A study of implementing performance-based design for fire safety provisions in higher education institutes

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A study of implementing performance-based design for fire safety provisions in higher education institutes


Author: Kong, Siu-man Kenny
Title: A study of implementing performance-based design for fire safety provisions in higher education institutes
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2011
Subject: College buildings -- Fires and fire prevention
Building, Fireproof -- Design and construction.
Fire protection engineering.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Building Services Engineering
Pages: viii, 80, 10 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2462497
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6267
Abstract: The fire codes in Hong Kong were developed a few decades ago which are intended to be used for buildings with simple design and non-complex usage. However, the modern architectural design has given rise to some new building features such as window-walled and curtain-walled building facades, atria, and so on. It is virtually beyond question that fire codes should be updated regularly in order to cope with the change of our living environment so that a suitable level of fire safety can be maintained while creative and innovative building design is not restrained by the old or inflexible fire codes. On the other hand, the usage of building in a Higher Education Institute (HEI) is nowadays seldom for lecturing or office purpose only, yet there is apparently no specific prescriptive fire design standard for HEI. Moreover, substantial much more books, paper and document are stored in a lecture's or a professor's office HEI than a ordinary commercial office. In this connection, a survey of fire load density (FLD) had been carried out to assess the fire load in the offices of a HEI. Accordingly, numerical studies of evacuation computer model by using EXODUS 4.0 had been performed to estimate both the cumulated waiting time and the total evacuation time for evacuation from a HEI building under different scenanos. Lastly, full scale burning test had been set up to compare the flashover time and the cumulated waiting time and the total evacuation time required in the aforementioned numerical studies. The results revealed that a fire door of 30 minutes fire resistant period can barely contain the fire within the office of HEI when the occupancy density is 2 persons per square meter and one escape staircase is blocked. In other words, fire hazard in higher educational buildings is not as low as some people may think and it is actually comparable with the risk in an airport terminal exhibition center or other large building complexes. Different usage and occupancy together with high populations create potential fire risks and dangers. This research has investigated the possibilities of implementing fire engineering approach, or performance-based design (PBD) in higher institutional buildings in order to enhance the overall fire safety through proper building design, management and maintenance. The research covered the following: - Deficiencies of the existing fire codes and regulations. - Appropriate PBD on fire safety for FSI. - Propose appropriate methods in form of engineering performance-based approach applicable to the local building industry. - Impact of implementing PBD to the local industry. - Local parameters for PBD. - Areas which further research for PBD are required.

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