The application of a performance-based fire engineering design has enabled the conservation of a heritage building in New Zealand. McDougall House is a two-story heritage building which suffered extensive damages during the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. The scope of the conservation plan included the preservation and restoration of the building external façade, the restoration of the ornamental plasterwork ceiling within the Ballroom, the reconstruction of all damaged internal lath and plaster linings, the adaptation of the fireplace, and the reconstruction of the damaged chimney. The fire engineering design adopted is the Verification Method C/VM2 with As Nearly As is Reasonably Practicable consideration for the heritage fabrics of the building. The combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses has demonstrated the building design compliance with the 10 design scenarios of C/VM2. These analyses include the assessment of minimum means of escape and fire protection provisions, the assessment of allowable unprotected areas in the external wall for horizontal fire spread, the assessment of firefighting provisions, the smoke and egress modelling of proposed design fires, and the benefit versus sacrifice analysis on the heritage fabrics. The application of C/VM2 results in an upgrade to the fire safety and fire protection systems of the building while also retaining and enhancing its heritage value.
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