FPInnovations’ Wildfire Operations Advisory group has asked its researchers to explore a method by which the performance of water-enhancing products can be repeatedly assessed in the laboratory. A new test method, known as the crib test, was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of water-enhancing products on burning woody fuel to simulate direct-attack aerial operations.
This report outlines the methodology for the crib test and describes the findings from performance evaluation tests conducted at the Protective Clothing and Equipment Research Facility (PCERF) at the University of Alberta.
The USDA Forest Service’s Qualified Product List (QPL) provides guidance on the range of permissible mix ratios for water-enhancer products. Due to the proprietary nature of water-enhancer products, there are several unknowns about the rheology of the permissible mix ratios.
This study focused on mapping the viscosity of various suppressant products as a function of their mix ratios. The results revealed a wide range of viscosities across products, with each product showing a different non-linear relationship with different mix ratios.
The results from this study can help understand the optimum viscosity range to achieve desired drop characteristics during aerial operations.
The aim of this study was to capture data on area-based water delivery systems, specifically in the context of logistics, systems differentiation, water delivery, and its localized effects. FPInnovations successfully collaborated with Fire & Flood to obtain this data. A two-day test was executed during which Fire & Flood set up their 4- and 12-inch systems and carried out sprinkler operations.
This review explores the benefits, challenges, limitations, logistics, and cost-effectiveness of different management options to convert conifer-dominated stands to aspen-dominated stands. These alternatives can include overstory removal (harvesting, bulldozing, shear blading, prescribed burning) and site preparation (root trenching, drag scarification, broadcast burning) treatments. On sites where parent aspen trees are not present in the original stand, tree planting will be necessary albeit costly in comparison to regeneration by suckering. While extensive literature exists on the regeneration of trembling aspen through suckering, research on artificial establishment with seedlings and its requirements is still in its infancy and rapidly developing.
WoodST is capable of calculating heat transfer, charring rate, load-displacement curve as well as the time and mode of failure of timber structures exposed to fire, thus providing a cost-competitive solution for the fire safety analysis of timber structures. This InfoNote briefly introduces the development and verification of WoodST. Two applications of WoodST are also demonstrated.
WoodST est capable de calculer le transfert de chaleur, la vitesse de carbonisation, la courbe charge-déplacement ainsi que le moment et le mode de défaillance des structures en bois exposées au feu, offrant ainsi une solution à coût compétitif pour l'analyse de la sécurité incendie des ossatures en bois. La présente note d’information présente brièvement le développement et la vérification de WoodST. Deux applications de WoodST sont également présentées.
The clean air initiative led by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment seeks to develop innovative methods to improve community air quality by utilizing harvest residues and minimizing the volume of fibre burned at roadside. Retaining processed tops as roadside oriented piles is proposed as an alternative to burning debris.
These burn trials have demonstrated that in this unique arrangement of fuels and interaction of site-specific variables, particular areas of the piles will be more vulnerable to ignition sources which can lead to sustained burning and high intensity fire behaviour. In addition to the low fuel moisture conditions, other fuel properties, such as the close proximity of piles, high volume of fine fuels (branches and needles) and orientation of piles to road all contributed to enhanced burning at this site.
Building high energy efficiency has become a must to reduce carbon emission from the built environment and to meet needs of consumers. Industrialized construction provides an effective way to produce highly insulated and airtight building envelopes to achieve superior building performance, such as Net Zero Energy. However, it is important that as other attributes (e.g., seismic, wind, fire, vibration, etc.) are being addressed, further research is needed to develop well rounded building envelope solutions. Meanwhile, improvement may be made in automated production equipment and software to optimize and monetize these solutions.
Il est devenu indispensable de construire des bâtiments à haute efficacité énergétique pour réduire les émissions de carbone dans l’environnement et répondre aux besoins des consommateurs. La construction industrialisée est un bon moyen de produire des enveloppes de bâtiment bien isolées et étanches à l’air et, par le fait même, d’accroître la performance énergétique des bâtiments (p. ex consommation énergétique nette zéro). Cependant, il est important de tenir compte d’autres attributs (p. ex. charges sismiques, vent, feu, vibrations, etc.). Il faudra poursuivre les recherches pour trouver des solutions durables en matière d’enveloppes de bâtiment. Entre-temps, il est possible d’améliorer l’équipement de production automatisée et le logiciel qui l’accompagne afin d’optimiser et de rentabiliser ces solutions.
This new study aims to generate hygrothermal, particularly moisture-related performance data for light wood-frame walls meeting the R22 effective (RSI 3.85) requirement for buildings up to six storeys in the City of Vancouver. The overarching goal is to identify and develop durable exterior wood-frame walls to assist in the design and construction of energy efficient buildings across the country. Twelve test wall panels in six types of wall assemblies are assessed in this study. The wall panels, each measuring 4 ft. (1200 mm) wide and 8 ft. (2400 mm) tall, form portions of the exterior walls of a test hut located in the rear yard of FPInnovations’ Vancouver laboratory. This report, second in a series on this study, documents the performance of these wall assemblies based on the data collected over 19 months’ period from October 2018 to May 2020, covering two winter seasons and one summer.
