This article examines the principles associated with acoustic comfort in steel-framed buildings. We will review the basic principles of sound, including transmission, reflection, and absorption. We will then discuss means by which noise is controlled in steel-framed buildings and review case studies representing best practices.
While structural steel offers the best safety record of any framing material, a well-designed fire protection design must naturally accompany any project. Understanding the roles of an architect, structural engineer, and fire protection engineer, in addition to knowledge of the codes, and the pros and cons of the various prescriptive solutions and performance-based approaches, will help enable building teams to deliver the highest performance and most cost-effective designs.
The value of prescriptive specifications versus performance-based design is currently under debate in the AEC community in the U.S. A prescriptive approach can be taken where the architect or fire protection engineer will determine the minimum fire-resistance rating for the elements in the building. While prescriptive approaches have been the norm for many years, more and more building teams are recognizing the benefits of a performance-based approach to fire and life safety design.
Based on the principle that a building structure, as a whole, will perform better than its individual elements, performance-based design approaches the building based on how it will perform, as opposed to the prescriptive approach that focuses on how the building is constructed. This course will provide learners with the knowledge pertinent to fire engineering for structural steel buildings.
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