Degree Name

MS in Fire Protection Engineering


College of Engineering


Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual


The objective of this report is to provide an analysis of an existing building’s prescriptive-based and performance-based design methods. The intention is to provide the building owner with a working assessment of the building’s current life safety situation, as well as providing recommendations to improve the overall life safety and property protection of the selected building. This report is developed following the writing style and structure to meet the requirement for the Master of Science Degree in Fire Protection Engineering from California Polytechnic State University. The analysis includes an evaluation of the building owner’s fire and safety program for the selected building known throughout this report as the Adult Education Facility.

The purpose of the Adult Education Facility (AEF) is to serve as an education facility for domestic high school graduates as they matriculate into university placements abroad. The building was considered for analysis based on available site access and the unique occupancy of the region in which it is located. This building was selected due to the multi-function spaces, and the challenges that some unique building features would pose during a fire scenario. This report describes the building site in detail and provides context surrounding the location, use, and history for fire and life safety evaluation.

The Adult Education Facility is approximately 21,600 sq. ft. and its construction is most consistent with Type II-B Construction. The prescriptive-based analysis within this report includes a review of the applicable codes for building height and allowable area, occupancy classification, and fire resistance requirements. The fire sprinkler system and fire detection and alarm systems are analyzed, and egress capacity analysis is performed. The building meets the prescriptive requirements.

A performance-based analysis was performed to determine the performance of the building under the condition of a design fire to demonstrate the strain on the exiting fire protection system, taking into consideration the building’s hazards, population size, building configuration, and egress pathways. A design fire was placed in the east wing corridor that over time has begun to resemble a lounge space rather than the main egress pathway. The tenability criteria of maintaining the smoke layer interface on the Second Floor above 6 ft was analyzed to determine available safe egress time (ASET) using fluid dynamics simulator (FDS) Modeling. The design fire was developed from the energy transfer of the initial fuel package and determining the time for ignition of the second object that contributes to the fuel package. The ASET was determined to be 170 seconds.

The total building occupant load is 1,487 people. The time for total evacuation was calculated for the occupants taking 409 seconds to exit the building providing the required safe egress time (RSET) of 6.81 minutes.

The ASET (3.98 minutes) is less than the RSET (6.81 minutes) for the building and its occupants, meaning it takes longer for the occupants to safely egress from the building than what is available for the population based on the design fire.

Five recommendations were developed to help reduce this disparity. The recommendations include upgrading the notification devices, rating the corridor, enhance the egress capabilities by correcting door swing non-compliances, revising the function of one assembly space and the second floor west stairway egress capacity should be increased to 102 inches based on the occupant load egress distribution hand calculations. The corridor shall be maintained as a sterile space from fuel loads as well as obstructions.



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