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SJI to Host Webinar on Structural Fire Engineering on April 17, 2019

April 4, 2019

FLORENCE, SC — The Steel Joist Institute (SJI) will host a webinar on "Structural Fire Engineering: A Powerful Sanctioned Design Option" on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. EDT. Kevin J. LaMalva, P.E. from Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. will be the guest speaker. The webinar awards 1.5 PDHs.

The emerging proliferation of structural fire engineering in the U.S. will disrupt the century-long norms in structural fire protection. Traditionally, fire protection is prescribed for structures after they have been optimized for ambient design loads (i.e., gravity, wind, seismic and others), with no explicit consideration of structural fire performance. Accordingly, the vulnerability of buildings to structural failure from uncontrolled fire is presumably variable across different jurisdictions, which have varying structural design requirements for ambient loads.

Structural fire protection is often viewed by structural engineers as a nuisance; however, this area represents one of the most promising opportunities for structural engineers to provide value-added services moving forward. ASCE/SEI 7 now permits designers to utilize structural fire engineering as an alternative to the code-default prescriptive method. This alternative approach must be conducted in accordance with the new Appendix E section of ASCE/SEI 7, which requires an analysis of structural performance under fire exposure. In this context, a structural system may be optimized for ambient and fire loads, which presents nearly endless possibilities in terms of design freedom, as well as enhanced intrinsic structural fire safety.

The learning objectives include the ability to:

  • Differentiate between standard fire resistance design and structural fire engineering,
  • Understand the treatment of fire effects as a structural lead,
  • Classify permitted methods within standard fire resistance design, and
  • Interpret a new industry standardization as it applies to structural fire protection variances.

Kevin J. LaMalva, P.E. is registered as both a fire protection engineer and civil engineer, and has worked at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. since 2007. He is chair of the ASCE/SEI Fire Protection Committee and a member of numerous industry committees that conduct research and develop standards for structural fire safety. His work experience spans many areas of fire safety and structural engineering. He has recently been recognized as an ENR Newsmaker for serving the “best interests of the construction industry and the public.”

About the Steel Joist Institute
Besides setting standards for the steel joist industry, the Steel Joist Institute works closely with major building code bodies throughout the country helping to develop code regulations regarding steel joists and Joist Girders. The Institute also invests thousands of dollars in research related to steel joists and Joist Girders, and offers a complete library of publications and other training, research and design aids. The Steel Joist Institute is a not-for-profit organization. For more information, visit or join the Steel Joist Institute LinkedIn group


Melissa Breer
HLK Agency
Tel. 314.571.6299

J. Kenneth Charles, III
Managing Director
Steel Joist Institute
Tel: 843.407.4091