Analysis, Design & Performance

Full Session with Abstracts

338904-3 - Proposed Framework for a Reliability-Based Method to Calculate Structural Design Fires

Saturday, April 21
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Location: 203BC

Structural fire engineering is conducted in the presence of uncertainties arising from inherent randomness in many design parameters, imperfect modeling and lack of specific experience. Specifically, the calculation of the time-temperature history of an uncontrolled fire exposure (termed structural design fire) is an exceptionally uncertain aspect of a structural fire engineering design. Fortunately, structural fire engineers can learn from existing guidance on the subject and aspects of conventional structural engineering, which has a well-developed reliability-based framework.

Ventilation-controlled enclosure-type fires are of most interest to structural fire engineers. Accordingly, the SFPE Standards-Making Committee on Calculating Fire Exposures is currently developing a reliability-based design option for ventilation-controlled enclosure-type fire exposures within the second edition of the SFPE S.01 standard (Engineering Standard on Calculating Fire Exposures to Structures). This will involve developing guidance for fire exposure parameters that lack a reliability-based precedence (e.g., ventilation openings and extent of fire exposure), and accounting for imperfect modeling and lack of specific experience. Also, the reliability-based framework that the SFPE is developing will be risk-consistent and generally compatible with relevant industry standards. To inform the development of this proposed framework, the SFPE has collected and synthesized data from over 140 fully-developed / realistic fire tests. This database is primarily composed of cellulosic-type fires; however, about 10% are chemical in nature and about 20% involve mixed Class A materials.

This presentation will discuss the proposed reliability-based framework for structural design fires, and how it is envisioned to be applied to structural fire engineering designs per ASCE/SEI 7 Appendix E.

Kevin J. LaMalva

Senior Staff II / Fire Safety
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.

Mr. LaMalva joined Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. (SGH) in 2007 and is professionally registered as a Fire Protection Engineer and Civil Engineer. He is Chair of the ASCE/SEI Fire Protection Committee, and a member of numerous industry committees that conduct research and develop standards for structural fire safety. His work experience spans many areas of fire safety and structural engineering. He has been awarded the distinction of 2017 ENR Newsmaker for serving the “best interests of the construction industry and the public.”


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338904-3 - Proposed Framework for a Reliability-Based Method to Calculate Structural Design Fires

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