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Suite 3.

04 Miller Street Pyrmont NSW 2009


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ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT

Lot 4 DUNHEVED CIRCUIT

ST MARYS, NSW

DATE OCTOBER 2010


PREPARED FOR METRO ENGINEERING
REPORT NO 2655 FER REV 01
PREPARED BY AE&D
CONTENTS

Table of Contents
1.0 SCOPE OF PROJECT ................................................................................................................................3
1.1 Basis of Report ........................................................................................................................................3
1.2 Limitations of the Report..........................................................................................................................3
1.3 Assumptions of the Report ......................................................................................................................4
1.4 Relevant Stakeholders ............................................................................................................................4
1.5 Occupant Characteristics ........................................................................................................................4
1.6 Building Characteristics ...........................................................................................................................5
1.7 BCA Data.................................................................................................................................................6
1.8 Hazards ...................................................................................................................................................7
1.9 Fire Preventative and Protective Measures ............................................................................................7
1.10 Management in use .............................................................................................................................7
1.11 General Objectives ..............................................................................................................................7
2.0 PROPOSED ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION ...................................................................................................9
2.1 Meeting the Performance Requirements.................................................................................................9
2.2 Relevant Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions..................................................................................................9
3.0 ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY ............................................................................................................11
3.1 Acceptance Criteria ...............................................................................................................................11
3.2 Methodology, Design Fires and Parameters .........................................................................................12
4.0 AS1 - OVERSIZE FIRE COMPARTMENT................................................................................................14
4.1 Assessment Methodology .....................................................................................................................14
4.2 Qualitative Assessment .........................................................................................................................14
4.3 Egress Assessment...............................................................................................................................19
4.4 Results of Fire Modelling .......................................................................................................................21
4.5 Quantitative Analysis .............................................................................................................................23
4.6 Compliance with CP2, CP9 and EP1.6 .................................................................................................23
4.8 Assessment Conclusion ........................................................................................................................25
4.9 Trial Design............................................................................................................................................25
4.10 Management in use ...........................................................................................................................26
4.11 CONCLUSION...................................................................................................................................27

Figure 1 - plan showing vehicular access ...............................................................................................................5


Figure 2 - Ground Floor Plan Showing Exits ...........................................................................................................5
Figure 3 - Section ....................................................................................................................................................6
Figure 4 - Northern elevation...................................................................................................................................6
Figure 5 - table of critical radiant heat fluxes.........................................................................................................13
Figure 6 - plan showing vehicular access .............................................................................................................17
Figure 7 - Western elevation showing extended tilt-up panel ...............................................................................18
Figure 8 - part plan showing extent of extended tilt-up panel ...............................................................................18
Figure 9 - Part plan showing egress routes and paths of travel............................................................................20

REVISION STATUS
REVISION DATE STATUS WRITTEN CHECKED
2655 FER REV 01 20.10.10 ISSUE TO CLIENT LC NH

COMMERCIAL IN CONFIDENCE
This document contains confidential material that is intended solely for AE&D. The project team and all regulatory authorities
shall exercise precautionary measures to ensure that the information contained herein is not to be accessed by any third
party. AE&D will take no responsibility for the use of any information contained within this report by any third party.

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 2


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
1.0 SCOPE OF PROJECT
Lot 4 at Dunheved Circuit, St Mary's is to be developed as an industrial building. The factory will be used in the
manufacture of Steel Pressure Vessels.

The size of the fire compartment is in excess of that allowed by the deemed to satisfy provisions of the BCA, for
volume.

This report provides a Brief of the proposed methods to carry undertake an assessment of the proposed
excessive compartment size.

In accordance with BCA Clause A0.10 of the BCA, any alternative solution must consider all relevant
performance requirements. Performance Requirements CP2, CP9 and EP1.6 have been identified as being the
directly relevant performance requirements.

1.1 Basis of Report


The Alternative Solution report will be prepared to address compliance with the Building Code of Australia 2010,
in particular the development of a suitable solution to achieve compliance with the Performance Requirements.

The report will be based on:

1. The Building Code of Australia 2010 (BCA), published by the Australian Building Codes Board.
2. Relevant provisions of The Guide to the BCA 2010, published by the Australian Building Codes Board.
3. The International Fire Engineering Guidelines 2005, (IFEG), published by the Australian Building Codes
Board.

The following information will be primarily relied upon in the preparation of the Alternative Solution Report:

Architectural plans prepared by Metro Engineering - A15473 rev B sheet 1 of 2, A15473 rev B sheet 2,
of 2, DA 001 rev B, DA 003 rev B, DA 004 rev B, DA 005 rev B, DA 006 rev B, DA 007 rev B, and DA
008 rev B,
DA conditions from Penrith City Council (DA No DA07/1215.01).

1.2 Limitations of the Report


The report is limited to the development of a solution to address the non-compliance with the deemed-to-satisfy
provisions of the BCA, as identified by this report; this report does not assess the following:

Issues beyond the fire safety requirements of the BCA have not been considered
Consideration of any structural elements or geotechnical matters relating to the building, including any
structural or other assessment of the existing fire resistant levels of the building
OH&S considerations.
Consideration of any fire services operations (including hydraulic, electrical or other systems).
Assessment of mechanical plant operations, electrical systems, security systems or lift systems.
Determining full compliance with the BCA, other than the matters identified under Section 1.1 of this
report.
Determining compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act or Part D3 of the BCA.
Consideration of energy or water authority requirements.
Consideration of local LEPs, DCPs or other local planning policies and/or guidelines.
This report does not provide approval for construction or any Part 4A Certificate under the
Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 or Regulation 2000.
This report is not a Part 4A compliance certificate under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act
1979 or Regulation 2000.
This report does not provide concessions for any alternative solutions or exemptions from the
requirements of the BCA, other than that identified in this report.

