MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
This report is a fire protection engineering analysis of the Maumus Center, a science center and planetarium, in Arabi, Louisiana. The objective of this analysis is to outline the code defined requirements and to confirm the minimum level of safety from fire is attained. Analyzed in the report are the design requirements prescribed in the adopted building and life safety codes, and the performance of the prescribed design. The prescriptive review addresses the building construction in regards to fire protection, the means of egress, the water‐based fire suppression system, and the fire alarm system. The performance review incorporates the goals and objectives defined by the Life Safety Code, a performance criteria that establishes tenability limits that must not be exceeded, the selection of three realistic and conservative fire scenarios with the potential to affect a large population of occupants, and an analysis of one fire scenario using engineering empirical calculations and computer‐based models to determine the effectiveness of the building fire protection systems.
The prescriptive design satisfies the code requirements; however, there are special situations, regarding the fire sprinkler system, that are not incorporated in the codes. For instance, the Planetarium dome projection screen’s impact on the fire sprinkler system’s activation time and water delivery to a hazard below the screen. Also, the lack of fire sprinkler protection below the telescopic seating system in the auditorium. Both of these applications require further analysis to better determine an adequate solution. The Lobby fire scenario analyzed estimates the building occupants will be unable to safely evacuate the building prior to being exposed to fire effects, more specifically diminished visibility and untenable temperatures. Possible solutions are recommended, but further analysis is required.