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authors Hadjisophocleous, G.V. and Benichou, N.
year 1999
title Performance criteria used in fire safety design
source Automation in Construction 8 (4) (1999) pp. 489-501
summary In many countries around the world, building codes are shifting from prescriptive- to performance-based for technical, economic, and social reasons. This move is made possible by progress in fire safety technologies, including the development of engineering tools that are required to implement performance codes. The development of performance-based codes follows a transparent, hierarchical structure in which there are usually three levels of objectives. The top level objectives usually state the functional requirements and the lowest level the performance criteria. Usually, one middle level exists, however, more levels can be used in this hierarchical structure depending on the complexity of the requirements. The success of performance-based codes depends on the ability to establish performance criteria that will be verifiable and enforceable. The performance criteria should be such that designers can easily demonstrate, using engineering tools, that their designs meet them and that the code authority can enforce them. This paper presents the performance criteria that are currently used by fire protection engineers in designing fire safety systems in buildings. These include deterministic and probabilistic design criteria as well as safety factors. The deterministic criteria relate mainly to life safety levels, fire growth and spread levels, fire exposure and structural performance. The probabilistic criteria focus on the incident severity and incident likelihood. Finally, the inclusion of safety factors permits a conservative design and allows for a smaller margin of error due to uncertainty in the models and the input data.
series journal paper
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