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FIRE SAFETY


Aluminium Composite Panels


Metal louvres open to the exterior


Vehicle parking


Figure 4. Vehicle parking in close proximity to combustible ACP.


and orientation of the façade system are important aspects to consider. During the risk assessment, it is important to use the test results from the laboratory testing and other relevant information to assess whether or not the façade system is combustible. The composition of the material may help inform a fire safety engineer the expected fire behaviour of the façade system when ignited. A risk assessment of the façade system


should assess whether or not a fire involving the combustible façade could result in catastrophic loss of life having regards to occupant characteristics. Hospital buildings may have occupants in the neonatal intensive care unit,


Figure 5. Combustibles stored in a room with louvres which open to the external wall with combustible ACP.


individuals with infectious disease and other immunocompromised occupants. These occupants are expected to be non- ambulant or not readily ambulatory. Occupants on life support would require prolonged pre-evacuation time because they are not able to be evacuated until a facility has been set up to receive them in a safe area. For some occupants, toxic gas and heat exposure from the fire can impair their egress. Due to the extended evacuation time


expected, a fire involving the façade could spread extensively on the exterior and internally, which may overwhelm the building fire safety systems before all of the occupants have been safely


Table 1. Summary of building characteristics of risk assessment cases. Case Building use Façade type Number of Principal characteristics


storeys


1 Acute care Combustible Four building ACP


Extensive combustible cladding around all sides of the building


Special care nursery and infectious disease ward inside the building Multiple vehicle parking spaces at Ground Level


2 Acute care Combustible Thirteen Disconnected cladding from podium levels to main tower building ACP


High-security ward 3 Medical EPS insulated Eight


research sandwich panels


4 Acute care Combustible Three building ACP


5 Acute care EPS insulated building


sandwich panels


sandwich panels


Office and laboratory use Occupants expected to be alert and awake


Connected walkway to adjacent building Vehicle parking in close proximity to façade at Ground Level


Current building is a podium for planned hospital tower Only one storey is occupied


Combustible façade extends around all sides of the building Vehicle parking in close proximity to the façade. Façade installed near exits.


6 Ambulatory EPS insulated Seven No overnight occupants. care


Outpatient services only


Maximum of 3 non-ambulant occupants (under sedation) No combustible cladding at Ground Level Long delay between detection and alarm.


26 IFHE DIGEST 2020 Low Extreme High High


evacuated. Table 1 shows examples of case studies, principle characteristics used in the risk assessments and corresponding average risk rating.


Remediation Works Once the risk levels for each identified fire scenario have been determined, recommendations can be made regarding the necessary remediation measures to either minimise the risk or eliminate it completely. Risk mitigation works are often carried to ensure that the level of safety is mitigated either so far as is reasonably practicable (SFAIRP) or as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP). The difference between the two approaches is


Average risk rating


Extreme


High


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