MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
This project report contains a fire and life safety analysis of the Johnson Controls Office Building. The building is located in Los Angeles, California. The building is a mixed use occupancy with office spaces, meeting rooms, training rooms, and a warehouse for storing fire sprinkler and fire alarm materials. The building is one level with a mezzanine. It is attached to another building and separated by fire barrier so that they are considered separate buildings. This report contains a prescriptive analysis and a performance-based design analysis of the building.
The prescriptive code requirements were determined based on the 2019 edition of the California Building Code (CBC). This building was originally built in 2001 and later remodeled in 2010. The original design was completed using older versions of the CBC, but the design was compared to the current code to verify if it still met the current standards. The CBC was used to determine the code cycles of NFPA that were used for the prescriptive analysis. The prescriptive analysis was broken down into the occupancy classification, the building construction, egress analysis, fire alarm systems, fire suppression systems, smoke control, and structural fire protection. The building did not meet the prescriptive code requirements for the common path of egress travel and the hydraulic calculations in the warehouse. Without the original building plans there is not enough information to verify if the building originally met these requirements or not. The building met the remaining prescriptive code requirements that were analyzed.
The performance based design used the recommendations of the SFPE Handbook and NFPA 101 for the tenability criteria and design fire scenarios. The tenability criteria that were used were temperature, visibility, and toxicity. Design Fires 1 and 2 were based on a trash can igniting and spreading throughout the cubicle and office. Design Fire 3 was based on a wood pallet igniting and then spreading throughout the rack storage of the wood pallets. The goal of this analysis is to maintain structural integrity long enough for the occupants to evacuate the building. The design fires were analyzed using fire dynamic simulation to model the fires. These models were used to determine the available safe egress time (ASET). Pathfinder was used to determine the required safe egress time (RSET) for the occupants. The RSET showed that it would take the occupants 285 seconds to exit the building. Due to the limited occupants in the warehouse and the obstructed views the RSET for the design fire in the warehouse was 405 seconds. When compared to the ASET it was shown that the fire would exceed the tenability criteria in a few scenarios, but this occurred after the occupants had exited the area where the fire occurred so it would not have an impact on their ability to egress. The ASET for design fire 1 was 255.5 seconds because the visibility dropped below 4m. The ASET for design fire 2 was 262.1 seconds when the visibility dropped below 4m. For design fire 3 the ASET was over 1000 seconds and none of the tenability criteria were reached. For design fires 1 and 2 the tenability criteria were reached, but at the time it was reached the occupants were out of the room where the tenability criteria was exceeded so it would not impact their ability to egress. For all of the design fires the occupants were able to exit the building safely and the building met the requirements of the performance-based design.