Engineering: University of Canterbury Fire Engineering Programme Research Publications

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Reports written by students and staff as part of the University of Canterbury Fire Engineering Programme


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Now showing 1 - 20 of 98
  • ItemOpen Access
    Incorporating refuge floors in a network model : fire engineering research report : a project.
    (University of Canterbury, 2012) Glasgow, Daryn
    The modern urban landscape in many of the world's largest cites is increasingly becoming the domain of tall, super-tall and mega-tall buildings. These present designers and architects with a myriad of unique and challenging issues as a result of putting very large numbers of people at very high elevation, remote from their final exit to street level. One feature of such buildings which is designed to provide some efficiency to the egress solution, as well as improve life safety by giving occupants a location of relative safety which they can evacuate to in the event of an emergency, is the fire isolated refuge area or level within the building. EvacuatioNZ is a computer based network evacuation model being developed by the University of Canterbury. This research report covers the development of functionality within this model in which refuge areas and levels can be incorporated in the egress solution. The research offers a range of proposed functions and carries out some simple verification of their incorporation to a point where it is considered that the required functionality is working correctly. The work then takes this newly incorporated functionality and applies it to a real-life design case study - Signature Tower, proposed in the Jakarta CBD, on which the author is the lead fire and life safety engineer. This 111 level tower (638 m) and its potential design population of over 21,000 occupants pushes EvacuatioNZ to its limits and identifies a number of areas for computational improvement in the model itself. As part of the case study, the EvacuatioNZ model was compared to the commercial STEPS evacuation model developed by Mott MacDonald Ltd, which is being used for the Signature Tower design. At the macro level the EvacuatioNZ model simulated longer evacuation times compared to STEPS in predicting the performance of the egress solution. This was identified as primarily due to the handling of stair and door flow rates between the two models. At smaller scales within the geometry though (such as evacuation of individual floors), the two models produced very similar results. This comparative study featured no validation of these results against real evacuation data. The model also demonstrates its value as a tool in the early stages of design, being easy to set up and agile enough to allow constant design change. Improvements in processing efficiency and therefore runtime will make it even more valuable as iterative design 'experimentation' or even Monte Carlo style analysis could be undertaken to explore key elements of the egress solution.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploratory Salt Water Experiments of Balcony Spill Plume Using Laser Induced Fluorescence Technique
    (University of Canterbury. Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, 1998) Yii, Ee Hieng
    This report investigates the potential of applying salt water modelling using the Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) flow visualisation technique to study balcony spill plume phenomena. A 1120 scale perspex model was used to conduct a series of salt water experiments. The testing parameters include two balcony settings (125mm and 250mm in model scale) and two spilling densities (0.5% and 1.0% of salt by weight). Through the study, results showed that good flow visualisation could be achieved using the LIF technique. The main advantage of using the salt water modelling technique was the ease in modifying the model's geometry or testing conditions. These modifications would not result in huge changes in the data acquisition systems as in either the full or small scale fire tests. The smoke layer within the compartment was simulated by the injection of a saline layer. By doing this, a quantitatively correct counter flow at the doorway was achieved, as in the real fire situation. This method also provided greater control over the injected flow and the flow was found to be repeatable. From the results obtained, it was found that there was a small degree of entrainment at the rotational region of the balcony spill plume. It was also observed that the presence of the soffit at the opening would result in significant entrainment into the underbalcony flow layer. Smoke logging on the upper balcony was found to be more severe with a shorter balcony than a longer balcony; this was due to the local deepening effect. The salt water results collected in this study could not be converted into the equivalent fire results at this stage. There are still many questions regarding the issue of scaling salt water results to full scale fire cases. Future research on the scaling laws needs to be done before the full potential of the salt water modelling technique could be utilised.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Fire Resistance of Light Timbered Frames Walls and Floors
    (University of Canterbury. Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, 1997) Thomas, G C
    The structural fire resistance of light timber frame walls and floors has traditionally been determined by using standard fire resistance tests to provide a Fire Resistance Rating (FRR). The required FRR was prescribed by building codes and had little relation to likely fire severity. More recently, simple formulae have been used to determine an appropriate FRR given the ventilation parameters of a compartment, the likely fuel load and to a lesser extent the thermal properties of the compartment boundaries. The work described in this thesis determines the validity of these formulae for light timber frame walls and floors and other materials. It is shown that, computer modelling can be used to determine the thermal and structural performance of light timber frame walls and floors exposed to fire. The COMPF-2 program can be used with modification to model compartment fires. The thermal behaviour of cavity walls and floors exposed to fire can be modelled accurately using the T ASEF program. The structural behaviour of light timber frame walls and floors exposed to fire can be modelled using a general purpose finite element program, such as ABAQUS. The temperature dependent thermal properties used in the thermal model and the temperature dependent mechanical properties used in the structural model may not be absolutely accurate values, but are effective values that are (modifications of known values within a reasonable range) determined in the calibration process. A simple temperature based failure criterion has been devised for the structural response of light timber frame walls and floors exposed to fires. This study shows that simple time equivalent formulae are not suitable for the prediction of such a complex and variable phenomenon as the response of structures to fire. For accurate prediction of structural response under fire exposure, a more rigorous computer based analysis can be used to give much more reliable results than a simple time equivalent method.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Comparison Studies of Zone and CFD Fire Simulations
