Performance-based approach to determining fire safety provisions for buildings in the Asia-Oceania regions

Wan Ki Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

With the rapid development of economics in the Asia-Oceania regions, there were big construction projects with new architectural designs in the past three decades. Many of these projects were invested by Hong Kong enterprises. However, large halls without compartmentation, multi-purpose complexes in Central Business Districts, supertall landmark buildings and deep subway stations in old towns failed to comply with the fire safety codes. In such cases, performance-based approach is allowed as an alternative practice for determining fire safety provisions. Furthermore, there are fire safety challenges to green constructions. Consequently, a new fire engineering discipline integrating fire safety and built environment with new architectural features appears. In this paper, performance-based approach implemented for determining fire safety provisions in the past three decades in this part of the world will be reviewed. The four fire code systems available at the moment, namely, (1) prescriptive code, (2) fire engineering approach, (3) performance-based design, and (4) engineering performance-based fire code, will be outlined. Fire hazard assessment methodology for the performance-based approach, together with associated engineering tools, particularly the application of computational fluid dynamics, will be introduced. Examples of projects in Hong Kong failing to satisfy the prescriptive code will be outlined. Problems associated with buildings with fire safety provisions determined by performance-based approach in the past years will be highlighted. It is concluded that more in-depth fire safety research related to the fire safety of big constructions in the Asia-Oceania regions should be carried out to meet the new challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-137
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume91
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • Big construction projects
  • Fire safety provision
  • Green constructions
  • Performance-based approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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