2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

BIM-based code compliance checking for fire safety in timber buildings: A comparison of existing tools

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Ms. Kristina Kincelova (Presenter)
Mr. Conrad Boton
Mr. Pierre Blanchet
Dr. Christian Dagenais, FPInnovations

The nature and the complexity of building codes, including the fire regulations, result in mainly manual verification and, therefore, in subjective potential interpretations or errors. In the case of timber construction, the fire safety regulations are moreover a challenge due to the combustibility of the material. Further integration of fire safety is needed during the design process in order to increase the reliability of the designs in terms of fire safety. Building information modelling (BIM) technologies offer today new tools for automating different tasks in the construction process. The different approaches and available tools have been therefore compared in the context of fire protection code compliance. For that matter, criteria applicable to the tools have been identified based on literature review and on the National Building Code of Canada prescriptive provisions, but also based on a practical manipulation of the available tools. The potential of the different tools is therefore assessed based on their integration of the fire protection concepts and on their adaptability to BIM. This contextualized comparison has shown that the fire protection integration in BIM is limited. The tools for performance-based fire protection design are not exploring enough the information contained by the building model that is beyond the geometry. The BIM-based compliance checking tools, in turn, contain insufficient space for fire safety regulations checking as advanced spatial study is required for this purpose. Thus, this paper demonstrates the need for further development in terms of exploiting the building models’ semantics in the fire protection context.