MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Chris Pascual, Fred Mowrer
California State University has acquired fire protection services to conduct a survey of and produce a fire protection report that analyzes the current condition of the existing Robert E. Kennedy Library on the Cal Poly campus. The prescriptive analysis of the Library is based on the 2010 California Building- the analysis considers the building a new building and will not consider the building provision for existing buildings as permitted by Chapter 34 of the CBC. A performance-based design using FDS is also analyzed to determine the tenability advantages of providing fire sprinklers within the Library. Non-conforming conditions include, among others, exit extension has non-common use areas opening into the exit extension (i.e., electrical room), and visible/ audible notification coverage deficiencies. The performance-based design fire is based on a “free burn” test conducted using oxygen consumption calorimetry. The tested material included parallel metal open bookshelves with paper material stacked on their shelves. The data from the test produced maximum heat release rate of 1.6 MW. This data was extrapolated to define a fire scenario that produced a 6.2 MW heat release rate based on the configuration of bookshelves and the plentiful amount of fuel (i.e., paper) in the Library stack areas. Based on the time to sprinkler activation, a sprinkler controlled fire is also modeled to compare to the non-sprinklered building condition. It was determined that a 1.1 MW fire was the maximum heat release rate of a sprinklered controlled fire. From the performance-based model it was determined that a sprinklered building improves the tenability conditions and increases the Available Safe Egress Time for the occupants in the building. All in all, it is recommended that the Library be provided with a sprinkler system. It is also recommended that the Library be provided with visual/audible notification appliances in accordance with NFPA 72. It is also recommended that an EVAC system be provided as required by the CBC. Additional recommendations are described within this report. The appendix of this fire protection report includes a proposed sprinkler design for the Library, a fire life safety plan, and a design for the audible/visible notification appliances of the second floor (fire floor).