Innovation in Building Fire Protection
Building codes typically offer the best of both worlds when it comes to fire protection: they are prescriptive, requiring specific materials and methods; and, they allow for “equivalent” design solutions, enabling creative approaches to be proposed. Yet building owners often overlook the latter option, even though it enables innovative solutions that can be superior to standard practice. The methodology for providing “equivalent” design solutions is known as performance-based design, and that concept has come a long way since Hammurabi’s Code stated in 1754 BC that “a house should not collapse and kill anybody.” The modern version originated in 1965 in France. In its purest form, it achieves the desired end without explicit dictation of the means.