'Prescriptive' and Performance based codes?

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What is the difference between 'prescriptive-based codes' and 'performance based-design codes' in regards to fire safety standards?

Is BS5839..., a ‘prescriptive based codes’, or ‘performance based design codes’, or a mixture of both?

wee brian:
Prescriptive codes or requirements tell you what you should be doing - eg Smoke detectors must be possiitoned no more than 5m apart....

Performance based codes or requirements set a specific performance -  eg The fire detection system should be designed so that it detects a fire within 30 seconds (for this you need standard methods of calculation which cannot be varied)

Functional based requirements set out the objectives - eg A suitable fire detection system should be provided...(you can go all the way to - the building should be reasonably safe if there is a fire)

BS 5839 is esentially a prescriptive standard. This kind of standard is used by specifiers and regulators as a kind of shorthand. Rather than describing what they want in infinate detail (which they probably arent qualified to do) they just call up a standard spec.   There are sometimes functional nad perfermoance based elements to codes like this.

Most of the Building Regs requirements (in England and Wales) are functional.

A lot of people think that fire safety engineering design is performance based but it isn't (or c ertainly very rarely). FSE is usually used to show compliance with a functional requirement.

Tom Sutton:
Sorry wee brian for being so thick but your abbreviation FSE what does it mean.

wee brian:
FSE - Fire safety engineering


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