Prevention through Design (PtD)

air terminals, copper, aluminum

Prevention through Design is a new phrase for a good idea — that design decisions can make buildings safer to construct and maintain throughout their life cycle. The concept is finding increased support. For example, The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is promoting PtD, and there is a new LEED pilot credit for incorporating safety considerations into the design process.

One way to improve safety is by specifying blunt-tip air terminals (formerly known as lightning rods) instead of air terminals that taper to a point. Blunt-tip air terminals are not only safer in the event of a fall, recent research shows they also improve the effectiveness of lightning protection systems. (Tapered air terminals can still be used, for example, to match the appearance of air terminals on historic buildings.)

Another way to improve constructions safety is to remember, “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors”.