Factors Affecting the Fire Safety Design of Photovoltaic Installations Under Performance-Based Regulations in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The impact of Photovoltaic (PV) installations on the fire safety of buildings must be considered in all building projects where such energy systems are established. The holistic fire safety of the building largely depends on how the fire safety of the PV installation is considered by the different actors during the design and construction process. Research has therefore been undertaken to study how performance-based regulations in combination with the lack of national guidelines affect the overall fire safety considerations for PV installations in Norway. Four factors were found to govern to which extent PV installations are emphasised in the fire safety design phase: (1) whether the building was first of its kind as a pioneering building, (2) whether the building was built before or after the publication of the 2018 revision of the norm NEK 400, (3) The level of knowledge and experience of the fire safety consultant, which in turn affects the use of performance-based engineering tools and the level of detailing in the design and construction phases, and (4) The degree of integration in the building. The main goal of the study is to give an insight and a contribution to the development of in-depth knowledge on how fire safety design for PV installations on buildings is handled in Norway, which may also be relevant to other countries with similar performance-based regulations.