MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
The following report contains an analysis of the life safety and fire protection features of a Chicago Hotel. The report is intended to meet the requirements for the Culminating Experience of the Cal Poly Master of Science Fire Protection Engineering Program.
The Chicago Hotel building chosen for the analysis is a mixed-use 7-story hotel. On the 1st, 2nd, and 7th floors of the building are spaces for mercantile and restaurant tenants as well as other spaces necessary for the operation of the building such as back of house space for the hotel, storage, employee locker rooms, hotel and retail lobbies, etc. The 3rd to 6th floors are dedicated to hotel rooms with some business space on the 3rd floor for the hotel managers. There is a parking garage in the basement. The building is fully sprinklered throughout. The building is of Type I-A noncombustible construction.
This report contains analysis of the prescriptive code requirements and provided fire protection and life safety features of the Chicago Hotel. Topics covered include means of egress, suppression system, fire alarm and detection and structural fire protection.
Applicable codes, regulations and standards include: (1) International Building Code (IBC), 2015 Edition, (2) Life Safety Code, NFPA 101, 2015 Edition (used for technical means of egress requirements. The more conservative requirement between NFPA 101 and the IBC is chosen), and (3) International Fire Code (IFC), 2015 Edition.
It should be noted that the design phase drawings that are included in various appendices of this report were developed by professional architects and engineers according to the Chicago Building Code. As this report is an academic exercise, this report evaluates the International Code Council model building and fire codes and the National Fire Protection Associations codes and standards which are adopted on a much more widespread basis than the Chicago Building Code. The building is largely in compliance with the International Building Code and NFPA standards; two deficiencies are noted in the report and conclusion related to exit capacity on Level 7 and visual notification appliance spacing.
This report also contains a performance-based evaluation. The performance-based evaluation included in Section 7 of the report evaluates two design fire scenarios to determine the capability of occupants to safely evacuate in the event of the fire scenario. The results can be summarized as follows:
Design Fire Scenario 1: The vehicle fire in the underground enclosed parking garage showed that safe evacuation is possible for occupants who are initially located in the open parking garage area as they are able to sense the fire (sight, smell, etc.) and begin to exit prior the activation of the fire alarm notification appliances. Occupants who are located in enclosed rooms and dependent on the fire alarm system experience untenable visibility conditions during their egress. Ventilation openings or a smoke exhaust system are recommended to be considered to limit the reduction in visibility loss in the event of a fire in the basement.
Design Fire Scenario 2: The polystyrene foam takeout container and paper bag fire on Level 7 in the restaurant and bar area allows for safe evacuation of all occupants. Occupants located in the compartment of the fire origin take advantage of the exterior deck where they are remote from the fire products and occupants in the back of house area are adequately separated from the fire products by fire rated construction allowing sufficient time to exit.