MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
The Canyon Vista Dining project is a renovation of an existing two-story dining facility located in the Warren College area of the University of California San Diego campus for the owners, Housing, Dining and Hospitality. The renovation scope of work comprised a new dining experience with a better diversity of food options and indoor and outdoor seating, which upgraded the first floor, second floor, and mechanical penthouse. In the course of the design and construction, the prescriptive, performance, wildfire, and due diligence design results were utilized during discussions with design team and building permit approval. The project construction was completed in October 2019.
Prescriptive design of Canyon Vista Dining consisted of structural fire resistance and interior finish, occupancy and special hazard fire suppression, fire alarm and detection and smoke control, and means of egress and life safety. Structural fire resistance results showed that occupancy classifications were assembly, business, and storage; construction type was Type IIB; and allowable area, story, and height were not exceeded. Interior finish results depict that walls and ceilings required Class B to C and floors require Class II. Occupancy hazard fire suppression results demonstrated a flow test with 150 psi static, 95 psi residual, and 3250 gpm flow rate; fire sprinkler design criteria for first floor with Ordinary Hazard Group I as 0.15 gpm/ft2 discharge density and 1500 ft2 design area, for second floor with Light Hazard as 0.10 gpm/ft2 discharge density and 1500 ft2 design area, and for mechanical penthouse with Ordinary Hazard Group I as 0.15 gpm/ft2 discharge density and 1500 ft2 design area; and hydraulic calculation for first floor with total demand 530 gpm at 40.3 psi, for second floor with total demand 349 gpm at 27.7 psi, and for mechanical penthouse with total demand 615 gpm at 31 psi. Special hazard fire suppression results depicted the requirements for Class K fire extinguishers due to minimal solid fuel cooking appliances in kitchen and Class ABC fire extinguishers for general purpose applications. Fire alarm and detection results showed design criteria for first floor 60 cd design visual intensity, 89 dBA design sound level, and 6400 ft2 design room area, for second floor 30 cd design visual intensity, 89 dBA design sound level, and 3600 ft2 design room area, and for mechanical penthouse 30 cd design visual density, 99 dBA design sound level, and 3025 ft2 design room area; and battery supply for first floor 31 Ah, second floor 30.5 Ah, and mechanical penthouse 30.5 Ah. Smoke control results depicted that no smoke control is required because there were no areas with atria, enclosed stairs, or tunnels. Means of egress and life safety results showed space functions consisted of office areas, small conference rooms, large conference and meeting rooms, assembly, storage rooms, utility rooms, and exterior terraces; egress capacity factors consist of 0.3 for stairs and 0.2 for doors; occupant loads for first floor 828 and second floor 602; egress capacity for first floor 3634 and second floor 900; and maximum travel distances were not exceeded.
Performance design of Canyon Vista Dining consisted of goals and objectives, design basis and fire hazard analysis, and engineering analysis. Goals depicted were to provide fire protection and life safety of occupants not intimate with the initial fire development and improve survivability of occupants intimate with the initial fire development. Objectives defined were to maintain occupant protection to allow for occupants not intimate with fire development time needed to evacuate and maintain structural integrity to allow for occupants intimate with fire development time needed to survive. Design basis and fire hazard analysis depicted three design fires that consists of restaurant fire with represented fuels of food kiosks display by ultra-fast-growing fire located in Serving Dining 107, office fire with represented fuels of workstations by medium-grown fire located in Study Lounge 201, and kitchen fire with represented fuels of storage pallets by slow- growing fire located in Dry Storage 134. Engineering analysis results demonstrated that occupant protection was adequate because for all design scenarios RSET did not exceed ASET, and structural integrity was adequate because for all design scenarios RSET did not exceed SFT.
