MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
As part of the requirements for receiving a Master of Science in Fire Protection Engineering from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, a Fire and Life Safety Analysis of the Bonderson Engineering Projects Center located on the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus is performed. The analysis consists of both a prescriptive and a performance-based analysis.
The prescriptive analysis focuses on reviewing the as-built conditions within the Bonderson Engineering Projects Center for compliance with the current edition of applicable codes and standards. The analysis is performed using the 2018 Edition of the International Building Code (IBC) and the current editions of applicable National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes. The prescriptive analysis reviews the following components of the fire safety strategy: (1) Egress, (2) Water-Based Fire Suppression, (3) Fire Detection, Alarm, and Communication Systems, (4) Structural Fire Protection, and (5) Smoke Control.
Overall, the Bonderson Engineering Projects Center meets prescriptive requirements based on available design drawings and information.
The performance-based analysis seeks to determine if occupants will be able to exit the Bonderson Engineering Projects Center safely in the case of fire. An upholstered furniture fire located in the second floor student lounge is selected as the design fire scenario to be analyzed in this report. An FDS model is used to determine and compare ASET and RSET in order to determine if occupants will have adequate time to exit the building. ASET is determined to be approximately 1.5 minutes, while RSET is 7.5 minutes. Therefore, the Bonderson Engineering Projects Center does not meet the requirements for a performance-based analysis. A recommendation is made to ensure building staff are trained on what to do in case of fire and to consider adding a voice communication system to help decrease the pre-movement time of occupants in case of fire.
The primary recommendation based on the prescriptive and performance-based analyses is to control combustibles, particularly in areas in close proximity to exits. A secondary recommendation is to ensure building staff are trained on what to do in case of fire and to consider adding a voice communication system to help decrease the pre-movement time of occupants in case of fire.