2018 Fire & Life Safety Study

Fire, life safety in colleges, universities


The top fire and life safety systems expected to be specified for college/university buildings over the next 12 to 24 months are emergency communication systems/mass notification systems and intelligent detectors. Source: Consulting-Specifying EngineerThe Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2018 Fire & Life Safety Study indicated that 57% of engineers specify, design, or select products for college/university buildings-and 90% of these engineers are responsible for determining the requirements/writing specifications for these projects. Below are five fire and life safety findings as they relate to college/university projects:

  • Revenue: The average firm earns $2.41 million annually from fire and life safety systems specified into new and existing college/university buildings, with 24% bringing in more than $3 million each year from these projects.
  • Recent changes: The top changes recently observed in fire and life safety systems specified for college/university buildings relate to codes and standards (54%) and building information modeling (51%).
  • Specifications: Engineers are most frequently issuing performance fire and life safety systems specifications (77%) for college/university projects, followed by prescriptive specifications (73%).
  • Future concerns: Inadequate budgets (75%) and the subjective interpretation of regulations (75%) top the list of concerns had by engineers when looking to the future of life and life safety systems in college/university projects.
  • Comparing systems: Overall quality is most important when selecting a fire and life safety system for a college/university building; engineers also look at reputations of manufacturers, their previous experiences with manufacturers, warranties, and service support offerings.

On average, respondents spend 37% of their billable hours/time at work researching and/or specifying HVAC systems and BAS. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2017 HVAC & Building Automation Systems Study53: Age of the average engineer; engineers between 50- and 59-years old estimate to work an average of 12 more years before they retire. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2017 Salary Study

43% of engineers find lighting controls sequence of operations, integration, etc. to be moderately difficult in lighting engineering and design. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2018 Lighting & Lighting Controls Study

58% of firms have obtained design revenue for projects involving network and intelligent fire alarm control panels in the past 12 months. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2018 Fire & Life Safety Study

More research

Consulting-Specifying Engineer covers several research topics each year. All reports are available at www.csemag.com/research.

View additional findings at www.csemag.com/2018FireLifeSafety. Amanda Pelliccione is the research director at CFE Media.

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