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Integrating Monte Carlo Simulation with zone and field models for Performance-based Fire Safety Engineering design

The Canadian model building code (NBCC) has provision forcompliance using Alternative Solutions that achieve a level of performance required by comparison to Acceptable Solutions. The level of performance is defined by Objectives statements which are specified in terms of minimising the PROBABILITY of risk exposure that the design and construction of the building would pose to occupants (and in some situations properties) in or adjacent to the building in case of emergency.

In practice, however, demonstration of the level of performance is often based on ‘single-value’ determination of performance parameters resulted from designed system and fire characteristics. Multiple scenarios are usually studied to provide some broader results for comparison with that of the Acceptable Solution. There is, however, ongoing development in various sectors to apply risk analysis methodology to performance-based fire safety design.

This presentation addresses the development and application of an ’Integrator’ that allows Fire Safety Engineer to run multiple zone or field models with input parameter(s) varying based on selected probability distribution functions. The probabilistic level of performance of a proposed Alternative Solution can then be compared to that of an Acceptable Solution.

The ‘Integrator’ is built on Excel spreadsheet and modelled after the Probabilistic Fire Simulator. It has the following features that will:

  • integrate both cFAST 7 and FDS;
  • allow any number of ‘uncertain’ input parameters;
  • include built-in probabilistic distribution functions such as uniform, normal, lognormal, gamma, Latin hypercube sampling, etc.;
  • permit definition of input fire heat release rate with ‘uncertain’ parameters;
  • facilitate ‘macros’ to process output results enable users to conduct analysis of the results using the Excel features (correlation ranking, cumulative distribution function, etc.)
  • Case studies/slides will be included to illustrate the application of the Integrator approach.


S Hostikka, O Keski-Rahkonen, T Korhonen, “Probabilistic Fire Simulator, Theory and User’s Manual for Version 1.2”
K A Notarianni, “The Role of Uncertainty in Improving Fire Protection Regulation”

Kin Man Wong, M.Sc., P.Eng., CP

Date:  November 28, 2017
Time: Registration and Reception 5:30pm
Location: False Creek Yacht Club (1661 Granville Street)
Cost: Members - $35; Non-members $40. Please bring cash or a cheque payable to BC Society of Fire Protection Engineers to cover the cost of dinner.
Registration Deadline: November 24, 2017

Free parking is available in the Yacht Club parking lot.

Start date: 
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 17:30

Signups closed for this Event