SFPE WEBINAR - EVACUATION STRATEGIES IN AN OFFICE BUILDING
Time & Location
About the Event
Presented by: Matteo Pugnalin, Performance Based Design Manager, Guidi & Partners S.r.l; Linda Caira, Performance Based Design Engineer, Guidi & Partners S.r.l.
One of the most important challenge for modern Engineers is to re-use existing buildings that often also have an historical value and cannot easily modified. In this landscape, Fire Engineers need to guarantee a safety level equal or greater than that of new building one.
Prescriptive codes usually refer to new building and do not take in to account existing ones where it is not easy modify layout and materials, especially if an historical restriction is present.
In this abstract, a real case is analyzed, concerning the adjustment of a public office building to Italian Fire Prevention requirements. The respect of prescriptive codes is not totally compliance and so performance based design (PBD) solutions are required.
Principal critical points regard the egress routes; Italian Fire Code  requires at least two emergency stairs that connect every floor, but, in the case study, it is not possible to satisfy this prescription. Historical restrictions do not permit to realize an additional emergency stair. Possible solutions to this problem are two: to change the kind of activity inside the building (intended use, occupant typology, people density, etc.) or to switch from a prescriptive approach to a performance based design one (admitted in Italian Fire Code)