Fire Safety Engineering
Our fire safety engineers can develop alternative building solutions using performance based requirements to overcome non-compliance with the deemed to satisfy provisions of the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
Fire Safety Engineering involves more than just building code consultancy and building design, the fire safety engineer will analyse the building’s construction to achieve building approval.
Our fire safety engineers have the experience to develop alternative solutions using performance based requirements to overcome building code non-compliances with the deemed to satisfy (DtS) provisions of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). One of the methodologies is to use sophisticated computer fire and smoke modelling programs, egress calculations, radiation calculations etc.
As you would appreciate, approval of any Alternative Solution is subject to fire authority and building certifier as such no guarantees can be made in relation to the gaining acceptance of authorities e.g. Fire brigades, building certifier, in relation of the above approaches.
Our approach to the fire safety engineering will be based on the current industry practice as described in the ‘International Fire Engineering Guidelines’ published by the ABCB and the ‘Society of Fire Safety – Code of Practice‘ published by Engineers Australia, reducing the time frame on your project
We follow the four stages of the Fire Engineering Process as set out by the International Fire Engineering Guidelines 2005 (IFEG, 2005):
Fire Engineering Brief (FEB)
Following confirmation of the preferred concept design strategy and the associated building code non-compliances, a Fire Engineering Brief (FEB) would be prepared. The FEB would outline the acceptance criteria, fire safety systems, method of analysis with the aim of resolving the fire safety assessment parameters.
The FEB will be presented to the authorities and other stakeholders so that the fire safety strategy and Alternative Solutions are agreed upon in principle. At the end of this stage, we would be able to give our opinion as to the likely outcome of the Building Approval process.
Fire Engineering Report (FER)
Once the details of the FEB is agreed in principle with all the stakeholders, a detailed Fire Engineering Report (FER) would be undertaken for submission to the client, authorities and the design team. The FER would be presented in report format, with proposed fire safety measures defined. It will also contain performance parameters for input to the detailed design of fire safety measures by the project team.
The assessment may use qualitative analyses or quantitative modelling, or a combination of both where considered appropriate. Formal presentation and negotiation with the authorities for Building Approval will occur at this stage. The submission of the FER report is considered to complete the main scope of work for fire engineering services.
The outcome of a Fire Engineering Report ranges from extended travel distances, reduction of the fire resistance levels (FRLs) required for the classification of the building or even the deletion of certain essential fire safety measures. FSP always work alongside our client to develop the most practical and economical solution for their projects.
Fire and Evacuation Modelling
FSP connects you to a team of highly qualified fire engineers who have experiences in all areas of fire safety, including fire strategy reports, smoke modelling, evacuation modelling, structural fire engineering, fire risk assessment and the design of passive and active fire safety systems.
While the fire engineers use Fire and Evacuation modelling for their fire safety engineering assessment, FSP can also assist fellow fire safety engineers to complete their fire and smoke modelling and occupant evacuation in order to increase their business competitiveness without employing a CFD team of their own.
We strive to offer the best possible innovative and comprehensive computational solutions tailored to the needs of our clients in terms of design, analysis and consultancy services.
Our team of fire engineers have completed numerous projects for our Clients which range from small residential dwellings to major airport facilities, shopping centres and, underground carparks etc.
1. Fire Modelling Capability
Computer fire models have been used by fire investigators for many years, both as a tool for carrying out fundamental research and establishing regulations and guidelines for performance based evaluations and designs in the build environment, and in the area of forensic reconstruction.
At FSP, we have fire experts in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) who have extensive experience in modelling fire and smoke behaviour using the latest software to provide the Building and Construction industry with better performance based solutions for smoke hazard management and fire spread in buildings. We have the expertise to analyse all kinds of building designs and fire scenarios to provide clients with the most cost effective solution.
Type of Fire modelling software we commonly use:
- FDS (Fire Dynamics Simulator)
2. Evacuation Modelling Capability
The FSP network has the technical expertise and the latest software to model and analyse the safety of occupant evacuation within buildings to provide our clients with the optimum fire safety solution that is safe and cost effective. We have the capabilities to model and analyse most types of buildings, ranging from multi-storey shopping centres to high rise office buildings.
Type of evacuation software we commonly use:
Contact FSP to discuss how we can help you with your Fire and Evacuation modelling needs.
Frequently Asked Questions.
When do you formulate a Fire Engineering Report (Alternative Solution)?
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) is a performance-based building code which allows non-standard designs (alternative solutions) which are demonstrated to comply with the performance requirements. The Amending Regulation introduces new and changed requirements for fire safety alternative solutions that relate to Class 1b to 9 buildings.
The aims of these changes are to:
- Ensure there is a record of all accepted fire safety alternative solutions that apply to a development
- Improve construction compliance
- Clarify compliance checking.
The Amending Regulation requires an Alternative Solution report to be submitted for building work relating to a Class 1b to 9 building that involves a fire safety Alternative Solution. The report must be submitted with an application for a CC or CDC, or for a modified CC or CDC.
The Amending Regulation also requires that related certificates record each report and details about the person who prepared it. In combination, these provisions require reports to cover every fire safety Alternative Solution for a development no matter when they arise during the project.
Who can prepare Alternative Solution reports or Fire Engineering Reports (FER)?
A fire safety alternative solution report must be prepared by or on behalf of a competent fire safety practitioner (and in some cases a fire safety engineer e.g. C10). Importantly, the report must include a copy of the brief on which the justification for accepting the alternative solution is based. The required content of these reports is intended to reflect industry good practice and what is expected under the International Fire Engineering Guidelines (IFEG).
The new regulation will require the principal certifying authority (PCA) to be satisfied that all accepted fire safety Alternative Solutions have been constructed or installed in accordance with the associated Alternative Solution Reports. While this requirement is consistent with the existing responsibility of the PCA, the new regulation will clarify the PCA’s responsibility on Alternative Solutions. There is some concern that this crosses the line where Accredited Certifiers move from being an independent public authority, to that of a certifier of construction components. Submissions have been made to state government regarding these concerns.
The NSW Government is now reviewing stakeholder feedback on the draft regulation changes.