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Cost-Effective Compliance With Life Safety Codes.


pdf icon Cost-Effective Compliance With Life Safety Codes. (320 K)
Weber, S. F.; Lippiatt, B. C.

Fire Technology, Vol. 32, No. 4, 291-296, November/December 1996.

Keywords:

life safety codes; cost effectiveness; building codes; building economics; economic analysis; fire safety; health care facilities; hospitals; linear programming; mathematical programming; optimization

Abstract:

ALARM is personal computer software that helps building managers and fire safety engineers achieve cost-effective compliance with the widely used NFPA 101, Life Safety Code. The software currently supports health-care occupancy analysis. Through the equivalency provision of the code, ALARM implements a goal-oriented, or performance-based, approach to code compliance. The software generates a set of alternative code compliance strategies and their estimated construction costs. Engineering judgment is then applied to select the most appropriate code compliance strategy based on both cost and design considerations. The software offers a code-compliance optimizer, a comprehensive file manager, and a full-screen data editor. Since 1981, the optimization method used in ALARM has been field-tested data editor. Since 1981, the optimization method used in ALARM has been field-tested in 89 hospitals (17,898 beds). For this sample, the least-cost solution identified by the software was, on average, 41 percent less expensive than the prescriptive solution. This represents a potential cost savings of $2,116 per bed or more than $37 million. Future versions of ALARM could address other building occupancies.