I have a laboratory space which original had an open ceiling. The renovated space plans to provide a screen, similar to a window insect screen across the open ceiling, which will contain lizards which they are working with.
Is this screen considered an obstruction to the sprinklers above?
The screen would be located approximately 3-feet below the main ceiling at 8'-0" above the floor. Although water would pass through, it seems that it would significantly disrupt the distribution pattern from the sprinklers.
This also does not seem to meet the requirements for an open-grid ceiling. Thanks in advance.
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5/2/2022 07:48:23 am
5/2/2022 08:13:48 am
This is a tough one. The screen will disrupt development of the spray pattern. However, sprinklers underneath the screen probably won't collect enough heat to activate.
5/2/2022 09:54:43 am
No disrespect intended, but "heat collectors" are proven not to work, and are now specifically prohibited in NFPA #13: "Heat collectors shall not be used as a means to assist the activation of a sprinkler. (See also Annex commentary.) Furthermore, sidewall sprinklers shall only be installed beneath smooth, flat ceilings.
5/2/2022 08:23:36 am
I would send an RFI inquiring about how open the screen is. If it's 70% open or more (you can figure this out by doing some simple math that I would recommend showing on your drawing), then I would follow NFPA 13, 2016 8.15.14 for Open-Grid Ceilings. If the screen is not 70% open I would put the decision in the A/E teams hands regarding changing the screen to a screen that is 70% open or adding an intermediate sprinkler with a water shield below the screen to provide above and below protection. I don't think you're going to find this specific situation in NFPA 13, but an Open-Grid ceiling is probably the most similar concept to what you are describing.
5/2/2022 08:24:20 am
What's the material? Anything not metal will likely burn away near the fire location anyway. If it is metal, there may be a stronger point for a water shield and sprinklers beneath.
5/2/2022 09:17:29 am
Good call.. The screen material and percentage of openness needs to be identified first. Possible deluge?
5/2/2022 08:40:24 am
Potential Obstruction - yes, depending on the material and the openness of the screen material.
5/2/2022 04:21:19 pm
As indicated by Dan, if the material is combustible (plastic for example), this is not a problem as it will burn quickly so that the sprinkler above can operate without problem
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