Degree Name

MS in Fire Protection Engineering


College of Engineering


Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual


A report on the fire and life safety analysis of the Savannah River Site Process Support Building is required in order to receive a Master of Science in Fire Protection Engineering from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. The Process Support Building is a two-story office building that was first occupied in 2013, with a floor area of approximately 10,000 ft2. The building contains mainly personal offices, but also contains conference and turnover rooms, a Computer Simulation Room, an Observation Room, and a lunch area. The analysis includes both prescriptive and performance-based analysis.

The Process Support Building is of Type II-B construction in accordance with the International Building Code and is fully protected by an automatic wet pipe sprinkler system in accordance with NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, and DOE-STD-1066-2012, Fire Protection. The building is equipped with a fire alarm system that meets the requirements and definition of a protected premises per NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. Egress from the second floor is provided by a protected exterior stairway and a protected indoor stairway that exits into an exit passageway in accordance with the International Building Code and NFPA 101, Life Safety Code.

The prescriptive analysis consists of reviewing the applicable codes and standards at the time of building design and construction, as well as current editions of applicable codes and standards. Prescriptive analysis will include egress analysis and design, structural fire protection, flammability of materials, fire detection, alarm, and communication systems, water-based fire suppression, and smoke control. The analysis concluded the Savannah River Site Process Support Building meets prescriptive requirements.

The performance-based design analysis is performed in order to determine if the occupants are able to exit the Process Support Building in the event of a fire before tenability limits are reached. Three design fires were chosen for analysis: a fire in a two-person office, a fire in the Observation Room, and a fire in Corridor 128. Due to the risk and severity posed by the fire in Corridor 128, this fire was further analyzed using Pyrosim and FDS. This fire takes place in a first floor corridor and consists of upholstered office chairs. The FDS model was used in order to determine ASET, the time at which the tenability criteria was reached. Pathfinder was used to model movement time in order to determine RSET, the time at which all occupants have evacuated. ASET was determined to be 0.87 minutes and RSET was determined to be 5.7 minutes. The goals and objectives of the performance-based design have not been achieved since ASET is less than RSET.

The following recommendations are based on the prescriptive and performance-based analysis. The first recommendation is to ensure corridors remain free of obstructions and combustibles. The second recommendation is to revise the building hazard analysis when a room use changes.



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