Cutting Carbon: Fireproofing and Wood Structures (Series Part 4)

Cutting Carbon: Fireproofing and Wood Structures (Series Part 4)

Wood construction comes in many forms (light-framed, engineered wood, mass timber, etc.) and is often promoted as a climate savior. But the reality of sustainable wood construction is complex and a consensus around wood’s climate performance has yet to materialize. Meanwhile, structural steel and wood are major components in high-rise buildings and often need to be protected with fireproofing, of which there are a handful of common design options. But which options are best when it comes to tracking and reducing embodied carbon?

In the fourth session of our “Cutting Carbon” webinar series, we will address the embodied carbon impacts of wood construction and share details about fireproofing structural steel and wood.


After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the fireproofing options for structural steel and wood, and the related embodied carbon impact.
  • Recognize various types of wood construction and the complexities of assessing wood’s climate performance.
  • Consider biogenic carbon and how life-cycle assessment (LCA) tools account for it.
  • Adopt design and procurement strategies that are likely to reduce the climate impact of wood construction.


Cutting Carbon: Embodied Carbon Discussions for Sustainable Buildings 

As global temperatures increase, so do discussions about reducing the environmental impact of building projects. For decades, the industry has focused on lowering operational carbon in buildings by decreasing energy usage. More recently, we now recognize the importance of reducing the embodied carbon in our projects caused by extracting, fabricating, transporting, installing, maintaining, and disposing of building materials and raw material components. Complicating matters, balancing operational and embodied carbon at the same time can lead to conflicting priorities and challenging discussions about retrofitting existing buildings versus designing new and efficient ones.  

In this four-part webinar series, experts from Simpson Gumpertz & Heger will explore these topics from varying angles, including overall sustainability concerns, building enclosure system design, and structural material considerations.  

Join us for the rest of the series:

Participants will earn 1.0 AIA CES Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for attending the live webinar. Registration is free. Please note that space is limited – email events@sgh.com to join our waitlist if the session is closed when you register. 

About the Speaker

Kevin Black
Kevin Black | Senior Consulting Engineer

Kevin Black is a fire protection engineer who focuses on building code consulting for new and existing health care projects; transportation projects, including airports and train stations; and highrise commercial and residential buildings across the United States. He conducts site inspections for existing hospitals and outpatient facilities in accordance with NFPA 101. Kevin also has previous experience conducting largescale fire testing for sprinkler system approvals. He currently serves as President of the NYC Metropolitan Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. 

Michael Richard
Michael Richard | Senior Consulting Engineer

Michael Richard specializes in new design, renovation, and structural investigation projects. He has worked on and managed projects ranging from the full repositioning of nineteenth-century brick masonry buildings and the retrofit of heavy timber structures to the structural design of private residences and art installations. With a background in non-conventional materials and structural testing, his interests include wood and masonry materials, wood science and microscopy, historic structural systems, and laboratory aided design. 

Mark Webster
Mark Webster | Senior Consulting Engineer

Mark Webster has extensive experience managing projects in the design, analysis, and investigation of concrete, steel, masonry, and wood structures. He is a nationally recognized expert in sustainable structural design, and an instrumental leader in developing SGH’s green practices and operations. He is a founding member and co-chair of the Structural Engineering Institute’s Sustainability Committee and an instrumental voice in forming and adopting the SE 2050 Commitment.