    (University of Canterbury. Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, 1998) Lovatt, André
    Comparisons between the results of zone and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) fire model simulations have been made; the zone model used was FAST (Peacock et al., 1997) and the CFD model used was SOFIE (Welch and Rubini, 1996). The underlying goal of this research is to investigate the limitations of zone models for the fire safety design of large enclosures. Three different sized fires have been simulated m two different sized enclosures: 1. A domestic-sized enclosure measuring 3.7m long x 2.5m wide x 2.5m high. 2. An industrial-sized enclosure measuring 41m long x 11m wide x 11m high. The fire sizes simulated were 330, 430, and 500kW for the domestic-sized enclosure and 300, and 600kW for the industrial-sized enclosure. The results of these simulations have been compared based on interface height and average upper layer temperature. Two definitions of interface height have been used- theN-percent method by Cooper et al. (1982) and a height derivative of temperature approach, which defines an interface at the point of maximum change in temperature with height. The comparisons between the two fire simulation techniques show that the comparisons are dependant on which definition of interface height is used; the Npercent method was not preferred because of the lack of any theoretical basis for its use, and its inability to define an interface in locations where the temperature gradient from the floor to the ceiling was small. The comparisons between the zone and CFD simulations show that for the domestic-sized enclosure, the CFD results derived average upper layer temperatures between 30 and 40% of the average upper layer temperature derived by the zone model. The CFD results indicated that the interface height was between 50 and 80% of the interface height derived by the zone model. For the industrial-sized enclosure, the CFD results derived average upper layer temperatures between 56 and 96% of the average upper layer temperature derived by the zone model. The CFD results indicated that the interface height was between 0 and 183% of the interface height derived by the zone model. Generally, the interface height predicted by the CFD model was higher than the interface height predicted by the zone model. When the enclosure boundaries are assumed to be adiabatic, zone models over-predict (compared to the CFD simulations) the average upper layer temperature for cases where the volumetric heat release rate is large.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Guideline for the Fire Design of Shopping Centres
    (University of Canterbury. Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, 2000) McMillan, Jenny
    This report provides guidelines for the specific fire engineering design of low-rise sprinklered shopping centres in New Zealand. Shopping centres have particular attributes that contribute to fire safety, including their layout with wide malls leading to large exits to the outside, large access routes between levels for shopper movement, occupants that are generally alert and mobile and a level of management control. The features of shopping centres are outlined including their attributes which relate to fires and fire safety. The report includes a study of fires in shopping centres including case studies of fires in shopping centres, simulated fire tests and fire locations. A survey was undertaken of nine shopping centres in New Zealand. The survey looked at the aspects of shopping centres that may have an influence on fire safety. The results of the survey are included in the report. Design fires for shopping centres are broadly divided into 3 classes as a function of fire size: Cl (fires which are kept small without the presence of sprinklers), C2 (fires controlled by the presence of sprinklers) and C3 (fires which are uncontrolled by sprinklers). A design procedure is proposed in which scenario analysis is used to demonstrate fire safety in the event of a C2 or C3 fire. The likelihood of a C3 fire occurring in a shopping centre with a soundly managed sprinkler system is very small, therefore the C2 fire is the primary design fire. In a C3 fire, however,. the occupants must be able to escape from the building. In the event of a C2 fire, the smoke management system is designed such that the mall remains tenable, giving an 'infinite' time for the occupants to egress. The C3 fire is the fire used for the design of the fire resistance of the structural and containment elements. It is also the secondary design fire for the smoke management system.The requirements for the detection and sprinkler system, containment elements, the structure, smoke management systems, surface finishes, the Fire Service and fire fighting and property protection are outlined.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Fire Rated Seismic Joints
    (University of Canterbury. Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, 2000) James, M N
    This report reviews the design, selection testing, installation and performance of fire rated seismic joints from first principles then compares this with current standards and codes of practice around the world. It reviews generic seismic joint designs in use today and the problems that can arise during the selection and installation phase of the job. It makes recommendations for the first principle examination of joint installation experience. One of the key findings of the report is the need to clearly be able to convey the range of movement expected from a seismic joint to the manufacturer, designer, specifier, installer and later the building owner or maintenance or fit-out workers. To assist this a labelling system for joints has been developed and a web site produced to allow the viewer to dynamically see how joints move by inputting a range of movements.
  • ItemOpen Access
    New Zealand Building Regulations Five Years Later
    (University of Canterbury. Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, 1997) Hubbard, Dennis B.; Pastore, Timothy M.
    The objective of this Interactive Qualifying Project was to examine the educational system surrounding New Zealand's performance-based building code. This report addresses a basic history of the code and the associated educational system, as well as highlights major areas of discussion. The report describes areas of weakness in the present system and makes recommendations for improvement, including new mechanisms for information transfer and stronger qualification procedures.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Full-Scale Testing of Fire Suppression Agents on Unshielded Fires
    (University of Canterbury. Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, 1998) Dunn, Michael J
    A comparison is made between CAFS (compressed air Foam), HPD (High Pressure Discharge) and HPD with Class A Solution on unshielded post flashover compartment fires. Extinguishment was carried out by trained fire fighters using hand held lines, whilst the method of attack was carried out following New Zealand Fire Service operating procedures. The effectiveness of each method was determined, by recording the heat release rate using the method of Oxygen Calorimetry. Knockdown effectiveness was also evaluated by recording internal compartment temperatures with the use of thermocouples. In addition comments from firefighters have been recorded and video footage reviewed so that a qualitative assessment could also be made. It was found that CAFS performed more effectively than HPD or Class A solution, in that less water was needed to obtain a similar knockdown performance. No noticeable benefit was obtained when Class A solution was added to the unmodified HPD line. The biggest advantage of CAFS over the other methods was the ability in being able to attack the compartment indirectly from a distance, which has additional benefits with respect to fire fighter safety.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Fire Response of HVAC Systems in Multistorey Buildings: An Examination of the NZBC Acceptable Solutions
    (University of Canterbury. Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, 1999) Dixon, M J
    It is recognised that smoke is the major killer in most fires. In buildings with mechanical heating, ventilation or air conditioning (HVAC) systems the traditional reaction to a fire was to shut the HVAC system down, although in recent years some buildings have included a smoke management mode as part of their HVAC system, and/or have dedicated smoke management equipment (eg stair pressurisation). The current Building Code Approved Documents give little guidance on the appropriate actions for HVAC systems to take in the event of a fire, and some requirements of the Acceptable Solutions are unclear. The objective stated in the Approved Documents is to avoid allowing smoke to spread to other firecells via the air conditioning system. HVAC systems can be utilised to actively manage smoke movement and can achieve this in a variety of ways. This report attempts to provide some improvements to the Approved Documents and to give general guidelines to assist non-mechanical fire engineers and non-fire mechanical engineers in designing or specifying appropriate responses to a fire in a typical multistorey building. The report does not examine smoke control in atria or other large spaces. The various generic classes of ventilation or air conditioning systems are described and the appropriate behaviour of each under fire conditions is discussed. Results of some computer modelling of air (and cold smoke) flows around typical buildings are presented. The modelling indicates that the current levels at which active smoke control is invoked in the Acceptable Solutions are appropriate. It also suggests that the frequent practice of shutting off the ventilation system on a fire alarm may not be the best solution to managing smoke flows within the building. Particular sections of the Acceptable Solutions relating to mechanical ventilation which are unclear or confusing are also discussed with suggested amendments proposed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Risk Ranking of Buildings for Life Safety
    (University of Canterbury. Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, 1997) Boyes, James
    A risk assessment model has been developed in the form of a checksheet using a risk ranking system to assess the fire risk of buildings in terms of life safety. This involves a simple points system which assigns scores to various hazard and protection features of a building. These scores are then manipulated using addition and multiplication to arrive at an overall risk score for the building. The final value which represents the risk of the building is obtained using the definition of risk where risk is equal to the product of the likelihood of a fire occurring and its consequences. The proposed model which focuses on risk in terms of life safety can be extended to include property protection, environmental impact and social impact. . It was found that the influences that human behaviour has on the fire risk within a building are significant and very difficult to quantify.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Full Residential-Scale Backdraft