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LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
1.3 Assumptions of the Report
This report does not provide concessions for any alternative solutions or exemptions from the requirements of
the BCA, other than that identified in the Section 2.0 of this report. The building is otherwise considered to
comply with the DTS requirements of the BCA.

1.4 Relevant Stakeholders

Stakeholder Name

Building Owner Metro Engineering


Certifying Authority Penrith City Council
Fire Brigades NSWFB
Local Regulatory Authority Penrith City Council
BCA Consultant Michael Wynn Jones and Associates
Fire Engineering AE&D
Building Designer A&N

1.5 Occupant Characteristics

Characteristics Assessment

Type & Number The population within the factory will be small. The
occupants will be familiar with the building design.
2
Based on BCA table D allows 5m per person for a
machine shop, fitting shop or like place for cutting, for
cutting, grading, finishing or fitting of metals or glass,
except in the fabrication of structural steelwork or
2
manufacture of vehicles or bulky products and 50m
per person for areas used for other fabrication and
processing.
2
Given a floor area of 4209m , the population would
range from 841 to 85 persons.

However, information from the Client suggests that the


population will be closer to 20 persons in normal
operation.

A population of 60 persons will be allowed for in the


report.

Occupants State The occupants will be awake and ambulatory.

Emergency Training It will be requirement of the Fire Engineering Report


that an emergency plan is to be developed and that
the occupants shall be trained in the emergency plan.

Activity during a fire incident The occupants will primarily focused work activities.

Familiarity The occupants will be familiar with the exits.

Hazards The primary hazards are electrical fires, fires in waste


or cleaning materials.

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 4


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
1.6 Building Characteristics
The factory comprises a single storey factory Type A building with 1 hour fire separation from the adjacent two
storey Type C building containing offices over car parking. The type A factory building is constructed from
reinforced concrete tilt-up panels with an FRL of 240/240/240. The roof is metal sheeting supported by a steel
portal frame.

Vehicular access is provided on three sides (the southern, western and eastern boundaries).

Figure 1 - plan showing vehicular access

Figure 2 - Ground Floor Plan Showing Exits

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 5


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
The northern elevation of the building is to be built on the northern boundary. Egress is provided by egress
doors on the southern, western and eastern elevations.

Figure 3 - Section

Figure 4 - Northern elevation

1
1.7 BCA Data

Building Classification Rise in Storeys Type of Effective Height


construction

Factory Class 8 1 Type A n/a

Offices (not part of Class 5 2 Type C n/a


solution)

Car park (not part Class 7a 2 Type C n/a


of solution)

Type of Construction
The building is required to be constructed in Type A construction, being the most fire resisting designed to
withstand burnout in the event of fire.

1
Australian Building Codes Board. Building Code of Australia 2010

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 6


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
1.8 Hazards
The facility will be used for the fabrication of steel pressure vessels and sheet metal fabrication. The activities
will include cutting, drilling, forming and welding of stainless steel and carbon steel.

There are no hazardous materials stored on site. A liquid nitrogen storage vessel is located on the site. Nitrogen
is non-toxic and inert.

The following hazards have been identified in the complex -

1. Sources of ignition - Welding and other industrial processes, electrical faults such as fusing of motors.
2. Fuel sources - The fuel sources will be cotton waste and packaging material. The quantity of
combustible material is assumed to be low. The materials used in fabrication are non-combustible.

1.9 Fire Preventative and Protective Measures


The following provisional design requirements are required to support the fire engineering. These are in addition
to the BCA deemed to satisfy essential services and measures. The provisional design requirements are subject
to the outcome of the fire engineering analysis and approval by the regulatory authorities. The final design
requirements may differ from these requirements.

1. A smoke detection and alarm system - A smoke detection and alarm system is to be provided in the
factory and linked to a fire brigade monitoring facility. The smoke detection system shall be an aspirated
system such as Vesda or equivalent. The system will provide earlier occupant activation and earlier fire
brigade response. The installation must comply with AS 1670.1-2004 and AS 1670.3-2004. Recorded
voice messages shall be incorporated into the occupant warning.
2. Fire Hydrant System - The building shall be provided with a fire hydrant system in accordance with
AS2419.1 - 2005.
3. Fire Hydrant Booster Connection - The system shall include a fire hydrant booster connection located
and installed in accordance with BCA E1.3 and AS2419.1-2005.
4. Stortz Couplings - The fire hydrant booster connection and al fire hydrant valves shall be fitted with
Stortz aluminium alloy delivery couplings in manufactured and installed in accordnace with clauses 7.1
and 8.5.11.1 of AS2419.1 - 2005.
5. Tilt-up panels - The tilt-up panels shall provide an FRL of 240/240/240. The tilt-up panels shall be
extended vertically to provide additional screening from an adjacent fire (see figure 7 and 8).
6. General Assumption of DTS Compliance - Other than the alternative solutions contained in this
report, the building is otherwise considered to comply with the DTS provisions of the BCA. Should other
alternative solutions become necessary to support the proposed design, AE&D must be contacted to
consider if the solutions affect the basis of this report. Should other solutions be considered to affect the
basis of this report, the fire engineering assessment must be re-assessed and an addendum or
amended report issued.
7. The Fire Safety Schedule for the building should be updated to specifically reference the requirements
of this alternative solution report.

