Architect here with a fire code question. We have a fully sprinklered building (ESFR), of Type II-B, tilt concrete construction.
The fire pump room is located on an exterior wall, and the only door into the pump room is from the exterior. We have 1-hr rated construction separating the fire pump room from the rest of the building.
The fire marshal is telling us that the exterior wall and door also have to be rated. I responded by pointing out the fire pump is required to be protected from the surrounding building, and that it does not need to be protected from the exterior, so exterior wall and door should not have to be rated.
Fire marshal disagrees and pointed to NFPA 20 188.8.131.52.2. That section does not specifically state that separation is required from the rest of the building, although Section 184.108.40.206.1 right before it does make that distinction, just like IBC/IFC do.
We have solid concrete walls that are inherently fire rated construction, so typically I would just say ok and label them rated. The issue is we are required to have ventilation in the pump room per NFPA 20, so we have a makeup air louver in the exterior wall. If we rate the wall, then my understanding is we will have to put a fire/smoke damper on that louver, which is added cost and unnecessary in my opinion.
Is your understanding that all walls have to be rated as the fire marshal is saying, or just the walls between pump room and rest of building?
I've done many buildings of this type in multiple states and this is the first time I've been told this. I'd appreciate your insight, thanks.
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