Meacham Associates

risk-informed performance-based solutions for fire safety and building regulatory challenges

About Us

Our Experience

With more than thirty years of professional experience, we bring a broad and multi-disciplinary perspective to a wide range of fire, risk and building regulatory policy problems. Having consulted to Fortune 500 companies, national governments, multi-national NGOs, industry associations, architects, developers and more, we have a keen understanding of the need to deliver solutions that are technically sound, grounded in reality, and deliver value. 

Our Approach

We are problem solvers. We help organizations identify and characterize key issues, develop and assess relevant means to address the issues, and formulate and implement performance-oriented and value-driven solutions. We do this by working with organizations as a trusted partner - listening to all parties involved, exploring from all angles, and developing balanced strategies and solutions.   

Our Services

Building and fire regulatory policy analysis

Building and fire regulatory system evaluation 

Risk-informed performance-based fire safety analysis and design

Fire hazard and risk assessment

Fire, life safety and evacuation analysis and planning

Multi-hazard threat, hazard and risk assessment and mitigation 

Representative Projects

Building Regulatory Policy Consulting

  • Australian Building Codes Board (Australia, 2016-17) - consultation on use of risk to life as a basis for performance criteria in the National Construction Code. See base concepts in https://riskfrontiers.com/newsletter-volume-16-issue-2-december-2016/   
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (New Zealand, 2016) - review of the Fire Regulation Development Programme and review and input on various aspects of the building regulatory structure, including the alignment of structure and content within the New Zealand Building Code, its supporting documents, and the building regulatory environment.  
  • Scottish Government, Building Standards Division (Scotland, 2016-18) -  establish a baseline of the fire engineering position in Scotland, identify areas of improvement for different actor groups,  identify the qualifications and competencies required for verification/review of fire engineering strategies and designs. See http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/Building/Building-standards/publications/pubresearch/researchfire and participate in international sub-group of review panel on building standards (fire safety) in Scotland. 
  • World Bank, Building Regulation for Resilience (Washington, DC, 2016-2018) - participated in development of Building Regulatory Capacity Assessment https://www.gfdrr.org/building-regulation-for-resilience/knowledge and roadmap for implementation of BRCA.

Building Regulatory System Research

Awarded an inaugural Fulbright Global Scholar award https://www.cies.org/fulbright-global-award-scholars Brian Meacham conducted research into the state of the building regulatory systems in Sweden, Spain and Japan. The aims of the research were to investigate the situation with performance-based building regulatory systems, with a particular focus on fire safety engineering within the systems. Reports on the situation in each country are forthcoming. A preliminary report on the situation in Sweden has been published https://www.boverket.se/sv/byggande/sakerhet/brandskydd/riskbaserade-byggregler/

Risk / Fire Safety Engineering Consulting

  • SP Fire Research (Trondheim, Norway). Contracted to review draft Nordic risk-based fire safety engineering standard. 
  • Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. (New York / Atlanta). Contracted to review the CFD modeling methodology report; prepare a review report summarizing findings arising from the review; provide technical support to PB with FHRR profile. 
  • Studio di Architettura (Milan, Italy) and Novartis (East Hannover, NJ). Code consulting and fire engineering alternatives analysis for parking garage.
  • Confidential Client. Security, Terrorism, Fire and Life Safety adviser for a design team which is developing the design for a super-tall building. Advise on issues of structural response to extreme events and strategies for fire and life safety in super-tall buildings (conducted as employee of previous employer).

Key Personnel

Brian J. Meacham, PhD, PE, CEng FIFireE, FSFPE

Brian is Managing Principal at Meacham Associates. Over his 30+ year career, Brian has provided risk-informed performance-based solutions to complex building and infrastructure challenges, conducted building and fire regulatory system capacity assessments, and undertaken research in these and related areas. He has worked with and for governments, NGOs and the private sector in these areas in numerous countries. Throughout his career, he has authored more than 250 publications, given more than 250 presentations, and led more than $3M in research in these areas. His prior positions included Associate Professor in Fire Protection Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Principal at Arup, where he led the Risk Consulting practice in the USA and globally, Technical Director and Research Director at SFPE, fire safety engineer in the USA and Europe, and engineering manager at Gamewell Corporation. Brian is the 2018 President-Elect of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), Chair of the US TAG to ISO TC92 SC4 – Fire Safety Engineering, Chair of the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Risk Assessment Methods, and Secretary of the IAFSS Management Committee. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Connecticut and Massachusetts, a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers, a Fellow of SFPE, and a Fulbright Global Scholar.  

Links to Related Organizations

SFPE

The purpose of SFPE is to advance the science and practice of fire protection engineering and its allied fields, to maintain a high ethical standard among its members and to foster fire protection engineering education www.sfpe.org  Brian Meacham is President-Elect of SFPE in 2018, and will assume the presidency in 2019.

IAFSS

IAFSS was founded with the primary objective of encouraging research into the science of preventing and mitigating the adverse effects of fires and of providing a forum for presenting the results of such research https://iafss.org/  Brian Meacham is Secretary of IAFSS (2017-2020).

IRCC

The purpose of the Inter-jurisdictional Regulatory Collaboration Committee (IRCC) is to promote effective international collaboration concerning ‘best current practice’ building regulatory system, in particular those that are objective performance-based www.ircc.info  Brian Meacham is a Past Chair of the IRCC.

NFPA

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global nonprofit organization, established in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards http://www.nfpa.org/ Brian Meacham is Chair of the Technical Committee on Fire Risk Assessment.

