LPI Intros New Tool for the A&E Toolkit with “Build & Protect” Newsletter.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond was recently fortified with a safety standard-compliant lightning protection system. The artfully-installed system was implemented in conjunction with the VMFA’s contemporary renovation project.

May 24, 2016 — There’s a saying that goes, “An architect’s dream is an engineer’s nightmare.”

While A&E visions may sometimes seem to be at odds, both converged last week in Philadelphia to construct the architecture and design event of the year, known as AIA Convention & Expo. Dubbed the expo where attendees can discover what’s “new, next and cutting-edge,” this year’s #AIACon16 featured everything from building systems to software—and yes, lightning protection was there, too.

Recognizing the importance of disaster mitigation for the architect and engineering communities, the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) is gearing up to launch a first-ever email newsletter to provide a new tool for A&E toolkits. The “Build & Protect” newsletter will feature up-to-date news about the science of lightning protection, industry trends and technical information regarding how safety standard-compliant systems can benefit the building environment. Written specifically for the A&E community, the newsletter will provide unique content related to lightning protection system design, specification, inspection, quality assurance and maintenance.

It’s highly fitting for the world of lightning protection that AIACon16 fell during Building Safety Month http://www.iccsafe.org/about-icc/building-safety-month/week-three/. It’s also interesting that last week’s campaign’s theme: “Learn from the Past, Build for Tomorrow,” echos the resiliency benefits that lightning protection systems provide.

Although an underrated and misunderstood threat, lightning hits the earth over 100 times a second which explains why the insurance industry cites this destructive weather peril as responsible for more than a billion dollars annually in damage to buildings, here in the U.S.

In the spirit of “Learn from the Past, Build for the Future,” today’s designers are readily including upgrades to increase building resiliency from weather disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and most recently, lightning. With the growth in automated technology, lightning protection has become increasingly more important for inclusion in green building, LEED and the smart structure design-build process.

Keeping pace with sustainable energy technology and building trends, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has added new technical provisions to the upcoming edition of the NFPA 780 Safety Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/document-information-pages?mode=code&code=780 Included among the NFPA updates, are provisions to address applications for smart structures and their interconnected systems, which can be especially vulnerable to power surge failures sparked by lightning.

Safety standard-compliant lightning protection systems provide the best possible quality in materials and installation practices to ensure maximum resiliency against a serious weather threat. A&E’s seeking to keep pace with lightning protection trends designed to help fortify their building dreams and nightmares, will want to subscribe to LPI’s upcoming Build & Protect newsletter.

Building Safety Month reminds us that learning from the past means building for the future. Let’s in turn remind A&E’s that safer design means safer places for work, rest and play. LPI has the tools to help A&E’s build lightning safe communities!