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Determining Design Fires for Design-Level and Extreme Events.

pdf icon Determining Design Fires for Design-Level and Extreme Events. (256 K)
Bukowski, R. W.

Reaching New Horizons. Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods, 6th International Conference. Proceedings. June 14-16, 2006, Tokyo, Japan, Evans, D. D.; Gordon, J.; Hasemi, Y.; Sekizawa, A., Editor(s)(s), 1-11 pp, 2006.


performance based codes; fire safety; design fires; fire resistance; fire spread; egress; fire detection systems; fire suppression; smoke control; fuel load; surveys; fire severity; fire load; energy release rate; building design; flame spread; regulations; scenarios; NFIRS


Proper fire safety design requires the appropriate selection of design fires against which the performance of the building is evaluated. The selection of the design fire(s) directly impacts all aspects of fire safety performance, including the structural fire resistance, compartmentation against fire spread, egress systems, manual or automatic detection systems, suppression systems, and smoke control. In a prescriptive regulatory environment design fires were implied in the required fire resistance ratings and active system requirements, as a function of use group. As performance based regulations evolved the need to assess performance against actual conditions of use became clear. The attacks on the World Trade Center of September 11, 2001 resulted in regulatory interest in understanding the potential consequences of extreme events in addition to performance against design level events. These regulatory needs have led to a number of efforts to develop consensus on design fires, characteristic fuel loads1, and engineering methods to assess performance against a range of end use conditions up to extreme events. This paper will discuss ongoing activities, suggest some reasonable approaches, and hopefully serve as a roadmap for coordinating many of these activities under the auspices of CIB W14.