater picture, would be a beautiful world. If, if legislators were like that, Yeah. I think we tried to target this. For almost everybody. Right. I, I think we tried to leave the policy kind of ideas to the end to build up to that. If you didn't have the background to understand it, and you could start there, if you had more knowledge, but I think it would really benefit policy makers, but I don't think they're the only ones. I think it's the people advising the policy makers Oh, that really need to be thinking about this and what I would really. See as a win for the use of the handbook is having it used in multidisciplinary education courses. So be a part of, ecology courses, be a part of, fire safety engineering courses, be a part of architecture courses. To get to systems thinking you have to start it when you are early in your education, more and more, the education process pushes you into a narrower and narrower. Way of thinking to demonstrate your expertise when the problems are complex , and need integrated solutions. So I would really be happy if universities around the world, use this in a variety of different disciplines as part of educating the next generations about. How these big problems need to be thought , at a more systems approach. And then that would percolate up through the system, , through the, policy makers and those that advise them. But, you know, we're really trying to give a big picture to people of it's a big problem. It's got a lot of components, but here's kind of a structured in a systematic way of getting you. Through the problem and, a potential solution. If we're willing to take it on. So, so even non-fire experts or may, maybe even, especially non-fire experts, because this is, uh, a complete, of knowledge that even a non-expert , can swallow and, Build their expertise as they process through the book. guess that, that was also reason for, for structuring like that. I think it's a, it is a brilliant piece of, of educational material for expert who would like to understand impact. And I hope, you know, in the, in the next edition, I mean, now we're enjoying the first edition, so we don't wanna spend too much time Yes. But in if we, if we look forward a little bit, then, you know, I would hope at the moment, , the handbook is very much about fire safety engineers. Talking to each other about the way that they think about fire and the environment , and mitigation of fire impact on the environment. but it would be nice in future additions to also see non-fire scientists, writing chapters about, know, what is their take on how fire safety impacts on sustainability from their point of view, from the sustainability point of view. Because then I think we'll see that the depth of, what's being presented in the handbook and the different points of view will enrich each other. I also think, listening to like chemical or, or process safety could be very interesting in here because, We we here, or actually you did it personally, the book starts with the historical fire. So there's plethora of knowledge related to fire significant fires that, that are cure that, that gave us the understanding of the complexities. Uh, have, has been even more significant like chemical failures other, incidents. That also affected environment societies at all these layers. , and I'm pretty sure we can, exchange the knowledge, cross disciplinary, even, uh, things like earthquake management, and the things that we see now in why you know, I, I personally see similarities in how we manage the community response to a large threat that the queues in a certain region. then this is for me, it's something that. Could be a nice, addition as, as the handbook develops in many years from now, IWR write the chapter, please. We don't make you do anything. We, volunteers only It's it's. well, you did such a great job too. Wojciech. So It's hard to say no. And you know um, anyway, for me, myself, uh, as, as we're, movings the end of the, , interview personally, it was really nice. Because, I'm so used to doing CFD and you've asked me to summarize, uh, the models and I realize This whole model, though in my chapter, I've placed it. That's something for near field. it's not very feasible to, to use to understand the consequences around Boston. If the fire is in New York, it's, it's, doesn't make sense to, to do that we have other tools to do that. And, I knew. Tools, because in my, professional career I've used some of them, I I've did some, pot release analysis, like large, uh, industrial accident analysis. And so, so on. So it was very refreshing to, to go back and try to really give a good summary of what we did that. And it was very. Refreshing to see many of these models still being developed. Many of these things being maintained and, and so many great new things that, that happen in, in the field of understanding the missions. And now it's, uh, have this, this windy thing. Now today, we, didn't have that five years ago. It's a great tool online tool where you see the weather around the world. It shows you winds, but you can see, you can literally spot plumes that If you turn on the particular matter layer, you really do see real life. images or of where the smoke from large fire goes. shows you active fires. I, I think it's really brilliant and it's so accessible now, and so obvious, can just, you know, turn on the map of Siberia now and check out many fires are going over. Right now can turn on map of Ukraine where you can see the front of the war because of the fire layer. And you can