It will be assumed that the remainder of the Building will comply with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of the
BCA.
1.10 Management in use
The following management in use measures is proposed -

1. General Housekeeping to maintain the egress path and exits clear to allow unimpeded travel.
2. No smoking policy is to be implemented in all public areas.
3. Commissioning and integrated function testing of all fire safety and protection systems including
interfaces to ensure proper function.
4. All essential services are to be maintained and tested in accordance with BCA and Australian Standard
AS1851.
1.11 General Objectives
Regulatory Objectives
The objective of the BCA as relevant to the non-compliance matter is C01 and E01:

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 7


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
CO1
The Objective of this Section is to

(a) safeguard people from illness or injury due to a fire in a building; and
(b) safeguard occupants from illness or injury while evacuating a building during a fire; and
(c) facilitate the activities of emergency services personnel; and
(d) avoid the spread of fire between buildings; and
(e) protect other property from physical damage caused by structural failure of a building as a result of fire.

EO1
The Objective of this Part is to

(a) safeguard occupants from illness or injury while evacuating during a fire; and
(b) provide facilities for occupants and the fire brigade to undertake fire-fighting operations; and
(c) prevent the spread of fire between buildings.

Other Objectives
The objective as relevant to the Fire Brigades is to allow sufficient time to facilitate and undertake fire fighting &
rescue operations. On-site fire fighting facilities are expected to comply with the prescriptive requirements of the
BCA.

Objectives Summary
Therefore, the general objectives of the solution will be:

To permit a fire compartment in excess of the deemed to satisfy provisions.

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 8


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
2.0 PROPOSED ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION

2.1 Meeting the Performance Requirements

A0.5 Meeting the Performance Requirements


Compliance with the Performance Requirements can only be achieved by -
(a) complying with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions; or
(b) formulating an Alternative Solution which -
(i) complies with the Performance Requirements; or
(ii) is shown to be at least equivalent to the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions; or
(c) a combination of (a) and (b).

A0.8 Alternative Solutions


(a) An Alternative Solution must be assessed according to one or more of the Assessment Methods.
(b) An Alternative Solution will only comply with the BCA if the Assessment Methods used to determine
compliance with the Performance Requirements have been satisfied.

A0.9 Assessment Methods


The following Assessment Methods, or any combination of them, can be used to determine that a Building
Solution complies with the Performance Requirements:

(a) Evidence to support that the use of a material, form of construction or design meets a Performance
Requirement or a Deemed-to-Satisfy Provision as described in BCA Clause A2.2.
(b) Verification Methods such as -
(i) the Verification Methods in the BCA; or
(ii) such other Verification Methods as the appropriate authority accepts for determining compliance with
the Performance Requirements.
(c) Comparison with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions.
(d) Expert Judgment.

A0.10 Relevant Performance Requirements


In order to comply with the provisions of A1.5 (to comply with Sections A to J inclusive) the following method
must be used to determine the Performance Requirement or Performance Requirements relevant to the
Alternative Solution:
(a) Identify the relevant Deemed-to-Satisfy Provision of each Section or Part that is to be the subject of the
Alternative Solution.
(b) Identify the Performance Requirements from the same Sections or Parts that are directly relevant to the
identified Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions.
(c) Identify Performance Requirements from other Sections and Parts that are relevant to any aspects of the
Alternative Solution proposed or that are affected by the application of the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions,
that are the subject of the Alternative Solution.

2.2 Relevant Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions


The table following lists the non-compliances with the Building Code of Australia deemed to satisfy provisions as
identified by the BCA Consultant. Pursuant to A0.10 of BCA the table identifies the DTS provisions as being
subject to the alternative solution.

# Alternative Solutions BCA DTS BCA Assessment IFEG Sub-


Provision Performance Methodology system (SS)*
Determined in Requirement
accordance
Determined in
with BCA
accordance with
Clause A0.10a
BCA Clause
A0.10 b & c

AS1 Excessive Volume of fire C2.2 CP2, CP9 and Qualitative and SS-C and
compartment EP1.6 quantitative SS-F
An alternative solution will be assessment in
developed to permit the fire accordance
with BCA

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 9


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
# Alternative Solutions BCA DTS BCA Assessment IFEG Sub-
Provision Performance Methodology system (SS)*
Determined in Requirement
accordance
Determined in
with BCA
accordance with
Clause A0.10a
BCA Clause
A0.10 b & c
compartment to exceed that allowed A0.5(b)(i) and
by the deemed to satisfy provisions A0.9 (b)
relating to volume.

2
*Sub-systems from the International Fire Engineering Guidelines (IFEG) 2005
Sub-system A Fire Initiation and Development and Control
Sub-system B Smoke Development and Spread and Control
Sub-system C Fire Spread and Impact and Control
Sub-system D Fire Detection, Warning and Suppression
Sub-system E Occupant Evacuation and Control
Sub-system F Fire Services Intervention

2
Australian Building Codes Board. The International Fire Engineering Guidelines 2005

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 10


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
3.0 ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

3.1 Acceptance Criteria


The acceptance criteria are -

1. The occupants shall be able to evacuate the building prior to the onset of untenable conditions with a
suitable factor of safety. A factor of safety of 2 will be applied to the building generally and 1.5 to the fire
affected area,
2. NSWFB intervention is not impaired,
2
3. Fire to adjacent property is improbable. A radiant heat flux of 25kW/m will be assumed to cause non-
piloted ignition on the adjacent building.

