MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
This report was created as part of the Master of Science Fire Protection Engineering degree program at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. This project summarized the covered subjects during the course of each quarter of the program. The site chosen for this project is Second Baptist Church, Cypress Campus, located in Cypress, TX. This building was chosen because Churches are mixed use buildings that include assembly occupancies and large occupant loads.
A prescriptive-based code evaluation was performed on the building according to the 2012 editions of the international building code and fire code, adopted at the time of construction. The building is a separated, mixed-use building, constructed to support A-3 (2012 IBC §302, §303.1.4, §303.4), B (2012 IBC §304), E (§305.1), M (§309.1), and S-1 (§3011.2) occupancies, based on assembly, business, education, mercantile, and storage uses, respectively. The building includes an Atrium, so it is also reviewed in accordance with 2012 IBC §404. The worship center building is of Type I-B (fire resistive, non-combustible) construction, and the warehouse building is of Type II-B (unprotected, non- combustible) construction based on 2012 IBC Table 601. A performance-based design was also performed to determine if the requirements of the prescriptive code-based requirements met the life safety goals and objectives of the stakeholders.
The building is equipped throughout with an automatic fire sprinkler system as required by 2012 IBC §404.3, §903.2.1.3, §903.2.3, §903.7, and §903.2.9 respectively. Apparatus access and water supplies are provided, but not in compliance with 2012 IFC §503 and §507, respectively. The maximum allowable heights and areas are in accordance with 2012 IBC §507 for unlimited area buildings, and the occupancies within the building are separated in accordance with Table 508.4. The fire resistance ratings are based on the applicable UL 263 assemblies and are achieved using architectural materials and spray applications. The wall and ceiling interior finishes are compliant with the requirements of §803. The sprinkler and standpipe systems were installed based on the requirements of §903 and §905 of the 2012 IFC and the referenced NFPA 13, 14, and 25 standards. A fire alarm system is also installed in accordance with §907 for Group A and E occupancies. The means of egress are compliant with Chapter C for occupant load, illumination, exit access, travel distance, aisles and corridors, number of exits, stairways, and ramps, and exit discharge.
The performance-based design evaluated two design fires – one in the worship center based on a chair cushion fire ignited by a dropped candle, and one in a study classroom based on a plastic table fire ignited by an electrical short in a tabletop appliance. The criteria to meet the objectives were to maintain smoke level 2m above floor for ASET time, limit radiant heat flux to less than 2.5 kW/m2 for at least 10 minutes, limit CO levels below 2,800ppm for at least 10 minutes, maintain visibility greater than 5m for at least 10 minutes, limit overall heat flux to less than 14 kW/m2, maintain pressure outside of room for smoke removal system to work, maintain an upper layer temperature below 200°C, and limit particulate matter not greater than .5g/m3. The fires were simulated and analyzed using PyroSim, PathFinder, and manual calculations.
The building features performed well during the worship center fire, meeting the design criteria, but not during the classroom fire, failing smoke and heat flux levels, and visibility. Egress time was 5.7 minutes < 20 minutes in the worship center and was 1.7 minutes < 2 minutes in the classroom fire. There are some cloud ceilings and projections in the worship center that should be sprinklered, and under no circumstances should cooking appliances or ignition sources be used in the classrooms.