Performance-Based Alternative to Standard Fire Resistance Design

Performance-Based Alternative to Standard Fire Resistance Design

The implementation of the standard fire resistance design (SFRD) approach is based on prescriptive code requirements to specify an indexed level of fire resistance to individual structural members and systems. This approach does not consider member connections, structural system response, or design fire exposure, nor does it explicitly account for the capacity of the structural system to withstand fire or the actual level of heating experienced by the structural system. Moreover, SFRD can be expensive to implement, and in many situations may inhibit aesthetics and architectural expression. As an alternate approach, recent progress with codes and standards development has recognized and incorporated performance-based structural fire design (PBSFD), which explicitly evaluates the demand and capacity of structural systems under fire loading to provide an acceptable level of performance. In this webinar, we will discuss the motivation behind PBSFD development and summarize available industry codes, standards, and resources to support its implementation. We will also show the common procedure to conduct PBSFD and share how it has been used on recent industry projects.


After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the difference between standard fire resistance design and performance-based structural fire design.
  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages behind each design method.
  • Be familiar with codes, standards, and software that support implementing performance-based structural fire design.
  • Identify the basic approach needed to incorporate performance-based structural fire design into industry projects.

Participants will earn 1.0 AIA CES Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for attending the live webinar. Registration is free. Please note that space is limited – email events@sgh.com to join our waitlist if the session is closed when you register.

About the Speaker

Ricardo Medina
Ricardo Medina | Project Director

Ricardo A. Medina is an expert in the field of structural mechanics who assists clients with issues related to infrastructure risk and resilience, structural fire engineering, condition assessment and management of aging structural systems, and earthquake engineering. He has significant teaching experience as faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for both the University of New Hampshire and University of Maryland, College Park. He has conducted research and published on a range of topics, including structural engineering, performance-based design, collapse assessment of structures, structural testing, and infrastructure risk assessment. Ricardo has also been actively involved in developing national and international seismic design standards, as well as guidelines to improve infrastructure resilience.

Qianru Guo
Qianru Guo | Senior Project Manager

Qianru Guo has a passion for fire engineering, particularly in analysis related to structural response under fire events. She is an integral member of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger’s Fire Engineering practice group, working on life and fire safety code consulting, performance-based structural fire design, structural finite element analysis, heat transfer analysis, and computational fluid dynamics simulation. Qianru is a committee member of the Fire Protection group in American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a member of Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE).

Molly Pobiel
Molly Pobiel | Project Consultant

Molly Pobiel  works with both the Los Angeles Structural Engineering and Fire Engineering practice groups at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, bridging the two fields to assist with structural fire engineering projects. She has experience with performance-based structural fire design, heat transfer analysis, seismic condition assessment and retrofit of structural systems, and earthquake engineering. She is a member of the Structural Engineering Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) and its Women in Structural Engineering Committee (WISE).