I live in a province in Canada with its own building code version and recently had a project for a very small, single-story building - an industrial class with an incinerator.
We were originally told that the building needed to be sprinklered so we designed a system for it. Since the system will cost a lot of money, the owners have hired a code consultant that concluded that the building does not need to be sprinklered as there is no requirement to sprinkler a single-story very small industrial building by the building code.
They make the argument that standards like NFPA 82 & NFPA 20 (for fire pumps) pertain to the equipment but not the building as those aspects are covered by the building code. They also mention this usage has been called into question and accepted in other Canadian provinces with similar code structures.
Noting that this argument is not specific to the incinerator or NFPA 82 but any equipment or room covered by an NFPA standard, I'm wondering if anyone has heard a similar argument or has other experience in another jurisdiction.
Does the usage here drive a requirement for fire sprinkler protection?
Is this the correct approach here?
Thanks in advance.
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7/26/2022 07:39:28 am
In broad strokes building code says when NFPA says how.
Todd E Wyatt
7/26/2022 08:31:33 am
The 2020 National Building Code (NBC) of Canada () is the scoping Code which determines WHERE automatic sprinkler systems (ASPS) are required. Per the 2020 NBC (https://nrc-publications.canada.ca/eng/view/ft/?id=515340b5-f4e0-4798-be69-692e4ec423e8), it includes (44) instances of the reference “… shall be sprinklered …” based on Occupancy Classification (OC)
7/26/2022 08:15:25 am
Plenty of officials and architects are willing to parse Building Code in efforts to dam NFPA upstream.
7/26/2022 08:18:17 am
See "18.104.22.168. Automatic Sprinkler System Required" in the OBC 2012. I have seen code consultants use alternative solutions to get away from certain aspects of fire protection in the past which may be happening here. However an alternative solution still has to be approved by the AHJ.
7/26/2022 08:24:37 am
As the building code has several sections specific to non-sprinklered structures, including all the limitations of # of floors, sq footage, construction requirements, egress distances, and many additional requirements that typically go away by adding the sprinkler system (and in most cases cost less) is possible. I am sure there is some level of fire resistance for a building that can be achieved that would be a better path than providing fire sprinklers, but it is definitely the exception and not the rule.
7/26/2022 08:30:18 am
Sounds like Ontario. Typically, if you're installing equipment to an NFPA Standard, you still follow the standard. Usually it's to sprinkler the service room/equipment room ONLY. I usually see "domestic" systems in these scenarios, since the building code doesn't require the entire building to be sprinklered (I'm assuming this is an F2 or an F3 less than 600m2, aka a part 9 building?)
7/26/2022 08:31:50 am
7/26/2022 11:06:54 am
Hello from Dieppe,NB
7/26/2022 03:13:15 pm
If you are using the NBC or the OBC, the building 3.2.2 would tell you if you do or do not need them, that being said you do need cover all of the bases as some places call for local sprinklers but also could provide some relaxation if say the walls are 2H instead of 1H see 22.214.171.124.OBC as it sends you to 126.96.36.199.(9) that calls for a higher fire separation rating.
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