MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
This report discusses the fire and life safety analysis of the existing fire protection features installed in the Recreation Center building on the California Polytechnic State University. The analysis is conducted using two different approaches, the prescriptive analysis of the building and the performance-based design analysis.
The prescriptive analysis approach will examine installed fire protection features and systems in accordance with the International Building Code, such as structural fire protection, water-based suppression system, alarm and detection system, egress system, smoke control, and fire safety management plan. The egress system failed when the old gym area was used as a fixed seating assembly area. Other features met the requirements.
The performance-based analysis of the Recreation Center was based on the performance based design method 1 and method 2 of the Life Safety Code, which compares the required safe egress time (RSET) and available safe egress time (ASET) for occupants to evacuate the building safely in the event of a fire. This comparison of REST and ASET will ensure that no occupant shall be incapacitated by the effects of fire before the safe evacuation is competed.
The performance-based analysis is done using Pathfinder and FDS to simulate a chosen design fire scenario to make sure the requirement of safe evacuation is met. In this simulation, the RSET is 410s and the ASET is 177s due to the visibility loss in the chosen fire scenario of the old gym. The RSET is greater than the ASET. That shows the building failed to provide safe evacuation to the occupants.
In order to make sure the occupants can be evacuated safely, no combustible material should be put under or near the bleachers when they are fully extended in the old gym area. A mechanical exhaust smoke control system is recommended to be installed in the old gym to provide enough visibility during a fire situation.