Efectis is able to perform all Fire Safety Engineering (FSE) applied to structural fire behaviour for assessing building collapse modes, taking into account their building functions (storage, industrial, residential) or their different types of structure (steel, concrete, timber, aluminium or any composite ones).
Generally speaking, the Fire Safety Engineering is a performance-based approach checking following requirements:
Analyses are based on fire development and fire spread modelling in order to predict the structural fire behaviour of the buildings.
Efectis use specific modelling tools such as: fire development tools (simplified model, zone model, CFD model like FDS) and Finite Element Model for heat transfer and/or for mechanical calculations (SAFIR, ANSYS, LENAS, DIANA).
In critical hazards such as boil-over, BLEVE, flash-fire, pool fire, jet-fire and explosions in an industrial site, a petrochemical site or a power plant, toxicity, thermal and explosion domino effects inside and outside the site can have disastrous consequences to the surroundings.
Efectis can assess the vulnerability of your facilities, and define the best solutions to reinforce your installations, to manage the risks for people. We offer an overall structured approach to the problem:
Earthquakes are one of the most lethal natural risks and those which cause most damage. According to the French environmental code, there are two types of structures, “normal risk” and “special risk” structures, referring to a specific earthquake-resistant regulation.
For these installations, earthquake risk prevention must be subject to a case-by-case study.
In this context, CTICM and Efectis France have joined forces to offer their expertise. A wide range of services is thus proposed:
For more than 15 years, Efectis has performed fire risk studies for nuclear operators.
A fire risk study of an installation consists in considering that a fire can occur in any premises of the installation and includes:
Efectis performs fire stability studies for nuclear operators. In most cases, the initial requirements for structural stability are based on the standard ISO-fire curve over two hours. However, when the initial requirements against the standard fire curve cannot be satisfied, the performance is then assessed on the current fire risk. Assessment is also requested when ISO-fire rating is satisfied if the real thermal actions may be more severe than the standard fire curve in terms of intensity or duration.
The fire safety of a building is determined by four aspects namely, the measures taken in the architectural and the installation provisions, by the function the building serves, and by the way the evacuation of building users is handled. When one aspect has a poor score it will have consequences for the overall fire safety.
In the national regulations, for each fire safety aspect, requirements are established for both existing and new structures. Distinction is made between:
It is also possible to meet the functional requirements with another set of safety measures and to obtain a sufficiently fireproof building. The equivalence of these measures should be proven in that case. This risk-based assessment is referred to as “Proof of equivalent fire safety.”
Efectis can help during the design, implementation, and in the service phase of the structure. Listed below are some possible services that Efectis can perform.
Design (new buildings):
Service phase (existing buildings):
Fire Safety Engineering is recognized as a real alternative to the usual descriptive approach, and currently used all over the world in elaborating an overall fire safety strategy in a building.
The engineering approach gives greater flexibility to architects and contractors in designing complex or innovative buildings, and provides an appropriate tool in the refurbishment of buildings to make them comply with regulations, such as historic buildings.
Efectis can perform the following engineering smoke control studies that can be useful in cases of non-compliance with regulations such as:
To combat the risk of fire one must understand the extent and nature of the fire hazards present and then design systems to address these risks. The fire scientists and fire protection engineers at Efectis are fire behavior and systems design experts.
Prescriptive Design: The majority of projects are governed by regulatory requirements that mandate the use of active fire detection and suppression systems. Efectis specializes in conventional and unconventional fire protection system design including many international and recognizes standards and codes.
The nature and level of detail of detail provided by Efectis will vary depending upon the needs of the project. Efectis can produce everything from performance specification documents to full shop level submittals. In all cases Efectis led designs clearly identify the scope of the project in detail which ensures more competitive bids and fewer potential change orders.
