Prescriptive or Performance Design for Fire?

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Title: Prescriptive or Performance Design for Fire?

Author(s): P. J. E. Sullivan

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 225

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 13-26

Keywords: design; fire; performance; prescriptive

Date: 3/1/2005

Abstract:
Three approaches to fire design are currently available: (1) The direct application of data from furnace tests on simply supported members heated at the ISO 834 Time/Temperature standard rate. (2) Conventional ultimate limit state design in bending for fire, taking into account idealised material losses in strength at elevated temperatures. (3) Complete analysis of structural members using iterative finite difference or finite element techniques to estimate temperature gradients and determining the resulting stress and strain resultants. Prescriptive design falls into the first category and the thickness of the protective cover to the steel together with the minimum dimensions of the element is tabulated in building codes. Performance design would be carried out by the other 2 methods, where the applied heat impinging the surface due to a fire is assessed, the temperature distribution evaluated and the deterioration determined. This method is more appropriate for important structures with indeterminate members.