As designers look to translate an owner’s articulation of their need, to take a blank space or an existing building, and create the owner’s ideal building, there are often constraints introduced by building and fire codes. This formation of a design is hard enough as it is – when we then layer in the building and fire code requirements, the task grows in magnitude and in many instances, risks losing the intended design. Design Realization mitigates that risk and places the control back with the designer. We understand why the chosen forms are important, and work to guide designers in a way that enables that design to be realized without compromising the safety of the building occupants. The Design Realization philosophy has enabled elements such as a 17 story spiral staircase and canopies at the world’s busiest airport.
Performance Based Solutions
The prescriptive requirements of the building and fire codes are considered an acceptable level of safety. The standard of safety achieved by these codes; however, falls short of what many fire protection engineers would consider acceptable. This is primarily due to a simple equation: the time available to safely get people out of a building must be more than the time needed to get those people out of the building. When considering performance based solutions, Goodhead looks at the accepted levels of safety, and reviews the performance of the designed building to look for increased levels of safety, better design, and lower construction costs. Experience has shown that this process can yield seven figure savings, 10X the consulting cost.
Authorities having jurisdiction exist as guardians of safety for their jurisdiction. As such, they are meticulous in their approach to ensuring the levels of safety are achieved. In doing so, the language and nuances of the building and fire code, the purposes, and the safety achieved often gets viewed differently from city to city. Goodhead provides clear, concise, and easy to understand negotiations to reach solutions that meet everyone’s needs. Our core values will guide us to a negotiated solution that meets everyone’s needs and desires, and maintain the levels of safety for the public, users, and first responders.
Value Management of Fire Codes
Fire and life safety systems are provided in the hope that they are never needed and if they will always be required. Not all systems and approaches are equal. Using our core values, we approach every engagement with a view to maximizing value for the owner and designer, while protecting users and first responders. Safety is never compromised, but we are frequently able to reduce construction costs. In one instance, Goodhead engineers were able to add nearly 10,000 sq. ft. of premium retail space, and in another instance, able to provide an analysis that generated a solution that met the construction budget and reduced maintenance costs and increased safety. We understand how to manage value and achieve the levels of safety required.
Human Movement Modeling
Our Founding Principal Engineer is an expert in human behavior in fire. Why is this important? The protection of people due to fire in buildings is a key component of the building and fire codes. Understanding human behavior in an emergency event means performance based solution development can include variables building and fire modeling cannot account for. The results of this understanding? Lower exhaust rates of smoke management systems, improved flow of people under normal conditions, and even understanding of movement in armed aggressor, active shooter, severe weather, and other emergency scenarios.
Industrial and High Value Asset Fire Protection Solutions
When processes and systems cost tens of millions of dollars, or more, protection is about both people and property. The solutions required to approach risk mitigation are different when an event lasting several seconds can destroy an entire site and risk dozens of lives. Goodhead has experienced personnel who have dealt with rocketry, combustible dust, flammable and combustible liquids, aerosols, and high voltage equipment. Considering property protection is dynamic site to site, and the right solution is not always in a book. The benefit of bringing Goodhead to the solution development team is our understanding of the dynamics, risk, and resources available.