With respect to tenability, the following criteria will be applied -

Heat Radiation
2 o
The limiting condition for radiation is assumed 2.5 kW/m . This equates to a hot layer temperature of 200 C.
Values above this may lead to heat stroke and skin burns, disabling the occupant and preventing escape. The
tolerance time for radiation at this level is more than 5 minutes. In high ceiling areas, the limiting radiation is
higher and will be assessed accordingly.

T < 200C

Heat Convention
Direct exposure to hot gases will cause breathing difficulties, which may inhibit occupant escape. The
o
International Fire Engineering Guidelines suggest that a hot layer temperature of 100 C, when the hot layer is
below 2.1m above the floor level, is reasonable for most buildings.

T < 100C

Toxicity
The toxicity of combustion products varies widely according to the properties of the fuel. However, the
International Fire Engineering Guidelines suggests that limiting conditions for all toxic products (asphyxiants and
-1
irritants) are unlikely to be exceeded for up to 30 minutes if the smoke optical density does not exceed 0.1 m
(i.e. equivalent visibility distance of 10 m).

Visibility
Dense smoke may obscure exit paths, slowing or preventing escape. The International Fire Engineering
-1
Guidelines suggests that if a smoke optical density of less than 0.1m or 10m visibility were maintained in the
occupied zone, then visibility would be considered satisfactory for large enclosures. The smoke optical density
can be doubled for a small room (e.g. visibility of 5m).

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 11


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
Fire Brigade Intervention
While the fire brigade will be available to assist evacuation through search and rescue of occupants, this action
is not relied upon for occupant evacuation. The fire safety assessment is therefore conservative in this regard.

The conditions that define the tenability criteria for fire brigade personnel will only be considered if the
occupants cannot be shown to have sufficient available egress time prior to onset of untenable conditions.

Summary of Tenability Failure Criteria


Untenable conditions can thus be deemed to have occurred in the following circumstances:

Condition Criteria
o
Convective heat Temperature > 100 C when smoke layer is below tenability height.

2 o
Radiant heat 2.5kW/m at head height or smoke layer temperature exceeds 200 C when above tenability height
exposure of 2.1m.
Visibility 10m when smoke layer is below tenability height of 2.1m.

1
Toxicity OD > 0.1m (10db/m) when smoke layer is below tenability height of 2.1m.

3.2 Methodology, Design Fires and Parameters


Where necessary, fire and smoke modeling will be based on t-squared fires, as defined in the International Fire
Engineering Guidelines, with growth characteristics to be agreed by the stakeholders prior to the
commencement of modeling.

Fire and Smoke Modeling - the quantitative assessment will include modeling a fire to determine the onset of
untenable conditions. The fire will be modeled using FDS.

For a Fire Engineered performance approach, the fire growth characteristics are probably more critical that
ultimate fire size as evacuation or fire brigade intervention is probable before the peak heat release rate is
attained.

In the absence of fire growth characteristics for a particular fire load, it is common practice in fire engineering to
2
use a t fire scenario. This approach is detailed in the International Fire Engineering Guidelines, which
reference NFPA 72E and 204M. The growth phase is characterised by the following equation:
2
Q = t

Where
Q = the heat release rate in MW
T = the time from the effective ignition time
2
= the growth parameter expressed in MW/sec

Fire Typical Materials Growth Parameter Growth Time to


2
Category (MW/sec ) 1MW
-4
Ultra-fast Some pool fires, faster burning upholstered furniture, 1.9 x 10 75 sec
lightweight drapes.
-5
Fast Mail bags, plastic foam, stacked timber pallets 4.7 x 10 150 sec
-5
Medium Cotton/polyester spring mattress 1.2 x 10 300 sec
-6
Slow Densely packed wood products 3.0 x 10 600 sec
Table 1 - Fire growth rates

As there are few combustibles it is assumed that a fire is caused by the ignition of cotton waste used for
cleaning in many factories and premises undertaking metal fabrication.

The fire is assumed to be ignited by welding or grinding. The design fire will be a t-squared medium growth fire
in cotton industrial waste. The fire will be located in the main factory area. The fire will grow uncontrolled.

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 12


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
Fire Spread to adjacent property - the fire will be modeled assuming the collapse of the roof when the
o
temperature of the supporting steel reaches 550 C. The radiant heat flux on the boundary will be assessed to
determine the probability of fire spread to the adjacent building.

Verification Method CV1 of the BCA states that at a distance of 3 m to a fire-source feature, a building is
required to withstand a radiant heat level of approximately 20 kW/m. However, tests have been undertaken in
Australia to quantify typical radiant heat flux intensities that result in various phenomena. The test results are
documented within AS 1530.4 and are summarised in the table below.