Computer modelling is an essential part in the analysis and design of mid- and high-rise residential and commercial buildings as well as long-span structures. It is also a valuable tool in the optimisation of wood-based products, connections, and systems. An FPInnovations’ survey shows that practicing engineers are unfamiliar with timber structure modelling, and researchers generally lack resources for advanced modelling of timber systems. Furthermore, wood analysis and design modules currently implemented in a few structural analysis software are usually not suitable for complex or hybrid timber structures. This does not bode well given that performance-based design which is the future direction of building codes and material standards will rely even more on demonstrating the structural performance through computer modelling. In this project, a modelling guide for timber structures is being developed by FPInnovations with a global collaborative effort involving experts in various areas, with the aim of (a) assisting practicing engineers apply computer modelling to timber structures; (b) enriching researchers’ resources for advanced computer modelling of timber systems; and (c) assisting software companies to identify the gaps and upgrade their programs accordingly to accommodate advanced computer modelling of timber structures.
Forest fuel treatments are applied across a broad range of ecosites in Alberta and Canada, with an overarching goal of managing hazardous fuel buildup to mitigate wildfire. These treatments use various manual and mechanical processes to achieve fuel treatment objectives. Planning and application of a specific forest fuel treatment technique is often shaped by several factors, including objectives of the fuel treatment, availability of resources (personnel and equipment), and commitment to using local resources (socio-economics). In addition, site conditions in certain ecosites will favour the application of some treatment techniques over others.
With the broad nature of numerous fuel treatment techniques applied over a wide range of environmental conditions, it is difficult to document all treatments and develop comparative productivity and cost evaluations. This summary of fuel treatment studies accesses current research to present relevant findings and identify knowledge gaps in research on stand-level fuel treatment productivity.
Modified oxygen consumption calorimetry was used to track the seasonal flammability of black spruce and tamarack. Age class related samples were collected for both species from May to September at research site in central Alberta. These samples were assessed for their differential heat release using test equipment at the Protective Clothing and Equipment Research Facility (PCERF) at the University of Alberta.
The test method was able to successfully quantify the differences in seasonal flammability between black spruce and tamarack. Data showed the age-related flammability differences were less pronounced, with the exception of new growth samples early in the season.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s (AAF) Wildfire Management Branch recently contracted two Sikorsky S-61N heavy helicopters. Both helicopters are equipped with an external tank (max. volume 1000 U.S. gallons) and have on-board injection systems that are capable of mixing class A foams and water-enhancers.
Currently, there is limited data on comparative drop footprints of foam and water-enhancers (suppressants) for these heavy helicopters. To fill this knowledge gap, AAF has asked FPInnovations to conduct drop tests in different wildland fuel environments. This study focuses on mapping the drop footprints of water, foam, and water-enhancers in black spruce stands at specific flight parameters.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s (AAF) Wildfire Management Branch has recently contracted two Sikorsky S-61N heavy helicopters. Both helicopters are equipped with an external tank (max. volume 1000 U.S. gallons) and have on-board injection systems that are capable of mixing class A foams and water-enhancers.
Currently, there is limited data on comparative drop footprints of foam and water-enhancers (suppressants) for these heavy helicopters. To fill this knowledge gap, AAF has asked FPInnovations to conduct drop tests in different wildland fuel environments. This study focuses on mapping the drop footprints of water, foam, and water-enhancers in an open field at specific flight parameters.
n collaboration avec l’Université de Victoria, on a mis au point un mur de cisaillement à haute capacité comportant deux rangées de clous au périmètre du revêtement. On a mené un programme d’essais pour évaluer la performance du mur de cisaillement proposé, ce qui comprend la résistance aux charges latérales et aux déplacements, le comportement hystérétique, la rigidité et la ductilité.
La présente InfoNote décrit brièvement les systèmes de résistance aux forces sismiques (SRFS) en bois massif qui seront inclus dans l’édition 2020 du Code national du bâtiment (CNB) du Canada, leurs limites de hauteur et les principales exigences de conception selon la norme Règles de calcul des charpentes en bois de l’Association canadienne de normalisation CSA O86-19. Elle explique aussi les différences de limite de hauteur entre les différents systèmes de résistance aux charges de gravité et aux charges latérales.
La présente InfoNote décrit brièvement les SRFS en bois massif prometteurs, de même que les modèles analytiques et par éléments finis correspondants dans le but d’encourager leur adoption par les entreprises de conception structurale.
The widespread availability of genomics data and molecular tools for pathogen detection and identification provides scientists and regulators a powerful toolbox for pathogen monitoring. However, this raises questions and concerns regarding the use of these tools in import and export of forest commodities. Discussions around implementation and standardization have highlighted knowledge gaps around their efficacy and suitability in wood and their applicability to forest commodities. This study compared detection efficacy of various emerging tools on artificially infected forest and wood commodities, focusing on Phytophthora pathogens, an important group of invasive and sometimes difficult to detect species. In situ detection was more sensitive than traditional isolation, and for some methods, 100% of infected samples were positive. Detection efficacy varied by tissue type and detection method. The data generated from this study is important in addressing knowledge gaps around pathogen detection in wood.