Wildfire design of Canyon Vista Dining consisted of environmental, suppression, construction, access, prevention, and exposure mitigations. Environmental mitigations advised on weather conditions, wildfire fuels, terrain, fire hazard severity zones, and public utility commission zones. For weather conditions, a wildfire scenario may be initiated from the Hellhole Canyon Preserve natural forest and transition into the UCSD campus, which a mitigation can be to anticipate wildfire scenarios can occur during wildfire season from May to November and provide prevention methods. For wildfire fuels, there is a good portion of wildfire vegetation along the Canyon Vista hillside as well as near surrounding natural forestry of UCSD, which a mitigation can be to minimize the amount of chaparral and other ignitable vegetation to reduce effects of potential wildfire scenarios. For terrain, if a wildfire transitions onto the northern hillside it can easily spread upwards onto its facilities and the aspect ratios seems to be quite steep that can contribute to increasing vertical flame spread, which a mitigation can be to provide wildfire barriers of fuel and fire breaks, pruning vegetation, or prescribed burning along the facility’s perimeter that abut the hillside. For fire hazard severity zones, the maps showed that the facility areas are adjacent to Very High severity zones that are most prone to severe wildfire damage, which a mitigation can be to renovate with structural hardening construction materials. For public utility commission zones, the maps showed that the facility areas are within Tier 2 or Tier 3 fire-threat districts that are near San Diego County with hydroelectric power facilities and transmission lines, which a mitigation can be to have power lines be routinely inspected and repaired to reduce risk for fire hazard to surrounding vegetation. Suppression mitigations advised on water supply resources, insurance service office public protection classification, and fire flow. For water supply resources, the water supply allocations are from San Diego fire department resources that are remote consisted by CALFIRE, count ALS, and count fire stations, which a mitigation can be to construct a dedicated fire department in UCSD that can serve all campus facilities to minimize firefighting response. For public protection classification, due to the presence of fire departments the classification is ISO Class 3 that means that there is adequate confirming water supply. For fire flow, the building requires a 2450 to 3150 gpm with duration of 2 hours. Construction mitigations advised on structural ignition pathways and wildfire test standards. For structural ignition pathways, due to the Type IIB construction there are minimal vulnerable parts of the structure that include windows, ornamental and natural vegetation, wall vents, and movable outdoor combustibles, which a mitigation can be to use the wildfire test standards to replace existing vulnerable ignition pathways with ignition-resistant materials with SFM approval. Access mitigations advised on fire department access routes and egress protective actions. For fire department access routes, the UCSD campus contains numerous wayfinding street signs that allow for efficient navigation and fire department access has adequate dimension for the streets. For egress protective actions, there is no existing evacuation plan specific for wildfires but only for structural fires and only giving instructions to departments and individuals to handle the emergency independently without a synchronized and campus-wide egress plan, one-way roads in and out of the facility can become problematic during a wildfire scenario, and no nearby parking that can hamper escaping individuals. Prevention mitigations advised on weather service, community wildfire prevention plan, and defensible space and fire safe landscaping. For weather service, to be prepared for Red Flag Warnings when utilities may shut off power to minimize risk of wildfire it is best to implement electrical power alternatives such as photovoltaic solar panels along roofs or back-up power generators. For community wildfire prevention plan, there are several resources available such as Fire Safe Council of San Diego County, ReadySanDiego coalition, AlertSanDiego, and San Diego Emergency application. For defensible space, the facility is surrounded with noncombustible landscaping. Exposure mitigations advised on wildfire exposure conditions. For exposure conditions, there are adequate exposure separation distances as the facility satisfies fire-resistance requirements for exterior elements.
Due diligence design of Canyon Vista Dining consisted of accessibility, fire protection, and life safety surveys. For accessibility, updates were required for parking spaces near Canyon Vista entrance off Justice Lane, cross slopes on walking surface along accessible routes from Earl’s Place to the elevator, elevator call button lights, public and employee restrooms, drinking fountains without pedestrian protection, fire extinguisher mounting heights, exterior wheelchair drop-off curb ramp at Canyon Vista entrance off Equality Lane, and exterior stairs. For fire protection, updates were required for fire department connection serving Canyon Vista Dining Hall, exterior and interior sprinklers, sprinkler risers, and radio coverage for emergency responders. For life safety, updates were required for exterior exit signage and fire alarm strobes and manual pull station and fire alarm mounting heights.
Conclusion and recommendations for Canyon Vista Dining posit that all prescriptive, performance, wildfire, and due diligence design results satisfied the intent of code and interest of stakeholders during the design and construction phases. During construction administration, an operations and maintenance manual and as-built record drawings were provided to Housing, Dining and Hospitality to ensure that fire protection and life safety designs are maintained.