David Barber


David is a Principal with multi-disciplinary engineering firm Arup, where he specializes in the fire safety of mass timber buildings. For over 20 years David has assisted with fire testing, developing new timber technologies, authoring fire safety design guides for construction, working with wood product suppliers and completing fire safety solutions for mid-rise and high-rise timber buildings. With the resurgent interest in mass timber construction, David relocated to Washington to assist Arup in developing a US based team that works with researchers, architects and developers in the fire safety of timber structures. David is currently working with the successful project team for the USDA Tall Wood Building Competition, Framework in Portland, as the design fire protection engineer.

Breakout Presentation Topic:
Detailing for Fire Safety – Applications for Mass Timber and Prefabrication
Low and medium rise mass timber buildings are being constructed across the US with differing forms of mass timber and types of construction. Buildings are utilizing CLT, glulam, nail laminated timber and these are being combined with structural steel, or concrete and masonry. No two mass buildings are ever the same and the details required for ensuring adequate fire safety, where the IBC requires a fire resistance rating, can be unfortunately lacking. 

This presentation introduces the issues associated with correct detailing to achieve code compliant fire resistance. Using images and diagrams of existing construction and real building examples, fire safety issues with construction will be explained and methods of designing to avoid problems will be shown. The aim of the presentation is to show how clever design can avoid fire safety problems in construction. The information on fire safety detailing will apply to mass timber connections, joints, continuity of fire ratings of floors (especially NLT), glazing edge details, timber to steel, timber to concrete, floor and wall penetrations and accounting for differential movement. Fire testing examples and gaps in current knowledge will also be discussed.

The presentation will be relevant to everyone involved with the design of mass timber buildings and designing for pre-fabrication.