MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
As part of the requirements for the Degree of Masters of Science in Fire Protection Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, a prescriptive and performance based design analysis was conducted for the Bonderson Engineering Projects Center building (Cal Poly campus). The purpose of this analysis was to review the Bonderson Engineering Projects Center’s compliance with applicable and recognized fire and building codes with regards to its fire protection systems and features. The fire protection systems and features analyzed in this report include: 1) Egress Systems, 2) Structural Fire Protection, 3) Fire Detection and Alarm Systems, 4) Fire Suppression Systems. Prescriptive analysis of the Bonderson Engineering Projects Center was performed in order to determine if the building adhered to standards set forth within applicable standards and codes. Analysis was based primarily upon both the International Building Code 2009 Edition and NFPA 101: Life Safety Code 2012 Edition. Where required, other NFPA codes and standards were utilized, including the 2010 Editions of NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems and NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. The egress systems in the building largely met prescriptive code requirements except for a few issues related to room 104 and its change in occupancy use (door swing direction, locks without panic hardware, etc). The structural system is a Type II-B classification and was found to meet prescriptive code requirements. Some shortcomings with the detection and alarm systems were discovered during the analysis, mainly with respect to spacing gaps. Several visible notification devices on the second floor did not meet prescriptive code due to gaps in required coverage. Additionally, it was determined that detailed measurements of the average ambient sound level should be taken in order to better analyze the audible notification systems. Lastly, the sprinkler system was found to meet prescriptive code requirements, both for water demand and bracing. Performance based design analysis was performed in order to gain understanding on the ability of the building to safely egress occupants during various fire scenarios when built to the prescriptive approaches set forth in the codes and standards. This performance based design analysis was based upon standards set forth in Chapter 5 of the Life Safety Code. Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) and Pathfinder computer simulators were utilized to carry out the performance based design. ASET vs. RSET analysis solidified the code requirements which prohibit highly combustible materials from within atrium spaces.