The construction industry worldwide is subject to strict legislation governing fire safety. One of our tasks is to help building owners to understand and interpret the complex codes which vary from country to country and from sector to sector. In healthcare, for example, a project may have to comply with up to three different sets of codes.
For many projects, particularly non-standard developments, which may be large and complex and with high occupancy levels, standard code requirements may be inadequate, or may present obstacles with respect to a project’s vision, cost or function. Through the application of performance-based design, we can scientifically demonstrate that alternative solutions will achieve the same performance objectives as the code by calculating the building’s behaviour under realistic fire scenarios. This can add significant value to a project.
Our innovative, cost-saving fire engineering techniques allowed for a 50% reduction in the number of escape cores for the Manchester Hilton. In the case of the Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre in Doha, by undertaking thermal analysis of the steel structure of the huge 350m x 150m roof structure spanning the arena, we demonstrated that the life safety provisions of the code could be met without the prescriptive requirement to apply expensive fire protection to the roof members, resulting in significant cost savings.