We have a project where the tenant intends to store Class I to Class III commodities that have a typical footprint of 12’ x 3.5’ (42 SF) on open-wire mesh racking.
Between the Definition 3.3.172 (NFPA 13-2019) Rack Shelf Area which specifically calls out “by the placement of loads” and the definition “Open Rack” (3.3.140) it appears that this condition has to be viewed an Solid Rack and would require In-Rack sprinklers no matter what roof level system (CMDA, ESFR, K-25) is installed or the Commodity Class stored.
I know there are some special designs related to “big box retail” stores (Mercantile) for this, but our application is Warehouse (Storage). There are also additional conditions if the footprint is greater than 64 SF.
Is there a way to read the above definitions that would not require in-rack sprinklers when Loads with a footprint over 20 SF and less than 64 SF are placed on otherwise Open Rack?
Requiring in-rack sprinklers is a potentially major expense for an owner with 75+ operable facilities like this.
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