Performance Based Design: Some facilities like public transit systems, sports arenas, large atriums, and industrial sites often require special analysis to identify and mitigate risks. The fire scientists and fire protection engineers at Efectis draw upon decades of fire modeling and fire testing experience to quantify the risks and use that expertise to develop customized solutions. Some of the performance based design services that Efectis provides includes, but is not limited to:
The increasing complexity of buildings combined with a demand for higher safety levels, in relation to size and configuration, requires particular attention for egress conditions. Several methods may be used to analyze the escape possibilities of a building such as simple calculation and modeling to solve more complex scenarios. The main parameter in egress analysis is time. On one hand the required safe egress time (RSET) which depends on discovery time for the calamity, reaction time, number of people, walking speed, choice of exit, size and number of doors, staircases and buffer rooms, height of the building, emergency response team etc. On the other hand the available safe egress time (ASET) which depends (in case of fire) on fire load density, flammability of materials, compartmentation, height of the fire compartment, openings in de compartment, emergency response team, fire suppression systems, fire brigade etc.
The main purpose of egress analysis is to provide accurate evaluation, to propose solutions for optimization of a (safe) building design, and to find the critical locations in an existing building.
Building regulations define the ways and methods for the assessment of fire resistance of buildings, structures and materials (fire test standards, Eurocodes …), and usually propose an alternative to the prescriptive approach that is Fire Safety Engineering (FSE). This alternative is based on performance-based approach/design and consists of assessing fire resistance of structures under real/natural fires (as opposed to standard fire curves).
Efectis has the skills and the advanced modeling tools and the experimental facilities for the assessment of the fire performance of construction products and structures.
Efectis has performed such fire resistance studies of structures for more than 40 years, utilizing:
Different steps of calculations use specific modeling tools such as: fire development tools (simplified model, zone model, CFD model like FDS), Finite Element Model code for heat transfer (DIANA, SAFIR, ANSYS) and Finite Element Model code for fire mechanical calculations (SAFIR, ANSYS, LENAS).
Study on fire resistance of steel structure of a tower
Efectis can provide a wide range of Technical Assistance Services, such as:
Most often starting fires will not result in a fully developed fire. Within natural fire development three phases are recognized.
The development phase leading into a phase of a fully developed fire though a flash-over. When all fuel for the fire is depleted the fire will go into a decay phase.
Various aspects influence the development of a fire in a building, some of these are:
With our knowledge of fire behavior, material behavior and ventilation we can help to model possible fire development according to the standard t2-development curve. Because this curve is limited in its field of application Efectis can help to develop suitable fire scenarios for:
Efectis can perform smoke spread modeling to assess the conditions for evacuating people according to tenability criteria (toxicity, opacity, temperature and heat radiation of smoke). This analysis directs the choice of the most appropriate smoke exhaust systems to implement, or justifies the effectiveness of smoke exhaust systems, despite their non-conformity to the usual descriptive approach.
Engineering smoke control studies can be useful in cases of non-compliance with regulations such as:
Operators of hazardous sites may wish to or must perform, in accordance with local regulations, a hazard study to assess the impact of the facilities on the environment and the surroundings and to guarantee that risks are under control. As part of regulatory process, the authorities having jurisdiction over the site may require a third-party analysis of the hazard studies, in order to obtain an independent expert analysis.
Efectis has been carrying out third-party analysis of hazardous sites for more than 15 years.
Our service focuses in particular on the critical analysis of:
Effectiveness of active and passive fire protection systems (sprinklers – fire doors – smoke extraction – partitioning elements – etc.)
Standard rules in regulations often don’t meet the requirements of the market. Efectis can help developers, builder and owners to meet a fire safety level equivalent to the level provided by standard solutions.
The assessment may consist of modelling, calculating and testing of construction behavior, to determine fire development, smoke spread and evacuation possibilities.
The equivalent safety approach especially applies to:
Efectis does all sorts of equivalent safety assessments for all types of structures. Many are assessments of proposed solutions. Others are investigations into the feasibility of products and systems to provide equivalent solutions, which may be combined with optimizing the products and systems themselves.
Failure to identify and demonstrate building code compliance creates risks that can hamper a project’s progress and/or subjects a facility to undue operational and legal risks.
Efectis code experts work as a part of your team to help incorporate the design details needed to comply with the codes and standards, no matter how unique the project. Whether you need to comply with a version of the ICC Code family, NFPA’s Life Safety Code (NFPA 101) and/or other locally adopted codes, standards or specifications, Efectis engineers have the experience to assist you.
Efectis has extensive codes and standards experience that includes: