Every jurisdiction has fire protection codes and requirements for new construction and remodels. Many require only that you follow the International Fire Code and have signed sealed hydraulic calculations, but others have their own requirements.
Alternatives in Engineering can help you with signed sealed hydraulic calculations and any unique requirements a jurisdiction can throw at us.
Here are some examples of unique requirements around the country:
City of Austin Fire Protection Rule requires the following:
For hydrant flow calculations, follow Appendix B of 2012 IFC but limit reduction of fire flow to 50% for certain building types
Accepted “C” values for calculations are 110 for PVC & Copper 80 otherwise
Austin Water also requires General Construction Notes and project information on drawings.
While seemingly a small part of the overall scope of a large development, accurate water testing and modeling of infrastructure to support new development is critical to ensuring adequate water supplies are available without excessive costs.
A complete water supply analysis for a new development consists of three critical parts, testing and analysis of the pubic supplies, accurate estimations of the water needs of the development, and proper modeling of the water infrastructure associated with the development.
Determining the capacity of the existing water system
The first step is to determine the capacity of the public supplies. This generally begins with obtaining flow test data. Performing a hydrant flow test is a relatively simple procedure, and many jurisdictions will provide this information for free or for a minimal charge, but often this low-cost option comes with a hidden expense. Many of the public personnel that perform flow testing on their system fail to understand the importance of the flow test data, tests are performed on the incorrect hydrants, an inadequate amount of water is flowed compounding errors, and the accuracy of these tests is often of concern as low cost, or poorly calibrated gauges are commonly utilized. Continue reading “What You Need to Know: Water Supplies for New Development” »
Fire protection engineering is the combination of principals and practices that aim to predict fire hazards and protect property against the possible damages caused by fire. Fire engineering can be provided through many different services.
Design Services- In the preliminary stages, fire protection engineering would include design services for fire protection solutions based on a risk and hazard analysis, code consultation, and hydraulic analysis.
Fire Hazard Assessments- Fire protection engineering involves evaluating whether there are fire hazards, what the risk of a fire is, and measuring what damages a fire would cause. This evaluation can be done using a hazard analysis.
The vast majority of fire protection systems utilized in buildings today rely partially or completely on the municipal water system to provide the water necessary to control or suppress the fire. While seemingly only a small part of the overall fire protection system, an understanding of how municipal water systems are operated, and what their limitations are, is vital to ensuring a reliable and functional fire protection system.
At the most basic level, water departments typically maintain their system pressure or hydraulic grade in one of two ways.
When designing a fire sprinkler system for any building, one of the first, and most important, steps is to analyze the water system in the area by having a fire hydrant flow test performed. Why is this so important? To work properly and control a fire, a sprinkler system must flow a certain amount of water with enough pressure to be effective. The entire design must be based upon how much water flow and pressure is available from the water system – if this information is not accurate, the design may fail and the fire will not be controlled!