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A study of the use of a performance‐based approach to fire safety design in buildings

S.M. Lo (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
C.M. Zhao (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
K.K. Yuen (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

Structural Survey

ISSN: 0263-080X

Article publication date: 30 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

Traditionally, buildings are designed in accordance with prescriptive building and fire codes. Rapid urbanization causes an increase in urban population and commercial activities, and an increase in demand for large and complex buildings. Buildings that have been constructed in accordance with the old prescriptive requirements may not have the same fire safety level as the standard enforced today, even if all fire safety items are maintained at the original design standard. It is the usual practice that any upgrading or alteration works to be carried out in an existing building are required to comply with the requirements currently enforced. The demand for using a performance‐based approach for designing large complex buildings as well as alteration works in existing or historical buildings is increasing. The paper aims to discuss the issues involved

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a brief comparison of the use of performance‐based fire safety design in three locations and presents the use of a system dynamics model to examine how the technological investment will affect the use of performance‐based fire safety design.

Findings

The model predicts that increased investment by the Hong Kong authorities would see a rise in the number of building projects using a performance‐based approach within a few years.

Originality/value

The research in this paper provides guidance to the building control regime in Hong Kong on how to achieve an increase in the use of a fire‐engineered approach to enhance fire safety design in buildings.

Keywords

Citation

Lo, S.M., Zhao, C.M. and Yuen, K.K. (2008), "A study of the use of a performance‐based approach to fire safety design in buildings", Structural Survey, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 131-141. https://doi.org/10.1108/02630800810883067

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited