The design of structural members and specifically the passive protection for the same can be optimized by the use of structural fire engineering. This type of analysis evaluates the thermal effects of fires on structural members. By the use of heat transfer and finite element analysis the structural response to design fires can be determined, and in this way it is possible to assess the structures strength in fire conditions.
Analysis of this type is often used as a performance based design alternative to the traditional prescriptive approach which could be costly, non-aesthetic and difficult to maintain.
JVVA has the experience of using structural fire engineering on a number of different projects. The main benefits that structural fire engineering can provide are improved aesthetics, reduced construction cost, reduced maintenance cost and increased property protection.
Risk assessment is becoming recognised by the industry and regulation, as the preferred method for determining tailor made fire safety requirements. The main aim of assessing fire risk is usually for life safety, however two other areas of risk should also be considered. Property protection includes insurance company requirements, and the balance between potential loss, insurance premiums, and capital costs of upgrades. Business continuity is equally important specifically regarding damage to buildings causing loss of income due to interrupted service.
JVVA uses Risk Management as a tool to achieve cost effective and safe design for our clients. This service includes a wide range of different analysis types and methodologies. It could be a fire risk analysis for a large infrastructure project, a cost benefit analysis regarding the incorporation of fire protection system for a building, or a comparative study to evaluate different fire safety design options for evacuation design.
For clients with a property portfolio JVVA can assist them to understand and manage fire risks within their portfolio, and in this way reducing corporate risk. Our approach uses a scientifically based risk ranking tool to assess properties. This enables properties to be benchmarked against each other and spending prioritised to achieve the best return on investment.
Clients use us as independent quality controllers of any type of fire safety documents; fire safety strategies, advanced technical analysis, test reports, etc. This can be done in many different forms; it could be a simple assessment of a test report or a full evaluation of a project where a detailed engineering justification is necessary.
Independently of which type of review we are conducting we have the required skills and experience necessary to be able to conduct such a service and more importantly provide our clients with the correct advice.
Any fire safety strategy, independently of the level of complexity, requires that the fire safety systems perform as foreseen in the strategy. It is not just enough to have the fire safety systems in place it is equally important to know that the work as foreseen.
It is necessary that any fire safety system is maintained and regularly checked, to ensure that it will perform to its optimum level in the event of a fire. JVVA has significant experience in this field. Our engineers have conducted performance verification regarding the interaction and coordination of multiple and separate fire safety systems in a large number of buildings.
The aim of our service is to verify to our clients that their fire safety systems are optimized to function as intended.
JVVA can provide fire investigation expertise to determine the fire contributors and the fire behavior i.e. the development of the fire and specifically the resulting fire spread characteristics.
This is of particular value to the insurance industry and product manufacturers for verification of fire contributors, arson investigation and damage assessment. Findings of the investigation can assist in legal cases using expert witness evidence.
JVVA provides fire safety training in the form of courses and seminars. We develop tailor made training in line with the needs of our clients. We have a wide range of courses that cover different fire safety subjects.
A few examples are:
- principles of fire engineering,
- advanced analysis methods,
- fire science / fire phenomena,
- fire safety design,
- performance based design
- fire brigade intervention
The courses can be very different but a few typical client profiles could be the following;
- fire safety managers,
- fire brigade officials,
- fire authorities and building engineers.
The correct interpretation and understanding of fire safety codes is necessary to avoid design mistakes that could lead to a costly redesign process, the negation of a license or as worst case a shutdown of the premises.
We ensure, through a detailed analysis, that the design and construction projects comply with the relevant fire and life safety codes requirements. If the analysis will identify areas where the design does not meet the code requirements we can develop alternative approaches to code compliance to meet facility design restraints, project objectives and operational needs.
JVVA has experience in using a multitude of different fire safety codes, including the International Building Code (US) and the NFPA Codes.
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