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OBJECTIVE BASED CODES, PERFORMANCE BASED DESIGN AND FIRE MODELLING

For the first time the National Building Code of Canada has been written as an objective based Code. The previous prescriptive requirements exist in addition to the new objective based format. All Provincial Codes based on the National Building Code formally permit a performance based design for buildings. In most circumstances, a complete performance based design is not practical as the level of review and analysis would be significant. However, it is common that specific objectives of the Building Code may be met by performance based design and alternative solutions.

In performance based design, a fire protection engineer utilizes the tools of fire science to review and analyse a specific building design material or system to determine whether or not the objectives of the Building Code are met.

Fire protection engineers with CFT Engineering Inc. are experienced in utilizing these tools. Although this field of performance based design is relatively new, it is expanding in its use and acceptance by local authorities. Tools utilized by our fire protection engineers would include:

  • Zone fire models, such as CFAST.
  • Computational fluid dynamic modelling (CFD).
  • Exiting and timed egress analysis.
  • Analysis of structural fire protection or other building systems for fire protection.
  • Materials assessment and performance relative to fire behaviour.
  • Material and assembly analysis with respect to heat transfer.
  • Review and assessment of smoke management systems.