    (University of Canterbury. Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, 1995) Bollinger, Ivan
    This project focused on the effects of scale on the backdraft phenomena. A full residential-scale compartment was constructed using a shipping container. An extensive amount of time and effort was taken, in order to design and construct a compartment in which backdrafts may be safely simulated and observed. To determine the effects of scale, results were compared with previous work (Fleischmann et al. 1993) which included quantitative backdraft experiments in a half residential-scale apparatus. The dimensions of the full scale compartment was constructed to give dimensions comparable to those of the half scale apparatus. For this comparison 21 experiments were conducted. Results include: energy flow rates, species concentrations (CH4, 0 2, C02), temperature and pressure histories, vent flows and gravity current velocities. Experiments retained consistent conditions, with only two controlled variables; gas flow rate and time. Varying these the total unbumt hydrocarbon (methane) concentration in the compartment prior to a backdraft was varied. The most significant uncontrolled variable was the ambient wind condition. This had a substantial effect on the results of each experiment. Conclusions that may be gained from this research are that scale has no obvious effect on backdraft. For a backdraft to occur the required total unbumt hydrocarbon concentration must be above 15%.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sprinkler Trade Off Clauses in the Approved Documents
    (University of Canterbury. Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, 1997) Barnes, G J
    Sprinkler trade offs are clauses in the approved documents that allow various reductions in passive protection, maximum fire cell areas or maximum path lengths where an approved sprinkler system is present. Sprinkler trade offs have been present in New Zealand since they were introduced into NZS 1900 Chapter 5 in its 12th amendment in 1978. They have been progressively added and to NZS 1900 Chapter 5 and more recently to the Approved Documents of the New Zealand Building Code, up to the final ammendment in December 1995. By conducting an analysis of the approved documents and overseas building codes, a risk analysis and a cost benefit analysis this report concludes that sprinkler trade off clauses are a valuable tool in ensuring fire safety in this country. If the clauses are utilised the protection will be economical over 30 years and not endanger the occupants of the buildings or their contents. The level of trade offs is presently set at a level that may be considered a bare minimum to ensure safety in the event of a sprinkler failure. In specific situations where property protection may be lowered by the removal of some passive systems, it may be prudent for the owner to not use all the permitted trade offs, especially if the building contents are valuable or considered vital to business.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Node Network Computer Modelling and a Simple Hand Calculation Compared with Contemporary High Rise Evacuation Case Study Data
    (University of Canterbury. Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, 2012) Hay, Garth Stephen
    Tall buildings are becoming more common in the modern built environment and the method of evacuating or moving to a place of safety using the stairs is still the primary means of egress. Typically designers use tools such as computer models and hand calculations to predict the time taken for occupants to evacuate to an exit or place of safety. However, increasing trends of obesity, age and a sedentary lifestyle is raising questions about the accuracy of some of the tools. As the tools are based on case study data carried out in the 1980’s. This research compares evacuation performance of case study buildings to the predictions by Pauls’ simplified hand calculation and the EvacuatioNZ computer model. The comparison uses four multi-storey buildings from the case study data, ranging from 11 to 27 stories high. The research will also investigate the effect of how the building is represented in EvacuatioNZ on the performance of the prediction and make recommendations in best practice for further work. Results from the comparisons shows EvacuatioNZ is within 15% for total egress time of the case study data in six out of eight of the stairs. The average difference of EvacuatioNZ to the case study is 8.6%. Further comparisons of exit flow rate and descent speed show EvacuatioNZ is within 10% of the case study data in five out of eight of the stairs. Paul’s simplified hand calculation predicts a total egress time which is 6% to 38% shorter than the case study data. Modifying the equation to equalise stair entry delay improves the prediction to a difference of 0.9% to 31%. The modified equation is within 10% in five out of eight stairs. The comparisons for EvacuatioNZ indicate predictions which are generally with 10-15%. However individual performance is not investigated and this area should be fully investigated to answer concerns about contemporary occupants and their ability to descend multiple flights of stairs. Further work should include a larger range of data, particularly exploring building height and population. Given the recommendations are followed and more data becomes available for further work to support this research; EvacuatioNZ could be used as a tool for predicting evacuations in multi-storey buildings. Pauls’ hand calculation is not recommended for predictions of multi-storey evacuations without a safety factor. Differences between the prediction and case study result were improved with a modification of the equation to account for the case study stair entry times.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Fire Fighting Water: A Review of Fire Fighting Water Requirements A New Zealand Perspective