Phenomena Received radiant


heat flux
2
(kW/m )
Ignition of paint after 10 to 20 seconds 4
Paint after 3 seconds 10
Piloted ignition of cotton fabric after a long time 13
Piloted ignition of timber after a long time 13
Non-piloted ignition of cotton fabric after a long time 25
Non-piloted ignition of timber after a long time 25
Non-piloted ignition of gabardine fabric after a long time 27
Non-piloted ignition of black drill fabric after a long time 38
Non-piloted ignition of cotton fabric within 5 seconds 42
Non-piloted ignition of timber within 20 seconds 45
Non-piloted ignition of timber within 10 seconds 55
Figure 5 - table of critical radiant heat fluxes

From the table it can be seen that the radiant heat flux intensity required to cause non-piloted ignition of cotton
fabric (e.g. curtains) after a long time is approximately 25 kW/m and after 5 seconds is 42 kW/m.

On this basis, an assessment showing that the adjacent building does not receive greater than 25 kW/m will be
deemed to have demonstrated that non-piloted ignition is not expected to occur and fire spread between
buildings is improbable.

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 13


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
4.0 AS1 - OVERSIZE FIRE COMPARTMENT
Lot 4 at Dunheved Circuit, St Mary's is to be developed as an industrial building. The factory will be used in the
manufacture of Steel pressure Vessels.

The volume of the fire compartment is in excess of that allowed by the deemed to satisfy provisions of the BCA.
The floor area is within the BCA deemed to satisfy limits.

The additional height is required to manipulate the large steel pressure vessels during manufacture. The height
does not impose an additional risk or hazard. The additional height will in fact provide a reservoir that will
increase the time before conditions become untenable.

In accordance with BCA Clause A0.10 of the BCA, any alternative solution must consider all relevant
performance requirements. Performance Requirements CP2, CP9 and EP1.6 have been identified as being the
directly relevant performance requirements.

4.1 Assessment Methodology


A qualitative performance based approach has been adopted to demonstrate compliance with Performance
Requirement CP2, CP9 and EP1.6 and to demonstrate that the size of the fire compartment does not cause an
excessive fire hazard.

In order to address the provisions of BCA 2010, a performance based solution has been adopted to
demonstrate compliance of the Alternative Solution with the BCA.

The acceptance criteria for qualitative assessments are the equivalence to a deemed to satisfy solution
3
(preferred) or the collective agreement of the stakeholders. The IFEG allows both qualitative and quantitative
approaches and states that "the methods chosen will be appropriate to the approach used". The IFEG states -

"In the minority of cases, qualitative analysis may be agreed during the FSEB process to be sufficient for the
consideration of a single non-compliance issue. The basis (logic) on which this approach is used should be
documented with appropriate references. A Delphi approach may also be appropriate in certain
circumstances, where a group of suitably expert professionals reach consensus agreement regarding the
suitability of a particular solution."

The relevant IFEG sub-systems (SS) are SS-C & SS-F.

This approach is used to determine whether the alternative solution complies with the Performance
Requirements, as permitted by BCA Clause A0.5 (b) (i).
4.2 Qualitative Assessment
2
The area of the building is 4,209m (scaled from drawing). The height is 12.7m. The volume is approximately
3
53,457m .

The building is class 8. BCA clause C2.2 limits the area and volume of a single fire compartment to -

Class of building Type of construction


Type A Type B Type C
2 2 2
6,7,8 or 9a Floor area 5000m 3500m 2000m
3 3 3
Volume 30000m 21000m 12000m

The volume of this building exceeds the deemed to satisfy provisions for any type of construction due to the
height required to manipulate the vessels being fabricated.
4
The Guide to the BCA states that the intent of limiting the size of a fire compartment is "to limit the size of any
fire in a building by limiting the size of the floor area and volume of a fire compartment."

3
Australian Building Codes Board. The International Fire Engineering Guidelines 2005
4
Australian Building Codes Board. The Guide to the BCA 2010.

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 14


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
The remedy for an oversize compartment is to define the building as a Large Isolated Building or, treat the
building as a non-compliant oversize fire compartment.

It has been decided to treat the building as a non-compliant oversize fire compartment as -

1. the population is low,


2. the fire hazard small,
3. the site does not permit the provision of perimeter access required by the large isolated building
concessions.

The following issues have a bearing on the design -

Large fire size - the fire load in the building is small compared to other class 8 occupancies. The potential for a
large fire to occur with a relatively small fire load is unlikely.

Metal goods manufacture and metal working generally is considered to have a fire load in the order of
25
200MJ/m

2
The area of the office is 4209m . For the given range of fire load densities the range of fire load is

Fire load density Fire load density Area Fire load (MJ) 80% of fuel
2
(MJ.m )
Average 200 4209 841800 673440

It is common practice to assume that a fire consumes 80% of the fuel by the time it reaches the peak heat
release rate.

The assumed duration of exposure prior to Fire Brigade intervention is 30 minutes. Due to the openings the fire
will be well ventilated and the fire may attain flashover.

It is now necessary to estimate when the peak heat release rate occurs and to determine the fire growth
characteristics of the fire.

