I'm a learning sprinkler designer and I have a question that's more about design efficiency.
When you lay out sprinklers in large Ordinary Hazard areas (assuming there's ceilings or unobstructed construction), what is the first step you take to drop sprinklers in the space?
Do you calculate the area of the room and then determine, at a minimum, how many sprinklers you need? Do you use drafting tools to automatically optimize the layout? Do you have circles around the sprinklers for approximate coverage and repeatedly shift until you like the layout?
I typically start with the area of the room and divide by 130 to determine the minimum quantity of sprinklers, then dimension each wall to start with an "optimum" spacing. I feel like this takes longer than it should, so I'm curious if there's a better approach I could be using. Any help is appreciated.
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7/2/2019 08:02:23 am
This question sent my brain into overdrive as if I were sitting down with a new designer for his very first day of training. It sounds like you already have an understanding of the basics of sprinkler spacing requirements so I’ll skip to just a few thoughts on how I begin to layout a large room.
On the Clock
7/2/2019 10:29:52 am
Gotta be quick, but excellent points, Wayne, your design trainee is fortunate to have you. While sprinkler layout is the starting point, part of the skills one needs to eventually develop is taking into account several factors, and eventually, understanding costs. And frankly, befriend and listen to the experienced fitters. A few extra sprinklers is cheaper than an additional branch line, mains are more expensive than branch lines, etc. Of course these are over-simplified generalizations, and perhaps jumping ahead a bit for a beginning designer. Taking into account the structure, obstructions to routing the piping, HVAC, lighting layout, fabrication methods (threaded vs. grooved, pipe lengths), ease of installation, are just as important as sprinkler spacing. Aesthetics and symmetry somewhere further down on the list, depending on the project. And for sprinkler layout, it’s more squares and rectangles, not circles as in lawn sprinklers. Good question.
On the Clock
7/2/2019 11:41:31 am
...Oh, and if sprinklers are required above the ceiling because it's a combustible concealed space, or AHJ requirements, that may influence the methodology of spacing of the sprinklers below.
7/2/2019 12:23:09 pm
If you design it 12 foot between lines you might be able to eliminate a line or 2.
7/2/2019 10:40:12 am
I was in your shoes not terribly long ago. Good question!
7/2/2019 12:35:58 pm
To echo some of the previous replies, some of the software used for sprinkler design have built-in tools for head layout. I know HydraCAD has a custom tool that shows a square (or rectangle) outline around the head you are inserting so that you know where each head can be spaced to. AutoSPRINK has multiple tools to quickly layout heads efficiently. If you are using an actual sprinkler design software get familiar with every tool that it offers. When I was first starting out my colleagues were surprised at how fast I was with layout just by getting to know the software.
7/2/2019 02:19:45 pm
When you lay out sprinklers in large Ordinary Hazard areas (assuming there's ceilings or unobstructed construction), what is the first step you take to drop sprinklers in the space -
7/5/2019 11:13:04 am
I always start in the middle of the room and lay out the heads towards the walls. Once the last heads are laid out I can shift the whole row and add one if needed. Then its copy the row and repeat in the other direction. There's always a little tweaking but 90% is done and it's pretty quick.
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