    (University of Canterbury. Civil Engineering, 2000) Davis, Simon
    This paper seeks to identify a linkage between the requirements for fire fighting water and building design. This paper reviews existing methods to calculate fire fighting water requirements and comments on their applicability in the context of fire service tactics. Defining what constitutes an adequate supply of water for fire fighting is also central to planning fire service operations. The provision of water for fire fighting operations is a significant infrastructure cost borne by the community as the fire fighting requirements dominates the sizing of the network elements. This paper reviews work undertaken to date and seeks to offer a methodology that supports the fire engineering approach being adopted in performance based building codes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Fire Spread on Exterior Walls
    (University of Canterbury. Civil Engineering, 2000) Bong, Felix Nyuk Poh
    This report describes methods of predicting heat flux exposure to external walls due to the impingement of flame issuing through a window opening. A heat transfer model was set up for the purpose of predicting the geometry of the emerging flame and the resultant heat flux exposure to the wall surface. An existing flame spread model implemented in the BRANZFIRE model was selected for characterising the flame spread on exterior wall cladding materials, as a function of the heat flux exposure (from the projecting flame to the wall) and the material flammability properties of the wall material. Modifications were made to the flame spread model. The result was a prediction of rate and extent of the upward flame spread as a function of time and the heat release rate of the burning cladding material. It is concluded that the flame spread model has the potential to determine the flame spread characteristics associated with four different cladding materials. The flame spread model gave conservative prediction for three of the tested cladding materials. Overall, the heat transfer model seems to predict the total heat flux density received by the exposing wall with reasonable accuracy. Further validation of the heat transfer model is needed before it can be successfully integrated into the flame spread model to provide a useful tool for characterising flame spread and estimating the heat flux exposure conditions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Domestic Fire Hazard in New Zealand
    (University of Canterbury. Civil Engineering, 1997) Irwin, K D J
    This report presents features of domestic fires within New Zealand over the period 1986 to 1994 inclusive. It consists of an analysis of the New Zealand Fire Incident Reporting System (FIRS) that the Fire Service completes for every incident it responds to. Areas investigated are the area of fire origin, equipment involved in ignition, form of heat of ignition, type of material first ignited, form of material first ignited, and the ignition factor or cause. Features of the casualties such as their location at the time of injury, activity at time of injury, day of week injured, time of day injured, and age of those injured have been investigated. A literature search of socio-economic features that affect the incidence of domestic fires and the effectiveness of smoke alarms is included.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Under-Ventilated Compartment Fires - A Precursor to Smoke Explosions
    (University of Canterbury. Civil Engineering, 1996) Parkes, Anthony Richard
    Fourteen experiments were conducted at the University of Canterbury using a 1.0m x 1.0m x 1.5m compartment with liquid pool fires. They were conducted to experimentally study, in reduced scale, the conditions that exist in under-ventilated compartments, with a focus on smoke explosions. Ventilation into the compartment was controlled to force the fire to burn to extinction, with the temperatures and fuel mass loss rates being recorded. In the process of determining these conditions, the behavioural properties of various building materials and their limitations showed testament to the difficulties that arise when attempting to control a natural energy. Trying to build a compartment to contain fires of temperatures up to 1100°C, was in itself a testing process. The initial fire resistant building materials used, were found to have adverse effects when repeatedly exposed to fires. Although a smoke explosion was not produced, steady state mass loss values for various ventilation openings were found. These were then used to produce a very good ventilation dependent mass loss trend line. The point of extinction of these fires was found, which will be of use in further research. The fires conducted in the experiments were supplied with minimal oxygen, and all produced excessive quantities of unburnt fuel. This was due to the generation of pyrolyzates as a result of the radiative feedback off the compartment walls, diffusion flame and gas layer. The fire initially burns in the pan, until all