Meacham Associates

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

About Us

Our Experience

We bring more than thirty years of professional experience to a wide range of fire safety engineering, risk and resiliency, and building regulatory policy problems. Our clients have included Fortune 500 companies, local and national governments, multi-national NGOs, industry associations, architects, developers and more. We deliver solutions that are technically sound, politically aware, economically practicable, and grounded in reality.

Our Approach

We are problem solvers. We help organizations identify and characterize issues and problems of concern, develop and assess relevant means to address them, and formulate and implement performance-oriented and value-driven solutions. We do this by working with organizations as a trusted partner. We listen to all parties involved, explore issues from multiple angles, and develop balanced strategies and solutions.   

Our Services

Building and fire regulatory system research and consulting 

Fire / life safety threat, vulnerability and risk assessment and mitigation

Fire safety and building technology research and assessment

Organization and community risk, vulnerability and resilience consulting

Risk-informed and performance-based fire analysis, design, peer-review

Sustainable and resilient design research and strategy development

Representative Projects

Building Regulatory System Research and Consulting

Scottish Government, Building Standards Division (Scotland). Research to Support the Improvement of the Design Verification of Fire Engineered Solutions as Part of the Scottish Building Regulatory System (2016/17), Competency Criteria for Local Authority Verifiers when checking Fire Engineered Solutions for Compliance with Building Standards (2016/17), Fire Tests - Section 2 Fire: Spread of Fire (2017/18), and Feasibility of a Centralised Hub for Verification of Complex Fire Engineered Solutions in Scotland (2017/18). See http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/Building/Building-standards/publications/pubresearch/researchfire. Also, member of the Review Panel on Building Standards (Fire Safety) in Scotland – International Sub-Group (see https://beta.gov.scot/groups/ministerial-working-group-building-and-fire-safety/). 


Australian Building Codes Board (Australia). Consulted 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/ (2016-2017)


World Bank (Washington, DC). Participated in development of Building Regulatory Capacity Assessment as part of Building Regulation for Resilience program https://www.gfdrr.org/building-regulation-for-resilience/knowledge and roadmap for implementation of BRCA (2016-2018).


Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (New Zealand). 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 (2016).


Inaugural Fulbright Global Scholar award https://www.cies.org/fulbright-global-award-scholars to support 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/ (2016-2017)

Fire / Building Technology Research

Review of Oxygen Reduction Systems for Warehouse Storage Applications, Fire Protection Research Foundation. Sub-contractor to Lund University (2018).


An HOLIstic approach for fire safety requirements and design of façade systems (HOLIFAS) , Brandforsk, Sweden. Sub-contractor to Lund University (2018).


Multi-hazard resilient building systems (2018).


Fire performance of tall mass timber buildings (2018-2020).

Risk / Fire Safety Engineering / Resilience Consulting

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (New York). Contracted to lead peer-review of performance-based fire engineering analysis and design of a complex facility (sub-contractor to Mott MacDonald) (2018).


International Code Council (Washington, DC). Contracted to develop publication on the benefits of building regulation in increasing community resilience (2018).


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.

Key Personnel

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

Brian is Managing Principal at Meacham Associates. For more than 30 years, 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. His prior positions include 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, 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, 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 near Boston, Massachusetts, USA, we provide services worldwide. 

Recent projects have included efforts in/for Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Sweden, and the USA.

Meacham Associates

brian@meachamassociates.com

+1 508 685 9311

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