Performance Based Design

Aquarium Rooftop Amenity Deck

Exposure analysis of unprotected steel structure



A portion of the aquarium rooftop is transformed into an event venue space with the addition of a new retractable pavilion. Based on the existing construction type of the building, prescriptive code dictates that the new pavilion must be provided with spray-applied fireproofing or intumescent paint to match the fire resistance rating of existing structural elements. In addition to the exorbitant installation cost, ongoing maintenance requirements and unsightly appearance, the spray-applied fireproofing was reason for much concern with the aquarium. Any overspray during application could harm the sharks!


We performed fire modeling to evaluate how the omission of spray-applied fireproofing would impact the structural performance of the pavilion. We also simulated the occupant evacuation from the space to ensure adequate time to safely egress. Through this holistic performance-based design analysis, we determined that in the event of a worst-case fire scenario the unprotected steel did not exhibit any reduction in structural performance and the occupants experienced safe conditions throughout egress.

Bottom Line

  • $200,000 of savings in construction costs
  • Eliminated risk of poisoning sharks

Services Provided

Performance Based Design


International Building Code (IBC) - Table 601

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