In January, suppression expert Bob Upson presented a webinar on frequently asked questions concerning standpipe systems out of NFPA 14 with NFSA's online teaching platform. If you work with standpipe systems regularly, I'd highly recommend it.
One of the topics he discussed was a brief history of how both the International Building Code (IBC) and NFPA 14 (Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems) have changed over time between requiring standpipe hose connections on intermediate floor-level landings to floor-level landings.
By floor-level landings, typically you would have a hose connection 3-5 feet above the floor level immediately at the landing upon entering an exit stair.
To get to a hose connection on an intermediate-level landing, you would enter the stair and walk down a single flight of stairs to get to the next landing (typically opposite of the main floor level landing).
I was interested in exploring this code history in a little more detail - so below is a compilation of the last 20 years of the IBC and NFPA 14 and where standpipe hose connections have been required by each code edition within exit stairs.
A summary of the code history of intermediate-floor-level landings versus floor-level landing requirements for standpipe systems across both the IBC and NFPA 14. Click to enlarge.
It's important to note that while code prescribes one location (floor level or intermediate-level stair landings), every single code instance allows the opposite location to be used with approval from the Authority Having Jurisdiction.
Next week I'll break out the implications for these requirements with some visuals and things to consider when designing for floor-level landings of intermediate-level landings.
What challenges do you experience when designing for floor-level or intermediate-level landing hose connections? What advice would you offer? Comment and be part of the conversation here.
6/27/2019 11:18:55 am
For me it seems AHJs always want the opposite landing of whatever is in the code edition they've adopted...ha!
6/27/2019 11:45:30 am
Is there a minimum height requirement (floor levels) before standpipes/hose connections can be required?
4/16/2020 08:46:32 am
Yes, this article covers the height requirements in more detail: https://www.meyerfire.com/blog/standpipes-for-fire-suppression-an-introduction
6/27/2019 11:54:55 am
One of the downsides to placing combination standpipes on the intermediate landing is that it usually requires that the piping supplying the fire sprinkler system on the floor level to be routed up the stairs. On high-rise buildings, the material and labor for this gets expensive very quickly.
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Joe Meyer, PE, is a Fire Protection Engineer out of St. Louis, Missouri who writes & develops resources for Fire Protection Professionals. See bio here: About