MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
This project report is a fire and life safety evaluation of a newly constructed building. The new Campus Life Center (CLC) building is located on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The CLC is a student center where students, staff, and guests can gather to socialize, study, eat and attend conferences. The prescriptive requirements were based on the Georgia State Fire Codes, adopted on January 2014 and served as code of record for this facility. Occupant classification was established from both International Building Code (IBC) and Life Safety Code (LSC), NFPA 101, to determine construction type, interior finish and egress requirements. Building elements such as walls, doors, and floors were identified and verified that the elements met the construction type and interior finish requirements as specified in the building codes. Egress component widths were verified and exceeded the capacity width needed for the classified occupancy densities in the building. Incoming fire water line provided sufficient capacity for the automatic wet-sprinkler system without the need for a fire pump based on the calculated demand of the remote sprinkler area. This facility is equipped with an addressable fire alarm – mass notification system. The system was installed to monitor the automatic wet-sprinkler system, provide automatic and manual detection, and notify occupants of an emergency event including, fire, weather, and active shooter in the building. The smoke management design in this building was based on powering down mechanical equipment to reduce smoke movement throughout the building. A performance-based analysis was performed and documented in this report. A computer-generated movement model was created to determine occupant evacuation. The total time for all occupants to egress the building is defined as the required safe escape time (RSET) and was six-minutes. Tenability was established by a set value limit of visibility, temperature and the amount of carbon monoxide in a given space for occupants to safely escape during a fire event. Two design fires were selected and analyzed using fire dynamics simulator (FDS) and SmokeView. The first design fire was located on the second level, centrally positioned in a double story, 30-feet tall space with a concentrated assembly occupancy. The design fire was modeled in the space with stackable polypropylene chairs with steel frame as the fuel source. It took less than 200 seconds to evacuate this space. During that time there was no issues with getting close to untenable conditions while the fire grew in this space. The second design fire was located in the University Emporium, also located on the second level. In the mercantile occupancy, the store shelves with paper and plastics products were the main fuel source for the fire. Tenable conditions became close to their limit for occupants to egress the space. At 30-seconds, occupants were able to evacuate this space but not the entire floor. Recommendations based on the prescriptive and performance-based analysis for this student center are to provide clear pathways throughout the emporium so occupants can leave under 30-seconds. In commons area, furniture placement during functions that support large occupant capacities should be analyzed to limit queuing in egress pathways. Smoke detection in the double high space would provide earlier notification to occupants in other parts of the building.