MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
A fire protection and life safety analysis was performed on the building “8 Observatory Road” located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. This analysis was performed as part of the fulfillment of requirements for Master of Science in Fire Protection Engineering degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
This report covers both a prescriptive and performance-based analysis. This building was designed and constructed in Hong Kong, adhering to the local codes and British Standard. For this report, the building was analyzed to the requirements of the International Building Code (IBC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards. For deviations from these codes, an explanation was provided.
The prescriptive analysis was separated into 5 main parts, namely 1) egress, 2) water-based fire suppression system, 3) fire alarm, detection, and communication, 4) structural fire protection and 5) other fire protection features. The building was able to meet their respectively codes and standard with the exception of the following.
For egress analysis, minimum illumination for exit signs, stairway riser height and depth, smoke detectors for elevator lobbies were unable to meet the IBC requirements.
For water-based fire suppression analysis, the building’s hose connection flow and pressure did not meet the NFPA 14 requirements.
For structural analysis, retail occupancies require a type IB construction while only a type IIB was provided.
The performance-based analysis main objective was to determine how proficient the building was in protecting its occupants from untenable conditions, and therefore meet the requirements of the life safety code (NFPA 101).
An ultra-fast-growing fire in the primary means of egress was chosen as the design fire to perform a comprehensive performance-based analysis. A kitchen fire was modeled using Pyrosim in which the storage rack of meat foam trays was ignited. In addition, the doors leading to a corridor connecting two egress stairway was propped open as a means of failure. The open door allowed smoke to travel into the corridor and untenable conditions were reported in 150 seconds, which was less than the required safe egress time (RSET) of 733 seconds.
Several solutions for this design fire were suggested: 1) impose strict management rules, 2) add a door to increase compartmentation, 3) install a smoke extraction system and 4) use of occupant evacuation elevators.