Performance-Based Fire Safety Design

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The SFPE Guide to Performance-Based Fire Safety Design

Publisher: SFPE Publish Date: 2015
Pages: 203 ISBN: 978-3-319-94696-2


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The SFPE Engineering Guide to Performance-Based Fire Protection Analysis and Design of Buildings was first published in 2000.  The guide was developed for engineers in recognition of the increased acceptance of performance-based design. Prior to publication of the Guide, performance-based design was generally practiced on an ad hoc basis, where the design process was determined by the engineer performing the design in consultation with project stakeholders.  The Guide provides a process for performance-based design; however, recognizing that each performance-based design is different, this process is intended to be flexible.

Performance-based codes and design methods from several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the Nordic countries, were consulted in developing the first edition of this Guide.  However, since the publication of the first edition, several new performance-based codes have been published.  Additionally, additional experience has been gained during the six years between the publication of the first edition and publication of this second edition, and the Guide has been revised based on this new information. 

The second edition of this guide was published in 2007. It outlines a process for using a performance-based approach in the design and assessment of building fire safety within both prescriptive and performance-based code systems.  It is intended that this guide serve as a resource in the pursuit of a building or fire regulation’s performance-based design option, or in the development of an equivalent means of protection to prescriptive code requirements. This guide can also serve as a stand-alone resource where no building or fire regulations are applicable, or where protection above and beyond that specified by building and fire regulations is desired.  

The intent of the guide is as follows:

  • This guide provides a process by which engineers can develop fire protection measures that provide levels of safety, deemed acceptable by the stakeholders, without imposing unnecessary constraints on other aspects of building design and operation.
  • This guide provides guidance that can be used by both qualified engineers and authorities having jurisdiction as a means to determine and document that specific fire safety goals are achieved for specific fire hazards for a particular project.
  • This guide identifies parameters that should be considered in performance-based analysis or design.