Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings

Very tall buildings have distinctive fire safety design points that aren’t experienced in other forms of buildings. For example, as a end result of the height of the structure is past the reach of ladders, tall buildings are equipped with extra fire security features as it is not possible for the fireplace department to initiate exterior rescues from ladders and suppress fires with outdoors hose streams.
In regards to fireplace safety, the efficiency history of very tall buildings whereas very profitable, has not been with out catastrophic incidents. Many of those incidents have resulted in 1) quite a few deaths and accidents, 2) extreme property loss and 3) disruptions in enterprise continuity. For example, the One Meridian Plaza high-rise hearth in Philadelphia that occurred in 1991 resulted in the loss of three firefighters and constructing by no means being re-opened. In 1988, the fire in the Interstate Bank Building in Los Angeles experienced one fatality and resulted within the constructing being out of use for six months.
Based on analysis and lessons realized, the model building codes have made vital progress in addressing fireplace safety issues in very tall buildings. At the identical time, the complexity and unique challenges of today’s very tall buildings have created an surroundings where complete performance-based options have become a necessity.
To assist the design neighborhood with creating performance-based fireplace security solutions for very tall buildings, in 2013, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) partnered with the International Code Council (ICC) to develop the Engineering Guide: Fire Safety in Very Tall Buildings.1 This publication is written as a guide for use along side native codes and standards and serves as an added software to these concerned within the fire safety design of distinctive tall buildings. The guide focuses on design issues that affect the fire security efficiency of tall buildings and the way engineers can incorporate performance-based hearth protection through hazard and threat analysis methodologies into the design of tall buildings. This article will discuss a few of the unique fire safety design strategies/methodologies employed in the design of tall buildings which would possibly be referenced within the ICC/SFPE Guide.
Emergency Egress

Developing an effective evacuation technique for a tall constructing is difficult because the time to complete a full building evacuation will increase with building peak. At the identical time, above certain heights, the normal method of requiring all occupants to simultaneous evacuate may not be practical as occupants turn out to be more vulnerable to extra dangers when evacuating through stairways. That is why tall buildings often employ non-traditional or different evacuation methods.
When designing an egress plan for a tall building, the primary objective must be to supply an acceptable means to permit occupants to maneuver to a place of security. To accomplish this goal, there are a quantity of evacuation methodologies which are available to the design staff. These evacuation methods can include but aren’t limited to 1) defend-in-place, 2) moving people to areas of refuge and 3) phased/progressive evacuation. It can be possible that a combination of these strategies can be this best answer. When deciding on an applicable technique, the design staff should think about the required level of safety for the building occupants and the building performance aims which are recognized by the building’s stakeholders.
Using protected elevators has turn into one other evacuation technique that’s becoming more prevalent in the design of tall buildings. In addition to assisting the fire department with operations and rescues, protected elevators are now being used for building evacuation, significantly for occupants with disabilities. When considering elevators in an evacuation strategy, there are a selection of design concerns to consider: 1) safety and reliability of the elevators, 2) coordination of elevator controls and constructing security systems, 3) schooling of building occupants and first responders and 4) communication to constructing occupants through the emergency.
Tall buildings typically make use of non-traditional or various evacuation strategies.
Fire Resistance

The consequences of partial or global collapse of tall buildings because of a extreme fire pose a significant danger to a lot of individuals, the fireplace service and surrounding buildings. At the identical time, tall buildings usually have distinctive design features whose position in the structure and fire response usually are not easily understood utilizing traditional fire safety methods. These unique components may warrant a must adopt a sophisticated structural fire engineering analysis to demonstrate that the building’s efficiency goals are met.
Performance-based design of structural fire resistance entails three steps: (1) dedication of the thermal boundary circumstances to a structure ensuing from a fireplace; (2) calculation of the thermal response of the construction to the fireplace exposure, and (3) willpower of the structural response of the structure. Guidance on performing this sort of evaluation may be discovered within the SFPE Engineering Standard on Calculating Fire Exposures to Structures2, and SFPE Engineering Standard on Calculation Methods to Predict the Thermal Performance of Structural and Fire Resistive Assemblies.3

