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Technology to Transfer via Standards Development - NIST World Trade Center Report Provides Technical Insights

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At a press briefing today in New York City, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released draft recommendations from its building and fire safety investigation of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The findings resulting from the investigation will be a valuable resource for ASTM’s technical committees in identifying future standards development needs.

ASTM standards are widely used by the building construction industry around the world. In addition, thousands of ASTM International standards are referenced in building codes.

For decades, NIST research has made a vast contribution to the technology that is housed in ASTM standards. Both organizations share a century-long history, during which time NIST scientists and researchers have been well represented on ASTM standards-writing committees. Today’s draft recommendations will continue this partnership, as evidenced by one ASTM technical committee in particular.

Advisory Group Is Established

Earlier this month, ASTM International Committee E05 on Fire Standards at its biannual standards development meeting established an advisory group to focus specifically on technical findings related to E05 standardization activities arising out of the World Trade Center investigation.

Formed within ASTM International Committee E05 on Fire Standards the advisory group will: 1) review the draft report, 2) develop recommendations, and 3) propose work items for consideration by ASTM Committee E05 on Fire Standards.

Analysis Is Commissioned

In addition, ASTM has commissioned an analysis of the NIST report as it relates to ASTM’s standards. The analysis will provide timely assistance to ASTM International in studying the NIST report and will suggest standards development initiatives within Committee E05 and other ASTM technical committees.

By commissioning this analysis, ASTM International will be able to continue its tradition of quickly addressing the needs of its communities and industries in a timely fashion by providing state-of-the-art standards.

Fire Resistance Task Group Is Formed

Committee E05 also established a new Task Group within Subcommittee E05.11 on Fire Resistance. E05.11 has jurisdiction over significant test methodology regarding fire resistance. The NIST report will provide a unique examination of engineering practices and test method needs.

Open Participation

E05 next meets on December 4-7, 2005, in Dallas, Texas. If you would like to attend the meeting and contribute to the enhancement of existing standards or the development of new methods, guides, and practices, ASTM meetings are open to all interested parties.

For additional information, please contact Tom O’Toole, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9739;; or visit the Committee E05 website: