Degree Name

MS in Fire Protection Engineering


College of Engineering


Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual


This report analyzes the fire protection and life safety systems of the Christopher Cohan Center. The building was assessed from both a prescriptive and performance-based approach.

The prescriptive design analyzed the code requirements for the building based on the 2018 IBC, with some consideration for the codes in place at the time of construction. The prescriptive analysis main focus was on egress systems, fire alarm and detection, fire suppression, and structural fire protection. The egress analysis found that the exits and exit configuration were sufficient for the occupant loads that were calculated for the building. The fire alarm and detection system was found to meet the requirements for providing an emergency voice evacuation system and most of the locations of required devices. However, it was found that smoke detector spacing in some spaces was insufficient and that there may have been a lack of coordination for the placement and monitoring of duct detectors. The building is equipped with an automatic fire sprinkler system and is provided with required monitoring components and was designed in accordance with NFPA 13. The initial installation of the fire sprinkler system would have met the code requirements, as the water supply with a fire pump was able to meet the most demanding remote area. However, the fire sprinkler system in the building was modified by the removal of a fire pump, which resulted in a slight deficiency in water supply. The structural fire protection was found to meet the prescriptive code requirements of the 2018 IBC for heights, areas, and occupancy separation requirements. As part of the prescriptive portion of the report, two design fires were modeled to assess the effects of fire on the strength of the steel members. One design fire found that the member may fail, although this was a worst-case fire for a single member and significant structural failure may not occur from a single failure. The main issue found in the prescriptive analysis was the lack of sufficient water supply for the fire sprinkler system, which could be addressed as described in the recommendations portion of this report.

The performance-based analysis was performed based on design fires and tenability criteria. The tenability criteria were toxicity, heat flux, temperature, and visibility. The limits were set at 683 ppm for CO concentration, 5.75 kW/m2 for heat flux, 60 °C for temperature and 13 meters for visibility. Two design fires were considered, however one design fire on the stage was chosen to be analyzed in further detail with an FDS model. The design fire considered a scenario where both the fire sprinkler system failed to control the fire and where the 2-hour rated proscenium curtain failed to activate. A Pathfinder model was also used to determine the egress time from the main hall, where the design fire was located. The performance-based analysis found that occupants would be able to egress from main hall, and that tenability would be maintained largely in part due to the activation of the smoke exhaust vents at the top of the stage. While the performance-based requirements were met, some recommendations were made including the improvement of the sprinkler system as well as the improvement of the detection system in the stage area. With the improvement of the detection system in the stage area, smoke vents could open earlier and the proscenium curtain could be activated automatically with the implementation of projected beam smoke detection.

Dentici FPE 596 Presentation.pdf (7758 kB)
Final Presentation



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.