In this capstone unit, students will have the opportunity to integrate technical knowledge and skills from previous units and apply them in realistic work-related settings. The first part of this unit provides students with an understanding on the details of various approaches used for the analysis, design and management of fire safety systems in buildings, with particular emphasis placed on an absolute quantitative approach. This approach uses a probabilistic risk assessment methodology based on historical data to assess the expected risk to life (ERL), safety and the expected costs (and their benefits) to develop a performance based building design. The students will be introduced to fire investigation processes and project management techniques.


In the second part of the unit Students will work in project teams to design and develop a Fire Safety System for a building project in the student's own workplace or that of a fellow student. In this project students will be required to employ quantitative and qualitative assessment techniques, performance based building designs, and demonstrate compliance with BCA standards. They will need to factor in fire insurance implications and general environmental, social and economic impacts. This approach of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is aimed at enabling students undertake a real world project which affords them avenues to engage directly with industry, while simultaneously advancing both their technical and generic skills. 

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


VQB5611 - Risk Assessment and Human Behaviour

VQB5642 - Performance Codes Methodology and Structure

VQB5751 - Fire Technology Modelling

VQB5761 - Fire Safety Systems Modelling

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse probabilistic risk assessment of a real or simulated system  
  2. Analyse the Building Codes of Australia performance requirements and fire safety issues of a building  
  3. Create a framework for a fire engineering assessment  
  4. Quantify and review concept designs in relation to building fire safety  


Assessment type Description Grade
Report Preliminary report (3000 words from team of 4-5) 20%
Report Final report (team of 4-5) (9000 words) 60%
Presentation Final presentation (30 minutes per team) 20%

Required reading

In addition to required texts, a very comprehensive set of course notes will be available that cover most topics. These course notes will contain further references and reading material.

Building Code of Australia
Australian Building Codes Board (2016)
Australian Building Codes Board

International Fire Engineering Guidelines
Australian Building Codes Board (2005)
Australian Building Codes Board

SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering 5th ed.
Hurley M.(ed) (2016)
National Fire Protection Association

Where to next?

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.