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.


Learning Objectives

  • Identify differences between prescriptive and performance-based design of fire protection systems for structural steel buildings, including a brief history of their use.
  • Understand the details and impacts of fire as it relates to structural steel and how performance-based design can improve the design by reviewing key terms and analyzing ASTM E119.
  • Gain knowledge of information and processes generally required to submit and obtain approval for performance-based design of fire protection systems by reviewing summaries of the relevant sections of ANSI/AISC 360-16 and NFPA 5000.
  • Increase awareness of resources available to assist in performance-based design of fire protection systems for structural steel buildings.

Pre-Requisite: Intermediate knowledge of steel construction; basic knowledge of fire engineering.