MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
A prescriptive and performance based analysis was performed on the Warren J Baker Center for Science on the California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo campus. The code based analysis included reviewing the building’s egress components, structural fire protection, fire sprinkler system, and fire alarm system. This included the requirements of the California Building Code, as well as applicable NFPA codes. Analysis of the egress components of the building revealed several dead end corridors within the building that exceed the maximum allowed length of 50 feet. In addition, the student workspace areas on Level 3 require two exits, but are only provided with one. The structural fire protection requirements were found to meet the requirements of the California Building Code, including the required height, area and occupancy separation. The provided fire suppression system and fire alarm system were found to be compliant with the requirements of NFPA 13 and NFPA 72, respectively. A performance based analysis was conducted on the natural ventilation smoke control system within the atrium of the building. This was done by comparing the results of Pathfinder and Fire Dynamics Simulator models to determine if the available safe egress time is greater than the required safe egress time. It was found that the existing smoke control system failed performance requirements in two separate design fire scenarios. A new natural ventilation smoke control system design with 150% greater ventilation was proposed and tested using the most severe fire scenario and was found to provide an available safe egress time greater than the required safe egress time.