Design criteria for storage occupancies have changed substantially over the years from pipe schedules to the NFPA 231's to NFPA 13, 2016. Everyone talks about "grandfathering" old system designs, but no one can ever point out any specific codes, standards, or formal documents that give any solid guidance on this matter.
In our state, this situation varies by jurisdiction, but the opinions are all over the place and usually wind up at the classic "ask the AHJ". This is very time consuming and often times not very helpful since most of them enforce the newest NFPA editions when unless you can provide as-built documentation which we can't do 95% of the time for old buildings. We all know that it depends on the situation, but there has to be some level of formalized consistency out there to start with.
As a NICET certified Fire sprinkler designer, I have my own professional opinions on the matter based on my understanding of the intent of grandfathering and my own project experiences.
That said, can anyone point me to specific codes, standards, or formal documents that I can utilize to create a formalized opinion that can be submitted to local AHJ's for a more "standardized" understanding?
I'm pretty well versed in NFPA 13 so I'm really looking for IBC, NFPA 101, NFPA 1 references, but all feedback is appreciated.
Submitted anonymously and posted for discussion. Discuss This | Submit Your Question | Subscribe
6/23/2020 08:30:26 am
Section 102 of Applicability goes to when the currently adopted building code can be enforced. Specifically 102.6 of the IBC (2018 ed), and 102.1 of the IFC (2015) that I have sitting in front of me.
6/23/2020 10:08:21 am
Also, even if they are doing work on the building, the existing building code (IEBC) has provisions about when they need to bring the system up to code or maintain the existing level of protection.
6/23/2020 10:13:30 am
I've been asked this a lot. I've worn a lot of hats. Fire Dept, insurance high protected risk engineer, and now design manager.
6/24/2020 10:21:46 am
I agree with 100%. I am my city’s fire marshal, and I have submitted a proposal of adoption for the 18 IFC. I’m going on six months now with no word on it. As far as the statements on other edition codes, we are on the 15 I-codes making us utilize the 13/14 editions of NFPA. When I am presented with the request of designing/installing to a newer edition, I am 100% for it so long as it is equal to or greater than the edition I enforce.
6/23/2020 10:19:48 am
"As a NICET certified Fire sprinkler designer" - id prefer "layout tech instead of designer. Because liability and all.
john p malescio
6/23/2020 10:19:57 am
I just came across this issue for a recent warehouse project in CT. The approach we typically use utilizes the Existing Buildings Code, according to the adopted code for the location. In my example, I used the IEBC to determine the alteration level (Eg. Level 1, 2 or 3). Once the alteration level is determined, depending on the occupancy of the space, the code determines the level of modification of the fire protection systems as applicable to new construction. More often than not, anything at ALT Level 2 requires the fire protection systems to be brought up to current adopted codes. Check out chapter 8 of the IEBC.
6/23/2020 10:23:44 am
NFPA 25 Section 4.1
Todd E Wyatt
6/23/2020 10:28:02 am
I agree with Greg ... the "scoping" Code which is typically the IEBC will determine if the project is defined as a repair, an alteration (Level 1, 2, and/or 3), a change of occupancy, and/or an addition. Each of these "categories" have distinct compliance requirements for "fire protection" which in turn will point to a reference standard such as NFPA 13 and explain which aspects of the existing and new fire protection systems have to meet past or currently adopted standards.
6/26/2020 09:17:07 pm
"Grandfathering" is just a choice of word in application. "Code of Record (COR)" is the same.
Leave a Reply.
Subscribe and learn something new each day:
Top May 2023 Contributors
Get 100 Days of Free Sample Questions right to you!
PE PREP SERIES