Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Richard W. Bukowski, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

David A. Lucht, Department Head

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Jonathan R. Barnett, Advisor




The advent of performance-based codes in the United States underscores the need for a thorough, systematic approach to the documentation and accomplishment of a performance-based design. This project has three objectives: economic analysis of performance-based codes from a social view point, documentation of a performance-based design, and an example application of the ICC Performance-Based Code to high-rise office building. Economic issues explored include the externalities, insurance, and liabilities associated with performance-based codes. Documentation of a performance-based design includes delineation of the scope and goals with agreement between the designer, architect, building owner, and authority having jurisdiction, examination of the relevant code statutes, development of appropriate fire scenarios which meet the requirements of the performance matrices, thorough documentation of all design tool and calculation assumptions and limitations, and a clear demonstration of satisfactory accomplishment of stated goals and objectives. Finally, performance-based design alternatives to a prescriptively-designed 40 story office building were developed. There were three major design alternatives. The first design feature was the evacuation of occupants using elevators. The second alternative was the use of the assured fire safety system, which combined emerging technologies in fire detection, alarm, and suppression. The final design alternative was the routing of the domestic water supply through the sprinkler riser in order increase the reliability of the sprinkler system and save design, material, and installation costs associated with the domestic water supply risers. Finally, this project analyzed the specific life-cycle economic impact of the design alternatives when compared to the prescriptive design.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Fire Protection Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





firesafety, codes, Fire prevention, Law and legislation$zUnited States, Tall buildings, Fires and fire prevention, Tall buildings, Evacuation, Building, Fireproof, Fire codes