A Risk-Based Approach to the Performance-Based Fire Safety Design of a Building in Regard to Preventing Building-to-Building Fire Spread

  • Keisuke HimotoEmail author
Conference paper


Building Standard Law (BSL) of Japan requires a building to maintain certain fire safety performance on preventing building-to-building fire spread in urban area. The level of requirement on a building changes with the site location, total floor area, and number of floors of the building, though in a prescriptive manner. In this study, a prototype of risk assessment method is developed for the performance-based fire safety design of a building in regard to building-to-building fire spread prevention. The fire spread risk of a building is evaluated by an event tree analysis in which occurrence probability of fire spread is considered as the probability of successive occurrence of comprising probabilistic events. The probability of each event is represented as a function of fire-resistive time of building members and fire duration time. For the consideration to maintaining continuity from the existing building regulation to an alternative building regulation, equivalency of the requirement level of the two building regulations is validated by comparing the fire spread risk of a building that can be built under each regulation. A case study was performed with a building located in the fire protection zone (FPZ). The result showed that there are several combinations of design parameters such as the fire-resistive times of exterior wall and opening that satisfy equivalent level of the requirement in terms of the fire spread risk in addition to the ones prescribed in the existing regulation.


Building-to-building fire spread Performance-based fire safety design method Risk-based approach 



Floor area (m2)


Number of fire compartments


Number of adjacent buildings


Occurrence probability of event


Fire spread risk


Setback from the site boundary


Fire duration time of the target building


Fire-resistive time

Greek symbols


Fire duration time of the building adjacent to the target building



Equivalent without the setback effect


Equivalent with the setback effect








The author appreciates the committee members of the integrated technology development project of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for their valuable comments on the proposed method.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Land and Infrastructure ManagementTsukubaJapan

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