Jensen Hughes Middle East Newsletter Q4


Our Middle East Director of Project Delivery, Pedro Armijo, shared his thoughts

Railway projects follow a particular fire and life safety (FLS) engineering design process, which responds more to a performance-specific engineering analysis than a prescriptive design approach. Whether the project involves high-speed rail, heavy rail, freight or urban metro systems, integrating the FLS discipline and its requirements into the project structure requires applying specific fire engineering design methodologies. Engineering solutions will typically focus on the train fire, its effects on transit system users and its impact on infrastructure. Model building and fire code solutions have traditionally geared toward environments that align very little with transit. Hence, there is a need to adapt specific engineering design solutions to transit environment hazards and integrate these into the wider building and fire code requirements. Railway projects inherently carry a number of design challenges. Take the combination of different codes and standards for rolling stock, for example. Depending on the design and manufacturing governance of the rolling stock, designers will be presented with a number of technological and RAMS assurance assessments that require careful attention. Of paramount importance is an understanding of the fire engineering first principles of tunnel and station ventilation and evacuation. Regulatory codes and standards typically offer performance-based or objective-based requirements that need to be achieved using specific engineering calculations. The fire engineering team has to be well-

prepared and experienced to effectively resolve the strategy and integrate the design team. This includes having a fundamental understanding of the research and testing data available for selecting the design fire scenario, as well as the ability to use coupled-modeling tools for ventilation and evacuation assessments. transportation agencies are typically the leading AHJs for railways while fire safety AHJs such as Civil Defence will be an integral part of the stakeholders team for project design and construction approvals. Since these two AHJs usually overlap on various aspects of the FLS strategy, it is the role of the FLS engineer to manage the process and meet AHJ expectations. Local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) play a fundamental role in the process. Governmental Our Jensen Hughes Middle East team has been involved in most of the major rail projects in the Middle East region, from FLS engineering designer to design-build consultant to third-party peer reviewer on behalf of the AHJ. Our local experts are further supported by our global team of fire engineers located in North America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific, regions with a long history of producing railway engineering solutions. This helps to bring well- informed, holistic, engineering design solutions as well as in-depth knowledge on applying engineering principles and data to support Middle East projects.

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