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Code Officials Guide to PBD Review
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Performance-based design is an engineering approach to fire protection design based on established fire safety objectives and functional statements, analysis of fire scenarios, and assessment of designs based on the objectives and functional statement s. Performance-based design differs from traditional prescriptive design in that specific methods for achieving compliance with the design intent are established by the design team, subject to the code official’s concurrence, and that a fire/life safety solution is developed that is tailored to the specific building, fire and occupant characteristics contained within the building being assessed.

Performance-based design offers many benefits that are not available when using prescriptive design. A performance-based design gives code officials the discretion to allow the safety features of a building based on the specific hazards and risks and community expectations for building performance.

The review of performance-based designs typically requires greater knowledge and time than reviewing prescriptive designs. The SFPE Code Official’s Guide to Performance-Based Design Review guide provides information to assist code officials review performance-based designs.

The PBD Review Process is represented by the following flowchart:

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