EC Convention Centre, Doha, Qatar

Client: Yamasaki Associates
Project Leader: Richard Sherwood BEng, Senior Fire Engineer
Project Support: Ken Seow BSc Fire Engineer
Type of works: design and provision of a detailed fire strategy at the premises, along with definition of strategic project approach, liaison with client and other design team members. Quality Assurance review, design and authorship of report.

Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF) was appointed fire engineers to the main design and contracting group for the project (Yamasaki). The role was to take conceptual designs produced on the part of the client and convert these into a detail design for construction. The fire strategy for the project was critical to the deliverables of the project in terms of spatial planning and risk adjacencies. The design standards applicable to the project were those of the USA, namely the NFPA fire safety design standards.

The project represents a major educational and community facility comprising ten auditoria halls ranging in size from 150 to 4,000 capacity. The building comprises the auditoria, public concourse and assembly areas together with support and administration facilities.

LWF was appointed to work with the contracting construction team to develop a detailed design from the client-approved concepts produced independently. The concept designs were based on British Standard criteria for fire safety. An audit of the concept designs was competed and a non-compliance report produced when comparing the architecture, structure and M&E features against the required American NFPA design standards.

The design approach required to achieve the client’s requirements when considering the constraints posed by a prescriptive compliance was a performance-based solution. CFD analysis was applied to the critical areas where non-compliance issues could not be determined otherwise. Population movement in terms of means for escape was determined by manual calculation to determine the relative ASET/RSET relationships.

A full and detailed fire strategy report was developed to inform the detail design team members for their own detailed designs (architect, structural engineer, M&E engineer). The report also formed the basis for approvals of fire safety provision with the Qatar national Civil Defence Authority.

Client and design team meetings were attended as well as the presentation of the strategy to the approvals authority.

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