Full Session with Abstracts
Various organizations have developed guidelines and frameworks for implementing performance-based fire engineering on buildings. The AISC Specification Appendix 4 allows engineers to use advanced analysis approaches to evaluate and analyze buildings under fire loading conditions. The Structural Stability Research Council (SSRC) is developing a chapter on Stability Under Fire that provides engineers with references for detailing and designing for stability of connections, members, and frames in steel-frame buildings. More recently, the ASCE Fire Protection Committee developed a Manual of Practice for Performance-Based Fire Engineering. These documents collectively provide engineers with the “how to” for performance-based fire engineering. However, there is a gap between these documents and the implementation of performance-based fire engineering. Particularly with regards to the questions: When should performance-based fire engineering be used? How is it beneficial to the project?
This study aims to quantify what the benefits of using performance-based fire engineering on high-performance buildings. High-performance buildings are those designed to a performance level above the basic code expected performance (i.e. floors controlled by vibration, immediate occupancy for seismic loading). These buildings have excess capacity at ambient temperatures under gravity only loading conditions. This investigation examined four variations of a 10-story steel-frame office building designed for vibration. The base building was designed using prescriptive design approaches, and subsequent variations changed the fire protection thickness and locations to end at a building designed using performance-based fire engineering. Each variation of the building compared the following parameters: cost, fire performance, global warming potential, safety, and schedule. The results of the study showed that implementing performance-based fire engineering in a high-performance building will improve the fire performance of the building while decreasing cost, global warming potential, and schedule of the project. The resulting building used exposed beams and girders with protected columns.