SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1999

The SFPE Design Guide for Performance-Based Design: A Key Element in Performance-Based Fire Codes and Standards


Performance-based codes are currently a part of the regulatory landscape. In order to develop a methodology to perform performance-based designs (PBD), the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) with the assistance of a grant from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed The SFPE Design Guide for Performance-Based Design. The following issues will be addressed as they relate to the SFPE Design Guide: (1) the status of performance-based codes, (2) the status and content of the SFPE Design Guide, (3) the interrelation of the SFPE Design Guide and ASTM Standards, and (4) areas that need to be addressed further in order to assist the fire protection engineers in PBD. The model building codes and NFPA all required PBD for certain areas and allow PBD as a viable alternative to prescriptive codes. In an effort to standardize an approach to PBD, the SFPE has developed a Design Guide. ASTM Standards correlate with the design guide. In addition, ASTM Standards provide tests that allow the collection of data for input into the PBD process. The most important advancement for ASTM Standards is to further develop, standardize, and increase the amount of information available from small, intermediate, and large scale tests and to coordinate the data with criteria demanded in the PBD process and approaches recommended by fire protection engineers.

Author Information

Rosenbaum, ER
A&E Services, Hughes Associates, Inc., Baltimore, MD
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Developed by Committee: E05
Pages: 96–104
DOI: 10.1520/STP13366S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5412-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2620-6