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: