Case Study:  Mixing Old & New Technologies for More Fire Resistant Building

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Now is the Time to Protect You & Your Family's Future

Fire Case Study

Engineers and researchers designed and built a full-size 30-foot by 20-foot building with each side of structure treated with different building materials. One side was deemed at high risk for fire and built with cedar-shingle siding, vinyl gutters, single-pane windows, and bark mulch around the foundation. The other side was designed to be fire-resistant and built with fiber-cement siding, metal roof, structure and gutters, multi-pane windows & and gravel around the foundation with minimal bushes near the building.


Within five minutes of embers impacting the demo home, the bark mulch on the non-fire-resistant side ignited. The flame then spread to the siding and up the exterior wall to the eave area. Firefighters were on scene to suppress the fire once it got to the roof, in order to repeat the experiment multiple times. They found wood mulch is very combustible. It has lots of little crevices for those fire embers to land in, sit there, and smolder.


Where instead, gravel mulch on the other side, along with its other fire-resistant features, prevented the embers from igniting a flame during the test time, even with the non-fire-resistant side ablaze. Steps can indeed be taken to protect yourself from fires. When planning to build new project, contact this Design + Material Specification + Construction Consulting  for better "fire stop design solutions”.

Constructing buildings needs to be as innovative as our other technologies 

Like Apple's latest iPhone and Samsung latest galaxy phone people like to rush out and buy on the trends. So, why is it not the same when building your new home? Your family's and business's safety should be a priority and using more fire resistant materials will protect you. Plus, these materials last longer, making your buildings able to last for generations. These materials used include:

  • cement & block

  • stone & gravel

  • clay, mud, adobe, brick

  • steel

  • hempcrete & hempboard


Yes, also, Hemp. In US, Canada, EU, since 2018 the Farm Bill has legalized the use of hemp in construction allowing more fire retardant materials such as Hempcrete and Hempboard. This is good news. Hemp has fire preventative and insulation properties and prevents mold and other toxic conditions. Many fire resistant materials are integrated into your customized buildings by the Fire Stop Design Team. They also specialize in project cost efficiency.

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Fire and Climate Change

Frequent fires are part of California’s and the west's natural state. Many of its ecosystems, from the chaparral of Southern California to the northern pine forests, evolved to burn frequently. But since the 1980s, the size and ferocity of the fires that sweep across the area have trended upward: Fifteen of the 20 largest fires in California history have occurred since 2000. And since the 1970s, the amount of area burned in the state has increased by a factor of five.

There’s some evidence that climate change may actually make some of those wind patterns, like southern California’s Santa Ana winds, less frequent in the future. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a respite. The intensity is likely to stay strong in the winter, and in our drier, hotter future. The outcome could be fires that start later in the season but burn for longer.

This doesn't just apply to California, everywhere is getting hotter. So all the more reason to prepare for the future by building more resilient architecture. The Stop Fire Design Team has decades of experience building non flammable buildings from homes to schools, hotels, and commercial buildings.

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