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Green Roofs and Firefighting Ops

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  • pumper41
    replied
    Thanks for the clarification, here I was trying to work out why a green roof would be different to any other color.

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  • smitty91
    replied
    Clarification

    Sorry about that. I probably should have explained the concept. BASICALLY its a roof or a majority part of the roof that is a garden, literally or some other form of vegetation. Check out the following link http://www.greenroofs.com/concept.htm for some more info.

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  • cfdeng3
    replied
    Not to sound dumb but what is a green roof? Green as in concrete that has not set up long enough?

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  • smitty91
    started a topic Green Roofs and Firefighting Ops

    Green Roofs and Firefighting Ops

    From time to time, developers and contractors will propose new construction materials and/or methods to my department, and it is my duty to determine the feasibility of each and what impacts, if any, these new methods/materials will have on our day-to-day operational practices.

    One such method and material that is being proposed is a green roof. This concept, to my knowledge, is relatively new to the fire service and it's impacts have not been fully studied as of yet.

    The purpose of this post is to pose the question of what potential impacts green roofs have on fire behavior as well as firefighting operations.

    My concerns at this point include:

    * How a fire within a compartment located beneath a green roof would develop. In briefly reading through various websites, it is stated that atmospheres below green rooms are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Basically stated, green roofs are a good insulator, but how do they contribute to the development of a fire? Would the increased insulation create higher temperature fires? If so, would structural members fail sooner, thus increasing the safety concerns of firefighters? Would flashover occur sooner?

    * How do firefighting practices change or accommodate green roofs? Would firefighters now bring shovels, as well as the normal compliment of axes, pike poles, saws and other tools to ventilate a green roof? Any other considerations?

    * What is a green roofs classification as far as roofing assembly and what impact do green roofs have on a wildfire event? Being in the west and in the midst of a severe dry-spell, the combustibility aspects of a green roof are of great concern. Recently, the fire department developed and the City adopted a Roofing Ordinance. This ordinance basically states that all new residences shall have a Class "A" roof. Granted, I do not foresee green roofs being used for single family dwellings, but the potential does exist. Typically, commercial buildings have roof structures that are non-combustible. How would a green roof affect a roofs rating or combustibility? How would a green roof contribute to fire spread from a wildfire event? Specifically, if a significant wildfire event were to occur, burning brands and embers would be carried up the thermal column and away from the main body of fire. These burning materials can land on roofs of other structures a significant distance away. Would a green roof that is poorly maintained contribute to the fire spread?

    I curious if there are any Brothers out there that may have come across such roofing systems and how their department has handled their installation.

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