Average heat release rate based on average fire load densities

673440 MJ
Qp=
30 x60 sec

Qp = 374 MW

Assuming that the fire will have medium fire growth characteristics, the growth curve of a medium fire from
ignition to the peak heat release rate is given by
2
Q = t

Where

Q = heat release rate in (MW)


2
= fire growth parameter (MW/sec ) = 1.11 x 10-5
Time to grow to 1MW = 300s
t = time from ignition (seconds)

The area under this curve equals the total energy released by the fire and is calculated as follows:

5
Australian Building Codes Board. The International Fire Engineering Guidelines 2005

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 15


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
t1

A= t 2
t0

t3
=
3
3
=
3
[t ] t1
t0


=
3
[t 3
1 ]
t 03 and since t0 is zero, the following expression is derived


=
3
[t ]3

Therefore the area under the curve up to the peak heat release rate is as follows:

t 3
A=
3

Assuming that the peak heat release rate occurs at the point when the 80% of the fuel is consumed, the
following equation is obtained, by rearranging the above equation, to calculate the time when the peak heat
release occurs:

A
t=3

3
where -

t is the time the peak heat release rate occurs,


A is the energy consumed up to the peak, and
2 -5
is fire growth parameter (MW/sec ) = 1.11 x 10

Therefore, for the following fire loads -

Aave = 673440 MJ

therefore,

673440
tave = 3
1.11x10 5
3

tave = 5667 seconds

The peak heat release rate for the average fire load density will occur at 5667 seconds and the peak heat
release rate is calculated as follows:

2
Q = t
-5 2
Q = 1.11 x 10 x (5667)
Q = 356 MW

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LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
Therefore it can be assumed that without NSWFB intervention based on typical metal working fire load
densities', a medium growth t-squared fire would reach a peak heat release rate of 356MW at approximately
5667 seconds or 94 minutes after ignition.

It is improbable that the NSWFB response time would be that long and the duration of fire is assumed to be 30
minutes or 1800 seconds.

At 1800 seconds the heat release rate would be -


2
Q = t
-5 2
Q = 1.11 x 10 x (1800)
Q = 35.9 MW

This is a relatively small fire given the ceiling height and floor area. It is considered conservative given the actual
fire load.

Construction Type The building will be constructed to Type A Construction, with all external walls having an
FRL of 240 minutes. NSWFB intervention will be within 30 minutes. This is a factor of safety of 8. The
240/240/240 FRL is based on an ISO furnace fire and is intended to contain a fire within the building for 240
minutes. This is conservative with respect to this building as the fire load is such that it is improbable that the fire
would burn for 240 minutes or that the fire intensity would replicate that of an ISO furnace fire.

NSWFB intervention - The building is not classified as a large isolated building and hence perimeter vehicular
access is not required. However, reasonable perimeter access is provided for fire brigade intervention.

NSWFB appliances can enter the site at two locations from Dunheved drive. One location provides access to
the main factory entrance on the western side and the other provides access along the northern and eastern
elevations of the building. Only the southern elevation is not provided with vehicular access. The tilt-up panels
on that elevation are to be extended to 450mm above the roof. This will limit fire spread to the adjoining building
and limit the necessity for the NSWFB to access that elevation to prevent fire spread to the adjoining property.

Figure 6 - plan showing vehicular access

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LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
Radiant Heat Exposure - The fire modeling will assess the radiant heat flux on the adjacent property to assess
fire spread to that property.

To help prevent such fire spread the tilt-up panels will be extended vertically to shield the adjacent building
against radiant heat from a fire in the subject building.

Figure 7 - Western elevation showing extended tilt-up panel

Figure 8 - part plan showing extent of extended tilt-up panel

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LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
4.3 Egress Assessment
The assessment of emergency egress uses two times known as the available safe evacuation time (ASET) and
the required safe evacuation time (RSET) where ASET is the time for untenable conditions to occur and RSET
is the time required for the occupants to escape.

The relationship between these times for a safe evacuation can be summarised as:

ASET RSET

and the required safe evacuation time has sub components

RSET = tpm + tm

Where -

tpm = the pre-movement time


tm = occupant flow duration

Pre-movement time
The pre-movement time is intended to take into account those factors which delay the actual movement of
occupants towards the exits.

These factors might include looking for detection and alarm activation but also includes human behavioral
responses such as looking for relatives, gathering belongings, first aid fire fighting etc. Many of these behavioral
factors do not relate to a factory. We have assumed a pre-movement time of 60 seconds.

The occupant warning system initiated by the Vesda System ensures a timely evacuation. The International Fire
Engineering Guidelines suggest that the response time, where warning is provided by a recorded message
should be less than 2 minutes.

Detector activation
The height of the ceiling in the factory is on average 13m high. Software devices replicating point based smoke
detectors were inserted into the model on a grid of 10m. The activation time in the FDS model was between 270
and 330 seconds. 330 seconds was taken as the activation time as a conservative assessment.

Summary of pre-movement times

Pre-movement times are taken as

Pre-movement = 60 seconds (assumed)


Occupants recognition of alarm = 120 seconds (assumed)
Smoke detector activation = 330 seconds (calculated)

Total = 510 seconds

Population
The population within the factory will be small. The occupants will be familiar with the building design.
2
BCA table D allows 5m per person for a machine shop, fitting shop or like place for cutting, for cutting, grading,
finishing or fitting of metals or glass, except in the fabrication of structural steelwork or manufacture of vehicles
2
or bulky products and 50m per person for areas used for other fabrication and processing. Given a floor area of
2
4209m , the population would range from 841 to 85 persons. However, information from the Client suggests that
the population will be closer to 20 persons in normal operation.

A population of 60 persons will be allowed for in the report.

Occupant Movement Times


The occupant movement times have been assessed using hand calculations. The effective width method has
been followed in determining aggregated exit width.