see emissions from that. is also something I don't think we've thought about that much the last decades. Even Brian May remember that, but me and Margaret there decades. I don't think we've thought about war, fire emissions, and yet very near by me. There's a big issue with that, I guess also something to Yeah. about for future I actually have some colleagues who, from the university in Lund who are, doing work on, um, fire emissions through, war fires. but they've been mainly focused on Syria and, uh, places like that. So, not the Ukraine, although obviously the Ukraine is, a very high profile war at the moment where, where we're definitely seeing fires. I know, um, for example, there was a fire that was started through shelling, very close to Al in the war. with the Um, so I mean, these kinds of things can have huge implications, but one, one thing I wanted to, catch onto there while you were speaking about , your own, personal insights when you were writing your chapter. I think, you know, Brian, you would, echo, if I say. The book would not have been possible without the fantastic contributions that we've received from, the various chapter authors from around the world. And I know from my point of view, I've learned so much by reading the various chapters. I I've been working in the area of the environmental impact of fires for almost 30 years. And, there's just, the field has matured so much during that period of time. And there are, people around the world making significant contributions in this area and have offered very generously of their time to write chapters like your. inside the, the Dropbox, I had the sneak peak and I really like the, we didn't talk about that much, but there's a chapter on waste fires in the handbook. it's so relevant to Polish problem. We, we had so much problems with, with, fires, and, It was a sign. It still is a significant thing to discuss. And the fact that that such a topic to the handbook so well laid out. It's, it's very useful and beneficial. And, uh, I will definitely use that chapter for my own. And it to echo, Margaret's comments, we're indebted to all of the expert authors who prepared these chapters and helped to, uh, educate all of us. Right. Because we all have learned a lot. We. None of us can be expert in all the areas. And I think we've just been really fortunate to be able to have gotten so many experts in the diversity of areas we covered to provide really good chapters, informative. Pointing to even additional resources to go in more detail. and for me, this is what a handbook should be, right? This is where you go, you know, to start with, to learn from the experts and to, you know, peak your own curiosity about where to go from there, Solving problems. It helps with that, but it also launches, you know, exploration. And I think, you know, that's a good outcome as well. And, and we're indebted to, to all the other authors. So, you know, a big thank to all. let's finish on this, on this very, very positive thought. So. Usually I would ask people for resources, but in this episode, this is kind of obvious. just drop the link to the in the show notes. You know, when I was looking at it on Springer, you can either buy the whole book or you can buy individual chapters. So I. a good opportunity Yeah. And I, I know a lot of our colleagues around the world have, uh, access to Springer through their university accounts or through, variety of accounts. So you should definitely check that out before you actually end up buying the book to make sure that you don't have, uh, access to a copy through a connection through your organization. otherwise we hope that we've been able to jam, pack it with so much information that it's, worth. Uh, you know, actually buying a copy And it's gonna look extremely well on your, on your shelf. So a, go to resource I mean, absolutely. is definitely a go to recess. Okay guys, um, Thanks for all the work at the handbook and this little interview we just had, it was a great time both participating in this project listening the behind it, on why they wrote the book. yeah. Thank you so much guys. And, and see you. Thanks. Wojciech Thanks a lot. And that's it. Thank you for listening. I hope I did not oversell the book. I'm a lousy salesman. Uh, that was not the point to. Lure you into purchasing this magnificent, the handbook. I really hope you will understand the mindset of Brian Margaret. , and to some extent also mine in why environmental effects should be considered along with fires. Well, the sustainable build environment mean what is resilience of the buildings and how all of these things into play. Together. So I don't have very much to add into these summary. It was a joy to be part of writing a handbook chapter. I mean, I always dreamed about writing a handbook chapter there. It has this nice link to it, you know? I wrote a chapter in there in the handbook. So yeah, I I'm was very happy when Brian has asked me for this chapter. And together with my coauthor Tomek Lipecki, we've done our best to summarize the knowledge we have for far-field and near-field modeling of fire emissions. So I hope it is useful to a lot of you. And if you have any further questions, comments, you'd like to share your opinion about the chapter. Please reach out to me. We're very, very keen to hear them and improve our work and deliver you. Even better content in the future. So, yeah. Thank you for being here with me this Wednesday. And as usual, next Wednesday, I'm here with another interesting interview for you. Cheers. Bye.