Twenty years of performance-based fire protection design: Challenges faced and a look ahead

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Journal titleJournal of Fire Protection Engineering
Pages249276; # of pages: 28
SubjectAuthority having jurisdictions; Engineering analysis; Engineering perspective; Engineering process; Fire safety engineering; Literature reviews; Performance based design; Protection designs; Engineering; Fire extinguishers; Fire protection; Tools; Structural design
AbstractA review of two decades of worldwide experience using standards, codes and guidelines related to performance-based fire protection design for buildings has identified shortcomings in the interpretation, application and implementation of the performance-based design process, apparent inconsistency in the resulting levels of performance achieved and several opportunities to enhance the process. In a constantly evolving building environment, technical challenges have to be overcome because fire safety engineering still depends greatly on knowledge gained from scientific and engineering research across a broad range of disciplines (e.g., better understanding of the fire phenomena, the behavior and response of the building occupants/contents/structure to the fire, tools for engineering analysis and all the necessary data needed to support tool application). Political challenges also need to be considered as performance-based fire protection design requires the approval of the authority having jurisdiction and other involved stakeholders, at several of its different steps (design, construction, original usage, modifications of usage). The review presented here has been undertaken from an engineering perspective rather than a regulatory perspective. Two key outcomes of this engineering review are that several of the challenges that have been identified are strongly linked to the application of generic guidance to specific problems, which results in critical details being missed, and that some of the engineering issues are treated within a political context, while they should be addressed as purely technical issues. © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions:
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AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); Construction (CONST-CONST)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21269912
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Record identifier5d6547bc-69c3-4bc4-8d6e-52e9dadb51c8
Record created2013-12-13
Record modified2016-05-09
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