A non-combustible building has an 8-ft high space above an acoustic tile ceiling with a 30-inch wide expanded steel catwalk that is accessible from a stair shaft by a locked door.
The space is congested with building services, such as ducts, cables, and cast iron plumbing.
Does the NFPA 13-2019 188.8.131.52 exception apply?
NFPA 13-2019 184.108.40.206 (220.127.116.11.2 in 2016) Concealed spaces of noncombustible and limited-combustible construction with limited access and not permitting occupancy or storage of combustibles shall not require sprinkler protection.
Thanks in advance.
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11/22/2022 06:50:53 am
Unfortunately, the door and the catwalk make it accessible, no different than a mechanical room. Locked doors do not qualify an area to be limited access, having to remove a ceiling tile or even possibly an access panel. The other aspect is the "not permitting storage"...catwalks are ripe with air filters and boxes of stuff that need homes.
11/22/2022 07:15:26 am
Totally agree with Dan here. Catwalks and walkable ceilings are becoming more common place especially in industrial settings and require sprinkler coverage.
Todd E Wyatt
11/22/2022 08:15:41 am
The "catwalk" condition you describe are defined by 2021 IBC as "equipment platforms" (EP) and are defined as follows :
11/22/2022 08:45:15 am
I'm wondering about the 'occupancy' statement. Does strict maintenance work qualify as occupying the space?
11/22/2022 08:48:09 am
Exception does not apply, since a door is provided. The fact that a platform is provided also works against you in trying to use the exception.
11/22/2022 09:08:50 am
I agree with others above, since a door is provided, I would not consider this a concealed space.
11/22/2022 09:56:16 am
The door is the downfall. It needs to be protected.
11/22/2022 07:50:31 pm
I have same issue... I am on a project with a larger ceiling space with catwalks - above a corrosion repair hangar and only accessible by a man-ladder with an OSHA cage - USNavy NAVFAC just demanded heat detection in this space inlieu of sprinklers - which seems wrong. I am the Eng Tech and argued against my FPE DOR, as he accepted this. everything is noncombustible - accept for mayber wire insulation and fan belts. So I told the prime contractor - the government needs to pay additional as this is not required by the code, am i wrong?
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