Five full-scale mass timber fire tests in a multi-story apartment building with promising results will be used to inform code changes.
The International Code Council Ad-hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings conducted the fire scenarios tested in two one-bedroom apartments constructed using mass timber. The test scenarios included various arrangements of exposed and unexposed cross-laminated timber (CLT) with open doors between living and sleeping areas.
In addition, the tests evaluated automatic sprinkler systems effectiveness. A General Technical Report FPL-GTR-247 on the fire tests will be available from the Forest Products Laboratory in the near future.
One finding after one test was that exposed CLT essentially self-extinguished due to the formation of char that protected the underlying wood. In two tests, sprinklers were able to effectively control the fire.