Performance based design projects at PDI are presented and developed by our staff of licensed fire protection engineers and certified technicians with experience, expertise and innovative capabilities for your unique or complex project.
Functionality, aesthetics, and cost are primary drivers in a building’s design. Building codes can make these goals difficult to achieve given the many inflexible regulations. However, every building code includes a section that allows engineers and architects to use “alternative materials, design, and/or methods of construction” to demonstrate compliance equivalence to the prescriptive requirements of the these written codes. Performance-Based Design is the practice of developing these equivalencies, thereby providing the most flexible methodology available to architects and engineers. PDI’s fire protection professionals work with building designers to explore these innovative methods of design and code compliance, review options, and suggest reliable alternatives. In many most cases, these designs are implemented to improve the building’s functionality and allow designers to explore more aesthetically pleasing structures.
Using Performance-Based Design, PDI’s Fire Protection Engineers and the building designers can develop cost-effective, alternative building strategies that provide a level of safety that is equivalent or superior to that required by the code.
Some examples of performance-based designs include:
- Fire Development and Smoke Movement Modeling to evaluate design fire scenarios and how a building’s systems (active and passive) must react
- The design and testing of smoke control systems for large atria and stair/elevator pressurization systems
- The design of special fire protection systems to allow greater flexibility in warehouses with multiple classes of commodities
- Egress Modeling and/or the design of additional exiting and supplemental fire-fighting features in lieu of ceiling smoke and heat vents
- Process Safety Management plans and procedure design and evaluation to limit potential property loss in large and small industrial facilities. This often includes the design of special hazard fire protection systems to meet specific performance objectives.
- The effective use of sprinkler-protected glazing assemblies where fire-resistant construction is specified
- Design of explosion protection, prevention, or deflagration venting systems or procedures for classified areas and for industrial facilities.
- The re-classification of building hazards based on specific engineering data
- Engineering evaluations of existing and proposed fire barrier construction to ensure it meets the degree of fire resistance required by the code