Fire Protection Research Foundation

As the research affiliate of NFPA, the Fire Protection Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to plan, manage and communicate research in support of the association http://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Resources/Fire-Protection-Research-Foundation Brian Meacham is the Chair of the FPRF Research Advisory Committee (2016-2018).

World Bank

 The Building Regulation for Resilience Program seeks to develop and promote a new stream of activities to increase regulatory capacity and in turn promote a healthier and safer built environment. By leveraging good practice in building regulation as part of a strategy to reduce both chronic risk and disaster risk, it will set developing countries on the path to effective reform and long-term resilience https://www.gfdrr.org/en/building-regulation-for-resilience  Brian Meacham is a Senior Consultant to the BRR team.

Publications and Presentations

Overview

Throughout his career, Brian Meacham has authored more than 250 publications, ranging from peer-reviewed articles in technical journals, to textbooks, handbook chapter, conference papers and magazine articles, and has given more than 250 presentations, ranging from invited keynote presentations and accepted submissions at international conferences and symposia, to invited workshops, to lectures at universities, governments and industry groups. 

Recent Journal Papers

  • Meacham, B.J. and van Straalen, I., “A Socio-Technical System Framework for Risk-Informed Performance-Based Building Regulation,” Building Research & Information, DOI 10.1080/09613218.2017.1299525, published on line 30 March 2017.
  • Almejmaj, M., Skorinko, J. and Meacham, B.J., “The Effects of Cultural Differences between the US and Saudi Arabia on Emergency Evacuation – Analysis of Surveys on Fire Alarm Perception and Fire Safety Training,” Case Studies in Fire Safety, available on line 15 December 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.csfs.2016.12.002
  • Jutras, I. and Meacham, B.J., “Development of objective-criteria-scenario triplets and design fires for performance-based Fire Safety Design,” Journal of Building Engineering, available online 4 September 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2016.09.002
  • Martin, D., Tomida, M. and Meacham, B.J., “Environmental Impact of Fire,” Fire Science Reviews, 5:5, DOI 10.1186/s40038-016-0014-1, published on-line 8 September 2016. 
  • Meacham, B.J., “Towards a Risk-Informed Performance-Based Approach for Post-Earthquake Fire Protection Design of Buildings,” Proceedings 10th Asia-Oceania Symposium Fire Science & Technology, Fire Science and Technology 2015, IBSN978-981-10-0375-2, May 2016. 
  • Meacham, B.J., “Sustainability and Resiliency Issues and Objectives in Performance Building Regulations,” Special Edition – Building Governance and Climate Change: Regulation and Related Polices, Building Research and Information, Volume 44, Issue 5-6, DOI:10.1080/09613218.2016.1142330, published on-line 9 March 2016. 

Recent Presentations

  • “Situation with Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design in Seven Countries,” Invited Keynote Presentation, to be presented at the SFPE 12th International Conference on Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods, Honolulu, HI, April 2018.
  • “Emerging Issues in FSE: Research Roadmap and the Path Forward,” Invited Keynote Presentation, to be presented at the 2nd SFPE Europe Conference on Fire Safety Engineering, Rotterdam, Netherlands, February 2018.
  • “International Situation with Performance-Based Regulation for Fire and Fire Safety Engineering.” 6th Asia FORUM for Advanced Fire Education / Research in Asia, Tokyo University of Science / Agnes Hotel, Tokyo, Japan, 23 November 2017. 
  • “Framework for Facilitating Next Generation Performance-Based Building Regulations” Fire Safety Asia Conference 2017, Singapore, 15-17 Nov. 2017. 
  • “Fire Safety Design of Very Tall Buildings,” 5th Annual Workshop of the Group on Protection of Buildings from Fire, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 31 October 2017.
  • “Fire Safety Engineering Resilience” 9th Congreso Internacional de Ingeniería de Seguridad contra Incendios: Diseno Basado en Prestaciones, Madrid, Spain, 23-25 October. 2017.
  • “Fire Performance of a Full-Scale Loaded Cold-Formed Steel Framed Assembly in a Large Scale Furnace Test,” Fire Safety 2017, International Conference, Research and Advanced Technology in Fire, Santander, Spain, 20 Oct. 2017 (with Kamath, P. & Matsuyama, K., presented by Meacham).

Books and Handbooks

Fire Performance Analysis for Buildings

Fire Performance Analysis for Buildings, 2nd Edition organizes the complex interactions into an analytical framework to evaluate any building - at any location - built under any regulatory jurisdiction or era. Systematic, logical procedures evaluate individual component behavior and integrate results to understand holistic performance.

Egress Design Solutions

Egress Design Solutions, Emergency Evacuation and Crowd Management Planning introduces and discusses prescriptive- and performance-based approaches to egress design. This 2007 book starts with a brief review of historic life-loss fire events. It overviews important human behavior and response to fire issues and how these influence design options. Coordination with other building systems is also discussed.

Extreme Event Mitigation in Buildings

Written following the tragic events of 9/11/01, this 2006 book addresses a wide range of issues, from hazard, threat and risk assessment, to robust and resilient design of building structural, mechanical and fire protection systems.

Introduction to Performance-Based Fire Safety

Published in 1997, this is a seminal work on the basic elements of performance-based design for fire.

Performance-Based Building Design Concepts

With authors from a diversity of engineering professions, this 2004 book provides an overview of performance-based design concepts.

Handbook Contributions

Contributor to many handbooks, including the SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering (2nd - 6th editions) and the NFPA Fire Protection Handbook.

Contact Us

Located in the Boston, Massachusetts, USA area, we provide services worldwide. Recent projects have included efforts in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and the USA.

Meacham Associates

brian@meachamassociates.com

+1 508 685 9311

Contact Us