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LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
The application of this methodology is based on the assumption that the occupants are distributed throughout
the factory. As a consequence of this distribution, the occupants close to the exit will reach the exit very quickly.
The occupants furthest away will take the longest.

A reasonable assessment may use the average travel time calculated as follows

Te = Dt/1.2

Where
Te = average travel time to the exit (seconds)
Dt = average travel distance to exit (m) being half distance between the furthest exits.

As the population density over most of the factory will not be great, a travel speed of 1.2m/s has been used6.

Figure 9 - Part plan showing egress routes and paths of travel

The worst case, shown on the plan above is approximately 37m. To allow for possible plant and stock on the
floor a travel distance of 70m has been assumed.

DT = 70/2m
= 35m

Therefore

Te = 35m/1.2
= 30 seconds

The time for occupants to pass through the exits is known as the queuing time. This is represented by

Tmq = N/(Fsm x W e)

Where

Tmq = queuing time (seconds)


N = number of persons
We = Aggregated effective width (m)
Fsm = maximum specific flow. (taken as 1.3 for horizontal travel)

6
SFPE handbook Chapter 3.14 fig 3-14.4 speed in corridor, ramp, aisle doorway 1.2m/s for densities of 0.5 persons / m2

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 20


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
The effective aggregated width is 9 exits at 0.9m wide a boundary layer width of 9 x 0.15 = 6.75m

The queuing time is then

Tmq = 60/(1.3 x 6.75)


= 7 seconds

Movement time
The total movement (Tm) is

Tm = Te + Tmq
= 30 + 7 seconds
= 37 seconds

Required Safe Evacuation Time (RSET)


The total evacuation time (RSET) is

RSET = Tm + Tpm
= 510 + 37
= 547 seconds (9.1 minutes)

Assuming a factor of safety of 2, the available evacuation time (ASET) should be equal to or in excess of 1094
seconds (2 x 547 = 1094 seconds).

4.4 Results of Fire Modelling


Fire modeling was undertaken to determine the onset of un-tenable conditions in the factory and the probable
spread of fire to adjacent property.

Available Safe Evacuation Time


The fire is assumed to be ignited by welding or grinding. The design fire was a t-squared medium growth fire in
cotton industrial waste. The fire was located in the main factory area. The fire was allowed to grow uncontrolled
for 1800 seconds.

The modeling showed that visibility did not drop below 29m measured 2m above the finished floor for the
duration of the model.

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LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
o
The modeling showed that the temperature did not exceed 40 C measured 2m above the finished floor for the
duration of the model.

The available safe evacuation time is therefore at least 1800 seconds.

Fire Spread to adjacent property


The fire was be modeled assuming the collapse of the roof when the temperature of the supporting steel
o
reaches 550 C. This was to assess the radiant heat flux on the boundary to determine the probability of fire
spread to the adjacent building.
o
The modeling showed that the temperature in the factory did not reach 550 C hence it is improbable that the
roof will collapse and expose the adjacent building to radiant heat.

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LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
4.5 Quantitative Analysis
The egress assessment showed that the occupants can evacuate the building conservatively in 547 seconds.
The fire modeling showed that the conditions within the factory remain tenable for the duration of the model e.g.
1800 seconds.

The factor of safety is therefore 1800 / 547 = 3.29

The temperature within the factory did not reach a temperature likely to cause the failure of the roof for 1800
seconds or 30 minutes. NSWFB intervention is considered to be much shorter than 30 minutes. The probability
of the adjacent building being affected by radiant heat prior to the intervention of the NSWFB is small.

4.6 Compliance with CP2, CP9 and EP1.6


Comments in relation to Performance Requirements CP2.

CP2
(a) A building must have elements which will, to the degree necessary, avoid the spread of fire -
(i) to exits; and Not applicable
(ii) to sole occupancy units and public corridors; and Not applicable
(iii) between buildings; and The tilt-up panels will have an FRL of 240/240/240. In
addition, the panels will be extended vertically 450mm
to provide additional shielding to the roof. The small
amount of combustible material suggests that the
probability of roof collapse and the exposure of the
adjacent building to radiant heat in excess of that
allowed by the BCA is small.

(iv) in a building.
(b) Avoidance of the spread of fire referred to in (a)
must be appropriate to -
(i) the function and use of the building; and The factory is to be used for fabrication of Steel
Pressure Vessels.

The fire load will consequently be low and the


population relatively low.

(ii) the fire load; and The fire load is anticipated to be quite low considering
the proposed use.

(iii) the potential fire intensity; and It is assumed that the fire intensity will be low given
that low fire load.

(iv) the fire hazard; and The fire hazard is low although ignition sources will be
readily available due to welding and other industrial
processes.

(v) the number of storeys in the building; and The number of storeys does not materially affect this
solution.

(vi) its proximity to other property; and The tilt-up panels will have an FRL of 240/240/240. In
addition, the panels will be extended vertically to
provide additional shielding to the roof.

(vii) any active fire safety systems installed in the Smoke detection will provide early warning for the
building; and occupants and the NSWFB.

(viii) the size of the fire compartment; and The fire compartment is in excess of that allowed by
the BCA. This is the subject of the report.

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LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
CP2
(ix) fire brigade intervention; and NSWFB intervention will be addressed in the fire
engineering report.

(x) other elements they support; and Not applicable

(xi) the evacuation time. Evacuation time will be low due to the number of exits,
the compliant travel distances, and the small
population.

