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Dealing With Uncertainty to Improve Regulation.

pdf icon Dealing With Uncertainty to Improve Regulation. (1386 K)
Notarianni, K. A.; Fischbeck, P. S.

Fire Safety Design in the 21st Century, Second (2nd) Conference. Pre-Conference Papers. Proceedings. Worcester Polytechnic Institute. June 9-11, 1999, Worcester, MA, 121-133 pp, 1999.

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For more information contact: 48-page summary report and a 255 page proceedings can be found/downloaded at


fire safety; performance based codes; fire codes; building codes; fire protection; regulations; uncertainty; human behavior; risk assessment; decision making


It is the thesis of this paper that current efforts in fire-safety design comprise a necessary set of actions to enable the shift from prescriptive codes to performance codes, but not a sufficient set of actions to provide for the sound implementation of a performance-based system. Such a system needs to provide all stakeholders a known level of confidence in the final design and to ensure the life-cycle safety of a building. This paper discusses five related issues: 1) barriers to sound implementation and rapid depolyment of performance-based standards, 2) the role for uncertainty in improving performance-based regulations, 3) difficulties with uncertainty analyses associated with performance-based evaluation, 4) a taxonomy of uncertainties; and 5) a methodology for dealing with these uncertainties.