MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
This report details the prescriptive and performance based analyses performed on the Orfalea College of Business building, located on the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus. Designed in accordance with the 1985 Uniform Building Code (UBC), this building is evaluated for compliance with the requirements prescribed under relevant codes in place as of 2016. The main function of this building is to serve both academic and administrative purposes, including classrooms and staff offices. Aspects of the building analyzed include: Egress Systems, Structural Fire Protection, Smoke Management, Fire Detection, Fire Notification, and Fire Suppression The prescriptive analysis demonstrates the lack of compliance in two general areas: egress systems and passive fire protection. Obstructions in corridors will impede egress travel, while propped open doors compromise the designed passive fire protection. The rest of the building features were deemed compliant based on the 2013 CBC. A performance based analysis was performed on the building using tenability criteria justified by relevant scientific research. Thresholds for visibility, temperature, and toxicity were considered in determining the Available Safe Egress Time (ASET). This analysis intended to evaluate the building based on Method 2 found in the 2015 Life Safety Code (LSC), where ASET must be greater than the Required Safe Egress Time (RSET). The results of the analysis revealed that both temperature and toxicity were not a concern for a fire scenario in what is deemed one of the most potentially hazardous areas in the building. Visibility, however, would drop below its minimum threshold at 300 seconds after fire ignition. The RSET was determined using justified pre-movement times and calculated egress times. The RSET proved to be 444 seconds, which is more than 2 minutes greater than the ASET. Thus, the performance criterion is not met. The building will maintain an acceptable level of protection if obstructions are removed from paths of egress and all fire and smoke doors are maintained in their proper position. The installation of sprinklers would greatly reduce the impact of a hazardous scenario, as it is nearly impossible to ensure that all doors required to be closed are closed due to the nature of the building.