Performance-Based Design: An International Perspective

Internationally speaking, the world community's perspective on performance-based design is, well, on fire. In a conference session on protecting iconic structures, topics ranged from how to design buildings that suffer minimal damage from explosions to the importance of professional associations in developing and maintaining a safe built environment.

06/01/2003


Internationally speaking, the world community's perspective on performance-based design is, well, on fire.

In a conference session on protecting iconic structures, topics ranged from how to design buildings that suffer minimal damage from explosions to the importance of professional associations in developing and maintaining a safe built environment.

The subject of performance-based design (PBD), however, produced a lively exchange. Lawrence Reddaway, an engineer from Melbourne, Australia, presented a case study on the retrofit of Melbourne's Olympic swimming facility, which is purported to be one of the world's first documented examples of performance-based design. The building was converted to a sports/ entertainment facility in 1981. He commented that PBD freed him from prescriptive requirements, which he stated, equated sprinklers with "God." PBD, in other words, allowed the designer to reduce the number of sprinklers normally required, saving money.

A former Melbourne firefighter, however, challenged the notion of less is better, relaying a story of how a fire broke out at the building just a few years ago. The fire, which wasn't disastrous, could have been prevented in his opinion, had sprinklers been installed in the arena portion of the building—the only area lacking them.

The fire, for the record, involved a snowmaking machine that caught fire during a trade show. And in defense of Reddaway and PBD, another attendee suggested that the incident was more related to improper enforcement than to design.





Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Integrated building networks, NFPA 99, recover waste heat, chilled water systems, Internet of Things, BAS controls
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me