Fire Design of Single Storey Industrial Buildings
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameFire Engineering Research Report 96/3
This report aims to establish a design methodology for meeting basic fire safety objectives within single storey industrial buildings using a 'common-sense' approach. A wide range of fire safety issues are addressed, ranging from environmental protection to life safety and structural performance. The emphasis is on meeting the performance requirements of the New Zealand Building Code for fire safety and hazard management. Given that industrial buildings are likely to fall into a high fire hazard category, alternative fire engineering design methods are deemed necessary for Building Code compliance. Attention is also given to issues that are not part of Building Code requirements or acceptable solutions. A fire safety strategy is recommended for an industrial site, with the focus on establishing a level of 'acceptable loss'. A risk assessment provides the means to meet loss control objectives. This should form the basis for a new buildings' fire protection design, plus the on-going fire safety management programme. Automatic alarms are considered essential for life safety and property protection, with sprinklers being the only method of controlling a fire within a typical industrial complex. The Fire Service cannot be expected to attack and suppress a fire from receiving an alarm call without sprinkler support. The Fire Service can, however, be expected to control the spread of fire to neighbouring property given certain conditional events work in their favour. The act of prewetting neighbouring combustible surfaces and thereby increasing the critical radiation intensity for pilot ignition, is considered very effective in preventing fire spread. Increasing fire rating requirements for boundary walls based on withstanding equivalent fire severities for the 'design' fire, is considered overly conservative. A maximum rating of 4 hours is recommended for any boundary wall. This recommendation is based on maximum values used in overseas Codes and assumes that boundary walls are connected to primary support structures and adjoining wall panels, so that if they fail they collapse inwards as one complete unit. The report provides a comprehensive list of conclusions that expand on the above overview, plus recommends areas for future research.
SubjectsField of Research::09 - Engineering::0905 - Civil Engineering::090506 - Structural Engineering
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