MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
A fire protection and life safety analysis of the Henderson Engineers, Inc. (HEI) building in Lenexa, KS (Kansas City) is performed. Both prescriptive and performance-based methods have been used to evaluate the building against the codes and standards of the 2012 International Building Code (IBC).
The following prescriptive fire protection and life safety systems were analyzed: Occupancy Classification, Building Construction Type, Fire Protection Features, Structural Fire Protection, Fire Barriers, Automatic Fire Sprinkler System, Fire Alarm System, and Means of Egress
During the prescriptive approach, the following deficiencies were identified: 1) As-builts indicate a horizontal assembly fire-resistance rating of only 1-hour, while shafts in the building are 2-hour fire-resistance rated, 2) Fire alarm notification devices are missing/over-spaced throughout the building, and 3) Occupant load exceeds egress capacity on the 3rd Floor, and total building occupant load exceeds total building egress capacity.
A performance-based analysis of the HEI building is performed. The evaluation involves the evaluation of a design fire scenario that accounts for an increased occupant load and the elimination of an exit. This scenario is modeled using Pathfinder, Pyrosim, and Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS). The tenability results of the simulation are compared to the established tenability thresholds to determine the available safe egress time (ASET) for each scenario. This time is compared to the required safe egress time (RSET) defined by a pathfinder simulation for the increased occupant load to egress from the floor in the design fire scenario. The fire scenario evaluated an upholstered couch fire in a small room. RSET was calculated as 500 seconds and ASET was determined to be 160 when the visibility tenability criteria is exceeded. However, this result does not necessarily confirm that ASET