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Structural Engineers Association of New York

SEAoNY Student Outreach Committee Presents: Fire Protection of Buildings: Current Practice to Performance Based Design

  • 01 Dec 2020
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Zoom
  • 243


SEAoNY Student Outreach Committee Presents

Fire Protection of Buildings: Current Practice to Performance Based Design

The SEAoNY Student Outreach Committee is pleased to introduce a technical lecture on Fire Protection of Buildings, presented by Ali Ashrafi, PhD, PE.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 12pm Noon, Webinar via Zoom

This presentation will showcase the opportunities presented by adopting a performance-based design approach to the fire protection of buildings. The advantages of this approach typically include more flexibility in design, better aesthetics, better economy, more reliability, and quantification of building response to fire. This presentation will first provide a background on the current state of fire protection of buildings, with a focus on protection measures for the structural elements and common issues faced by architects. Then, it will discuss the shortcomings of the current prescriptive design and advantages and opportunities presented by performance-based design. Several examples from projects such as the Shed and Pittsburgh International Airport will be discussed to show when and how performance-based design provides its benefits. The presentation will also discuss modeling egress and smoke in fire and how designs can be improved using a performance approach to this topic.


Ali Ashrafi, PhD, PE, LEED AP

Principal, Thornton Tomasetti

Ali Ashrafi is a Principal at the New York office of Thornton Tomasetti and leads the performance-based fire engineering services at the firm. Ali has more than 15 years of experience in design, renovation, investigation, demolition, and advanced analytics. He has applied the concepts of performance-based fire design to numerous high profile projects throughout the US, such as the Shed and Pittsburgh International Airport. He has also led the investigation of several major fires impacting different buildings throughout the world. He is a vice-chair of the Fire Protection Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a member of the ACEC Metro Region Fire Codes Committee. Dr. Ashrafi has taught Structural Fire Engineering and Earthquake and Wind Engineering at Columbia University.

Pre-registration is required to receive the webinar link. 

Registration will close at noon on November 30th. 

The webinar link will be emailed between 4pm Nov 30 and 1:00pm Dec 1st.

Event is free for students and SEAoNY Members, $10 for non-members.

1 PDH pending

For more information, please reach out to the SEAoNY Student Outreach Committee at



(t) 646.736.0694



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