MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
The Robert E. Kennedy Library is located on Cal Poly Campus. The Library is a five-story building with different occupancies which consists of library areas, offices, mechanical equipment and storage areas. The building has a total area of 178 702 ft². The original code of construction for the Library was the 1976 Uniform Building code (UBC). However, the fire and life safety analysis of the building in this report is performed using: Egress: NFPA 101 LSC 2015, Water based suppression: NFPA 13, Structural fire protection: 2015 IBC, Fire detection, alarm and communication systems: NFPA 72, Performance based design: NFPA 101 LSC 2015 and the SFPE handbook 5th edition. The prescriptive-based analysis in this report focuses on the egress features, fire alarm and detection systems, fire suppression systems and structural fire protection of the Robert E. Kennedy Library. The egress features built into the Library were found to mostly comply with the prescriptive requirements of the LSC. There is an automatic fire alarm and detection system as well as an emergency notification system installed in the Library, mostly in accordance with the LSC and NFPA 72. However, the notification devices do not cover all common use areas in the Library, which is not up to code. The Library does not have a water based suppression system, but it is designed in this report. The proposed suppression system is in accordance with IBC requirements, and was designed following the requirements of NFPA 13. The analysis demonstrates that the Library is in accordance with all of the requirements of the IBC for Type I- B construction. The performance-based analysis in this report investigated the ability of the fire protection systems in the Library to perform satisfactorily in different fire scenarios. This analysis was completed using the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) program, in conjunction with the Pyrosim graphical user interface and the Pathfinder evacuation simulator. The chosen design fire scenario was a fire with 8 bookshelves in the south west corner of the second floor. Two simulations were done, with and without functional sprinkler system. The data needed for the fire and combustion properties was taken from the SFPE handbook. The tenability criteria’s was evaluated east of the fire, where the occupants first will be affected by the fire. The simulations without functional sprinkler system indicated that RSET>ASET. The visibility was violated in less than half the required safety egress time (RSET). The simulations with a functional sprinkler system indicated that ASET>RSET. The tenability criteria’s was not violated and it was determined that the building is safe in respect to life safety with sprinklers. It has been shown in the performance-based analysis portion of this report how a sprinklers system can reduce the effects of combustion byproducts in an area with a high fuel load and increase the life safety potential within a building. Sprinkler installation for the control of fires is the most common method of providing fire suppression. I would therefore recommend installing a sprinkler system in the Library for life safety. I would also recommend providing notification devices in all common use areas throughout the Library as required by IBC 2015 edition.