Frye M J, Olynick D M, Pinkney R B
Development of an expert system for the fire protection requirements of the national building code of Canada
Abstract: In Canada, the standard for fire safety for new buildings, reconstruction of buildings including alterations and additions, and buildings involving a change in occupancy, is established in Part 3, Use andOccupancy, of the National Building Code of Canada. While the fire protection requirements contained in this section of the Code are very explicit, inexperienced or infrequent users of the Code often find it confusing and overwhelming because of the number of requirements which apply or seem to apply to a given building. An experienced code user or expert understands what information is relevant and will generally use a systematic process to determine the fire protection requirements that are applicable. Because the human approach to fire protection analysis is, in fact, systematic and logically sequential, and because the knowledge contained in codes and standards is largely in the form ofrules, an expert system can be developed to effectively simulate human competence in fire protective design. This paper describes the development of a user-friendly expert system that closely mimics the human approach used in the fire protection analysis of those buildings regulated by Part 3, Use and Occupancy of the National Building Code of Canada. The principal fire protection requirements of the Code have been incorporated into the expert system. The resulting expert system will be useful to the experienced code user as a code assistant, and to theinexperienced or infrequent code user who requires code information when no expert is available.
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editor, Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.