MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
The purpose of this project is to analyze the Fire Protection systems of the Recreation Center on campus at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Only the building itself is analyzed in this project. This report provides both a prescriptive-based and performance-based analysis of the building. The prescriptive-based analysis includes an overview of the structural components and their fire resistance, the sprinkler system, the fire alarm system, as well as an egress analysis. The performance-based analysis consists of three different potential fire scenarios, with the first being modeled with both Pathfinder and Pyrosim. Resources used are the building’s floor plans, available pages from the building’s blueprints, the building’s sprinkler plans, the building’s fire alarm plans, the 2015 edition of the International Building Code, 2015 Life Safety Code, the 5th Edition of the SFPE Handbook, the 20th Edition of the Fire Protection Handbook, and NFPA 13, NFPA 25, and NFPA 72.
After completing both the prescriptive-based and performance-based analyses, positive conclusions can be made about the recreation center. The Recreation Center has sufficient exit capacity considering the calculated occupant load of the building. And the construction, fire alarm system, and sprinkler system all meet the requirements from their respective codes. Lastly, the performance-based analysis yielded a Required Safe Egress Time (RSET) of 155 seconds, and an Available Safe Egress Time (ASET) of 450 seconds. These results show that the Recreation Center performs adequately when simulated with a fire scenario.
While the building’s systems all meet code requirements, and the building performed adequately in a simulation, the University needs to ensure that the main gymnasium is never occupied over its maximum capacity during special events held there. Overfilling the space can lead to crowding, which could potentially cause life-threatening delays in evacuation. The University must implement fire safety management during special events held in the gymnasium to ensure safety of all occupants.