The low fire load, high roof, small population and early
warning from the smoke detection suggest that egress
times will be suitable.

Comments in relation to Performance Requirements CP9.

CP9
Access must be provided to and around a building, to the degree necessary, for fire brigade vehicles and
personnel to facilitate fire brigade intervention appropriate to
(a) the function or use of the building; and The factory is to be used for fabrication of Steel
Pressure Vessels.

The fire load will consequently be low and the


population relatively low.

(b) the fire load; and The fire load is anticipated to be quite low. This will be
investigated in detail in the fire engineering report.

(c) the potential fire intensity; and It is assumed that the fire intensity will be low given
that low fire load.

(d) the fire hazard; and The fire hazard is low although ignition sources will be
readily available due to welding and other industrial
processes.

(e) any active fire safety systems installed in the Smoke detection will provide early warning for the
building; and occupants and the NSWFB.

(f) the size of any fire compartment. The fire compartment is in excess of that allowed by
the BCA for volume only, not floor area. This is the
subject of the report.

Comments in relation to Performance Requirements EP1.6.

EP1.6
Suitable facilities must be provided to the degree necessary in a building to co-ordinate fire brigade
intervention during an emergency appropriate to -

(a) the function or use of the building; and The factory is to be used for fabrication of Steel
Pressure Vessels.

The fire load will consequently be low and the


population relatively low.

The use of the building will not adversely impede fire


brigade intervention. The construction of the building

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 24


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
will provide 240 minutes fire resistance.

(b) the floor area of the building; and The floor area of the building is within the allowable
floor area for Type A construction. Therefore the
building complies with the floor area requirements of
the BCA and it is only the volume that creates an
oversized fire compartment.

The additional volume (ie. the high ceiling area) is not


used for storage or other use that significantly
increases the fire risk.

(c) the height of the building. The height of the roof will extend tenability by acting
as a reservoir for smoke.

The height of the building is required for the use of


internal cranes and the like and will not create
additional fire load when compared to a similar
building with a lower roof height that complies with the
compartment size of a Type A building.

4.8 Assessment Conclusion


Accordingly, based on the application of the above solution the alternative solution is considered to be likely to
meet and comply with the performance requirements CP2, CP9 and EP1.6.

4.9 Trial Design


The following are the preliminary requirements of the alternative solution. Subject to the fire engineering
analysis, this list may change including possible additions.

1. A smoke detection and alarm system - A smoke detection and alarm system is to be provided in the
factory and linked to a fire brigade monitoring facility. The smoke detection system shall be an aspirated
system such as Vesda or equivalent. The system will provide earlier occupant activation and earlier fire
brigade response. The installation must comply with AS 1670.1-2004 and AS 1670.3-2004. Recorded
voice messages shall be incorporated into the occupant warning.
2. Fire Hydrant System - The building shall be provided with a fire hydrant system in accordance with
AS2419.1 - 2005.
3. Fire Hydrant Booster Connection - The system shall include a fire hydrant booster connection located
and installed in accordance with BCA E1.3 and AS2419.1-2005.
4. Stortz Couplings - The fire hydrant booster connection and al fire hydrant valves shall be fitted with
Stortz aluminium alloy delivery couplings in manufactured and installed in accordnace with clauses 7.1
and 8.5.11.1 of AS2419.1 - 2005.
5. Tilt-up panels - The tilt-up panels shall provide an FRL of 240/240/240. The tilt-up panels shall be
extended vertically to provide additional screening from an adjacent fire (see figure 7 and 8).
6. General Assumption of DTS Compliance - Other than the alternative solutions contained in this
report, the building is otherwise considered to comply with the DTS provisions of the BCA. Should other
alternative solutions become necessary to support the proposed design, AE&D must be contacted to
consider if the solutions affect the basis of this report. Should other solutions be considered to affect the
basis of this report, the fire engineering assessment must be re-assessed and an addendum or
amended report issued.
7. The Fire Safety Schedule for the building should be updated to specifically reference the requirements
of this alternative solution report.

It will be assumed that the remainder of the Building will comply with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of the
BCA.

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LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
4.10 Management in use
The following management in use measures is proposed -

1. General Housekeeping to maintain the egress path and exits clear to allow unimpeded travel.
2. No smoking policy is to be implemented in all public areas.
3. Commissioning and integrated function testing of all fire safety and protection systems including
interfaces to ensure proper function.
4. All essential services are to be maintained and tested in accordance with BCA and Australian Standard
AS1851.

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LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW
4.11 CONCLUSION

This Alternative Solution Report addresses the industrial building at Lot 4, Dunheved, St Mary's, NSW.

The area of design requiring alternative solution relates to the following issue -

1. To allow the use of an oversize fire compartment with respect to volume.

A performance based assessment has been carried out on this aspect of the design, and found to meet and
comply with the relevant performance requirements CP2, CP9 and EP1.6.

Report by: Lee Clark


Manager Fire Engineering
for AE&D
Master Fire Engineering (UWS)

Nathan Halstead
DIRECTOR
for AE&D

MAIBS, M Build Surv (UWS) Grad Cert Fire Eng (VU)


Accredited Certifier / Principal Certifying Authority (Building)
Grade A1 Unrestricted ( Fire Engineering Compliance C10
BPB No. BPB0161
AIBS National - Accredited Building Surveyor

2655 FER REV 01 - ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION REPORT 27


LOT 4, DUNHEVED, ST MARYS, NSW