MS in Fire Protection Engineering
College of Engineering
Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual
This fire and life safety analysis was performed on the Grant M. Brown Engineering Building in order to determine if the building meets the life safety goals set forth by a prescriptive and performance based analysis. This building was built to a strict set of codes and standards. For the prescriptive analysis the buildings egress design, fire detection and alarm systems, fire sprinkler system, occupancy classification, construction type, and structural fire protection are evaluated in terms of the life safety of the occupants. In the performance based design analysis four computer based programs were used to model egress and fire simulated conditions. These models produced outputs that could be compared to tenability limits for the occupants to determine if the Available Safe Egress Time (ASET) was longer than the Required Safe Egress Time (RSET). In the first design fire scenario a sofa located off the main exit corridor ignites. At 240 seconds the tenability limit for visibility is reached, setting the Available Safe Egress Time (ASET). Full evacuation of the building is accomplished by 191.5 seconds, leaving a margin of 48.5 seconds before conditions become untenable. This building passed the performance based design criteria for maintaining tenability of the occupants during the complete egress of the building. In the second design fire scenario a set of office storage cabinets located under the main exit stairs on the east side ignites. At 180 seconds the tenability limit for visibility is reached, setting the Available Safe Egress Time (ASET). Full evacuation of the building is accomplished by 252.3 seconds. This evacuation time is more than the first scenario because the stairs become unusable in terms of visual tenability 60 seconds after the start of the fire and thus forcing the second story occupants to have to use only the remaining stairs on the west side of the building. The Available Safe Egress Time does not exceed the Required Safe Egress Time. This building fails the performance based design criteria for maintaining tenability of the occupants during the complete egress of the building. The end of this analysis makes recommendations on how to improve the buildings fire safety from the results found in the study.