Safety Zone Magazine January 2018 - Page 8

Clemson Provides Textbook Case of Performance-Based Fire Protection at New Football Practice Facility Unique approach to smoke detection at NCAA national champion’s practice facility improves safety while dramatically lowering cost Too often when educational facilities look to add unique or architecturally impactful buildings on campus, restrictive fire codes put a damper on designs or threaten to significantly increase costs and compromise functionality. However, Clemson University, which recently constructed a new state-of-the-art home for its 2016 NCAA championship football team, was able to rethink conventional wisdom with a radical, more flexible approach to fire code interpretations. The Allen N. Reeves Football Complex is the first in South Carolina history to utilize a performance-based design code analysis approach (tested to meet specific goals) to fire code safety, instead of a traditional prescriptive approach (adhering strictly to written codes), according to Paul Borick, one of Clemson University’s Capital Projects, project managers for renovations and new construction. “Universities have so many uniquely shaped or large volume spaces – like sports centers, pools, weight rooms, aerobic rooms, as well as classrooms and labs pushed up against multi-story structures and assembly areas – that don’t quite fit the prescriptive fire code,” says Borick. Performance Based Design In traditional prescriptive based designs, building codes usually require specific, measurable design criteria that are meant to govern typical building situations, based on past loss history and standard construction methods. While 6 Safety Zone Magazine • January ‘18