Performance based building codes

Performance based fire codes are being implemented in many countries to replace the current system of prescriptive codes, standards and regulations. While this opens many promising opportunities to enhance the design options and reduce the overall cost of a building, appropriate evaluation tools and fully trained fire protection practitioners are necessary to properly assess and approve non-conforming alternative designs. The evaluation tools, code options and alternative choices necessary to fully implement performance based codes require significant validation through third party research.

Researchers in the Univeristy of Waterloo Fire Research Group are pursuing several avenues of modeling and experimentation related to the advancement and use of performance based codes. These include multi-scale testing, analysis and development of scaling laws for the fire performance of a variety of materials, as well as studies into the specification of fire as a structural load on elements, connections and whole building frameworks.

Related areas of study

Fire performance of materials and items
Structural fire research