Examining Building Enclosures with Combustible Materials

Date: September 20, 2018 4:00pm
Location: Washington, DC

Thursday, September 20, 2018

1625 Eye St NW
Conference Center
Washington, DC 20006
Guests must check in at the front desk.

4:00 - 4:30 p.m. Registration & Refreshments
4:30 - 6:00 p.m. Presentation & Discussion
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception

Participants will earn 1.0 AIA CES Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for their attendance. Attendance is free and open to all; please invite colleagues. We will serve refreshments and hors d'oeuvres. Space is limited to the first 100 guests to register.


Following a series of exterior fires in high-rise buildings around the globe, the fire protection industry has taken a closer look at the role exterior wall construction played in these events and how fire protection strategies can adapt. In this seminar, we will review recent examples of these fires, the building science of exterior walls, and the interface of building science, aesthetics, and fire safety in high-rise buildings. We will also discuss current trends in exterior wall design, including the use of more combustible materials; the current IBC-based code requirements and testing protocols for multiple wall configurations; and potential code changes and new testing protocols under consideration in the industry.

After attending this seminar, participants will be able to: 

  • Recognize the global history of recent exterior fires.
  • Understand the applicable U.S. code sections related to flammable materials on exterior walls.
  • Gain an understanding of the applicable test standards and when the code requires testing.
  • Discuss the potential future impacts on the code of recent fires.



Niklas Vigener, P.E. | Senior Principal and Head of Building Technology
Niklas Vigener is Head of Building Technology at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH). He has led many of the firm’s most notable building technology and historic preservation projects. Niklas specializes in incorporating high-performance building enclosures for innovative design of new structures and careful rehabilitation of historic buildings. He worked on the rehabilitation of Columbia University’s Butler Library, the multi-phase restoration of the New York State Capitol Building, and a number of museums on the National Mall in Washington, DC. He has lectured at Johns Hopkins University's Department of Civil Engineering and the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, and is a member of the advisory board for the Architectural Engineering program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Civil Engineering program at Johns Hopkins.

David J. Jacoby, P.E. | Principal 
David Jacoby leads the firm’s Fire Engineering practice and has extensive experience in fire protection engineering. He has worked on a broad range of projects, from historic preservation and adaptive reuse to campus and city planning efforts. His work also includes large assembly occupancies; stadiums; arenas; convention centers; mixed-use, high-rise facilities; airports; hospitals; federal courthouses; office buildings; casinos; and residential facilities. He is a Fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). He also participates on the New York City Department of Buildings construction code update committee and the NFPA 101/5000 code committee. He is a past president of SFPE’s New York City Metropolitan Chapter.


  • Owners
  • Facilities Managers
  • Property Managers
  • Contractors
  • Architects
  • Attorneys