Water-Based Fire Suppression Systems

In tall buildings, the water supply required for hearth protection systems can be greater than the capability of the common public water provide. As such, hearth protection system water supplies for sprinkler techniques and standpipes require the use of pumps and/or gravity water tanks to boost the water strain. Reliability of this water supply is a key consideration. As such, redundant fireplace pumps, gravity-based storage supplies, or both could additionally be needed to boost system reliability.
Another concern to think about when designing water-based fire suppression systems is stress management as it’s potential for system parts to be exposed to pressures that exceed its maximum working stress. Consequently, it might be necessary to design vertical strain zones to control pressures in the zone. Additionally, strain regulating valves are often wanted. When installed, care have to be taken to ensure that these stress regulating valves are put in properly and adequately maintained.
Fire Alarm and Communication Systems

Providing constructing occupants with correct info during emergencies will increase their capacity to make appropriate choices about their very own safety. Fire alarm and communication techniques are an important supply of this information. Very tall buildings make use of voice communication systems which would possibly be built-in into the fire alarm system. When designing voice communication techniques it is very important be certain that the system supplies reliable and credible data.
Fire alarm system survivability is another import factor to assume about in fireplace alarm system design. For tall buildings, consideration ought to be given in order that an assault by a fire in an evacuation zone does not impair the voice messaging outdoors the zone. Some of the design issues to achieve survivability may include: 1) safety of management tools from fireplace, 2) protection of circuits. 3) configuration of circuits and 4) shielding of panels.
Tall buildings usually employ smoke management methods that either vent, exhaust or restrict the spread of smoke.
Smoke Control

Controlling the spread of smoke is more complicated in tall buildings. For example, tall buildings expertise a phenomenon called stack effect. Stack impact happens when a tall building experiences a stress difference all through its peak as a outcome of temperature differentials between the outside air temperature and the within constructing temperature. This causes air to maneuver vertically, depending on the skin air temperature – both upward or downward in a building. It also can trigger smoke from a constructing hearth to spread throughout the constructing if not managed. That is why tall buildings often make use of smoke management techniques that both vent, exhaust or restrict the unfold of smoke.
Other issues in tall buildings included the air movement created by the piston effect of elevators and the consequences of wind. Air motion brought on by elevator vehicles ascending and descending in a shaft and the effects of wind can result in smoke movement in tall buildings. These impacts become extra pronounced as the height of the constructing increase.
Because very tall buildings complicate smoke spread, effective smoke control is harder to realize. The possible solutions are numerous and embody a mixture of energetic and passive options corresponding to however not restricted to: 1) smoke barrier walls and flooring, 2) stairway pressurization techniques, 3) pressurized zoned smoke control supplied by the air-handling equipment, and 4) smoke dampers. เกจวัดแรงดัน applied into the design needs to address the constructing itself, its makes use of, related occupant traits and reliability.
First Service Issues

It goes without saying that tall buildings present distinctive challenges to the fire service. During the planning and design phases, it is necessary for the design group to work with the fire service to debate the type of sources which would possibly be wanted for an incident and the actions that might be needed to mitigate an incident. This contains creating construction and post-construction preplans. These preplans should embrace and not be restricted to creating provisions for 1) fireplace service entry including transport to the highest stage of the building, 2) establishing a water supply, 3) standpipe methods (temporary and permanent), 4) communication techniques, and 5) understanding the operations of the fire protection systems within the constructing.
One of the challenges the fireplace service faces during incidents in tall buildings is the power of firefighters to maneuver gear to the incident location. Designers should keep in mind how the fireplace service can transport its equipment from the response stage to the best level in a secure manner.
Additionally, care must be taken when designing the fireplace command center as it’ll provide the fire service command staff with important information about the incident. The fire command center needs to be accessible and should include 1) controls for constructing techniques, 2) contact data for constructing management, 3) present buildings plans, 4) emergency response and egress plans and 5) preplans.
1 International Code Council/SFPE. (2013). Engineering Guide: Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings. Country Club Hills, IL.
2 SFPE. (2011). SFPE Standard S.01 2011, Engineering Standards on Calculating Fire Exposures to Structures. Gaithersburg, Maryland.
three SFPE. 2015). SFPE Standard S.02 2015, SFPE Engineering Standard on Calculation Methods to Predict the Thermal Performance of Structural and Fire Resistive Assemblies. Gaithersburg, Maryland.

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