Regulatory Requirements for Performance Based Codes Using Mathematical Risk Assessment.
Regulatory Requirements for Performance Based Codes
Using Mathematical Risk Assessment.
Brannigan, V. M.; Smidts, C.; Kilpatrick, A.
Interscience Communications Ltd.; National Institute of
Standards and Technology; Building Research
Establishment; and Society of Fire Protection Engineers;
Swedish National Testing and Research Institute.
Interflam '96. International Interflam Conference, 7th
Proceedings. March 26-28, 1996, Cambridge, England,
Interscience Communications Ltd., London, England,
Franks, C. A.; Grayson, S., Editor(s)(s), 621-630 pp,
Sponsor:National Institute of Standards and Technology,
fire safety; risk assessment; codes; regulations;
nuclear power plants; mathematical models; performance
Fire safety is one of the most complex and difficult
areas proposed for the use of risk assessment and
performance based codes. Mathematical risk assessment
involves the use of probabilistic models of real world
events. However, fire is a rare and complex event for
which significant uncertainties exist. Fire safety
regulators are often unsophisticated, and code
enforcement is fragmented. Current fire safety
regulatory systems assume static buildings with ample
safety reserves. From a legal perspective, uncertainty
is resolved by political, not technical decision making.
All these factors argue for a high level of scrutiny of
mathematical risk models used for performance based
regulation. Technological regulation involves
predicting and anticipating technological failures.
Compliance with regulations should be connected to a
reduction in the risk of injury and mathematical risk
models can be used to predict accidents and develop
performance based codes. However, regulation is a
process in which parties prove that their designs are in
compliance with social norms, and it is unclear what
standard of proof for mathematical risk models is
appropriate. Minimum regulatory standards must be
developed for mathematical risk models used to support
performance based codes.