New article on Antincendio magazine – August 2019

On the August issue of the Antincendio magazine, published by EPC Editore, the first part of the article has been published with the title: “Designing a complex structure in the USA according to the Italian engineering approach”, signed by Luca Fiorentini, Executive Director of TECSA Srl.

Below is the abstract of the article, the second part of which will be published in the September issue.

The article constitutes an extract of the application of the performance-oriented engineering approach (fire safety engineering or “FSE”) for a new multi-storey healthcare facility with significant height. The complete study was developed thanks to the collaboration of various stakeholders (and in particular TECSA Srl as responsible group leader, RIMOND SpA, Roma Tre University, Turin Polytechnic and the National Fire Brigade Corps), and was presented at the conference “SFPE 12th International Conference on Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods” held in Honolulu on April 2018. The article summarizes the primary relevance of the analysis for the portion related to the activities connected with the application of fire safety engineering techniques for the study aspects of fire scenarios and consequent identification of the occupant defence strategy and evacuation of the building.

The assessment activities of the performance guarantee were anticipated by an in-depth phase of analysis and assessment of the fire risk which, for a complete discussion given the high criticality of the work given its height, its layout, its destination, its use and its significant height were deliberately carried out by adopting a series of different techniques, each competing to identify and characterize the fire scenarios to be subjected to subsequent evaluation of the effects by numerical calculation. Among the methods used, we cite the analysis with the Bow-Tie method (supplemented by the quantitative assessment according to a LOPA approach for defining independent protection layers and for estimating their probability of failure on demand, as described by AIChE – American Institute of Chemical Engineers), risk assessment according to the flow referred to in Section G of the DM 3 August 2015, the evaluation with the FLAME method (Fire risk Level Assessment Method for Enterprises, developed by L. Fiorentini, L. Marmo and E. Danzi of the Politecnico di Torino), the application, given the location of the building, of the US code called “Life Safety Code” and the index method included in the NFPA 101A standard, specifically dedicated to health and hospital facilities. The application of the aforementioned techniques, each with its own strengths, has made it possible to reach a set of fire scenarios (and associated dynamics of reference) which can be considered representative and sufficiently exhaustive of the risks for fire safety with respect to the cases reference use of the product. Each scenario characterised both in probabilistic terms and in terms of dynamics and potential direct and secondary effects (domino effect), concerning occupant safety.

This article traces the evaluations conducted for some of the selected scenarios. The risk analysis activities, according to the methods mentioned above, were carried out by applying the workflow required by the “Fire risk assessment guide” prepared by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), supplemented by the indications of the most general ISO 31000 standard.