oxygen within the compartment has been depleted. At this point the combustion transfers from inside the pan, to burn in the localised vicinity around the pan where oxygen is able to penetrate. The combustion then progresses through a transition stage, in which the flame front moves from the rear of the compartment, to the front. This involves a period where the flames oscillates backwards and forwards from the vent. Steady state burning occurs continuously within the vent. Once steady state burning in the vent is achieved, no degree of ventilation reduction, except full sealed closure, would result in extinction of the fire. A fire occurring at this stage is fully fuelled from the volatilisation of the liquid pool at the rear of the compartment. The mass loss of fuel due to this type of burning is found to be well in excess of that available to ventilation controlled stoichiometric burning. The neutral plane layer was found to be located at approximately the mid-height of the opening and little effect is seen on the location of the neutral plane layer at these low ventilation limits.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Smoke Explosions
    (University of Canterbury. Civil Engineering, 1999) Sutherland, B J
    Eleven experiments were conducted at the University of Canterbury using a 1.0 metre by 1.0 metre by 1.5 metre compartment and wooden crib fires. The main objective of these experiments was to produce smoke explosions, and to develop a mechanism that explains their occurrence. Spontaneous smoke explosions were produced in four experiments. The largest of these explosions produced pressures in excess of 2.5 kPa. All the smoke explosions produced were the result of smouldering fires, all of which started out as under-ventilated fires. Of the six smoke explosions produced, investigation of the results indicates that a single process was responsible for the occurrence of each explosion. A mechanism was developed for the smoke explosions. Oxygen concentration is suspected as the trigger that determines when the explosion occurs.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Effect of Surface Area and Thickness on Fire Loads
    (University of Canterbury. Civil Engineering, 2000) Yii, H. W. (Jennifer)
    The report reviews the effect of surface area and thickness of fire loads in predicting the value of the heat release rate. The investigation arises from current Ph. D research at the University of Canterbury identifying the need for fire load data, which also includes the exposed surface area of the fuel items, so that the rate and duration of burning can be better assessed, especially during post-flashover fires. This is because at some stage of the fire, the fuel is no longer dependent on the ventilation characteristics but the surface area exposed to the fire. The investigation of the effect of surface and thickness on fire load is first carried out with the burning of single items, such as furniture normally found in each building occupancy. Later, fire load surveys on a range of typical building occupancies, such as university offices, motels and residential are conducted. Simple models for calculating the surface area of the fire load, especially for wood and plastic materials have been determined. Based on the methodology developed for the investigation, it is found that the larger the exposure of the fuel surface area to the fire, the higher the heat release rate, and the thicker the fuel, the longer the duration of burning. In other words, the value of the heat release rate is a function of the surface area, while the duration of burning is a function of the thickness of the fuel. Burning behaviour of the fire load inside a fire compartment during a post-flashover fire, based on the exposed surface to the fire is also presumed. Previous fire load surveys conducted are also included for comparisons of the results. Recommendations for future study of the effect of the surface area and thickness on fire loads during a fire are provided.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Fire Safety Design of Apartment Buildings
    (University of Canterbury. Civil Engineering, 2001) Wu, Shao-Hoong
    In Australia and New Zealand, residential buildings have the highest number of fire fatalities each year, compared to any other occupancy type. The majority of these fatalities occur in single family dwellings, but a proportion of these fatalities occur in apartment buildings. Apartment building fires also have the potential to be high fatality fires, due to greater occupant numbers and more complex egress paths. With the movement away from prescriptive building codes, building fire safety design can become more efficient and effective. This should ultimately result in equivalent or better fire safety for occupants, and economical savings with respect to the building codes. The objective of this research report is to discuss the primary issues concerning apartment buildings and to provide a guidance matrix for the fire safety design of apartment buildings, that comprehensively integrates all aspects of fire safety. The fire safety design matrix is presented as a three by two matrix, which recommends minimum fire safety measures based on building height, sprinkler protection and the building emergency plan. The selection of fire safety measures is based on providing multiple levels of protection for the occupants, and addressing the primary characteristics of different apartment buildings.