As a fire sprinkler system designer/engineer we often get asked about fire flow for new construction buildings. It seems as though anything that has "fire" in its name is then directly sent our way, but fire flow for a building does not relate to the interior fire sprinkler system and is typically not something we do. I don't come across many civil engineers who understand or cover fire flow either.
Is this supposed to be (or typically) handled by the civil engineer? For MEP/FP or fire sprinkler contractors, do you typically provide fire flow calculations to verify the water supply to the site?
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2/1/2019 07:25:35 am
I am not aware of any code requirement that needed fire flow be calculated by a specific trade or engineer. However, it is typically deferred to the civil engineer. Unless a local code, AHJ, or statute specifies who is to provide the calculation, the person should be qualified and familiar with the site in question. He or she should also be familiar with the numerous methods available and which method the local code, AHJ, or statute may require.
2/1/2019 10:06:11 am
Typically, as part of the building deign process, the civil engineer will submit a Will Serve letter from the water purveyor that indicates available flow. However, this letter has never been accepted as a flow test to determine water supply availability for the fire sprinkler system.
2/1/2019 12:17:37 pm
Just ran into this myself, where a fire marshal requested the fire flow to be 8,000 gpm at 20 psi, which left me at a loss for words until I found out it is civil's responsibility to calculate and is not the same as the flow test info we are use to seeing from a hydrant flow test.
Brian Gerdwagen FPE
2/1/2019 01:13:48 pm
I have always done the fire flow as well as the fire flow test for buildings I design. Both when I worked for a sprinkler contractor and now that I work for an engineering firm.
1/20/2021 12:40:10 pm
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