Sep 5, 2022
Hello All welcome to episode 44 of Fire Code Tech. In this episode we are revisiting Sprinkler Basics. Episode 44 seeks to address a portion chapter 4 in NFPA 13 pertaining to the Owner's Certificate. The Owner's certificate is an important tool for documenting design information. Lets get into the show. In the episode we talk about Chapter 4 and how its changed, the owner's certificate and its purpose, and examples of how to document this information.
Owner's Information Certificate Example:
[00:00:00] Hello. Welcome to the solo cast of fire code tech in these episodes. It's just gonna be me, your host, Gus Gagliardi. There's gonna be a range of topics, but I'm gonna talk about specific technologies, installation, standards, codes, and how they work as well as some other interesting topics that don't neatly fit inside of the context of a normal interview.
Hello, welcome to episode 44 fire code tech. In this episode, we are. Visiting again, sprinkler basics, episode 44, seeks to address a portion of chapter four of NFP. 13 more specifically, we're talking about the owner certificate. The owner certificate is an important tool for documenting design information.
Let's get to the show. Chapter four is structured in NFPA 13, very [00:01:00] similarly to how it is structured in other NFPA standards. It's reorganization in the 2019 edition of the standard, realigned it to be more in standard convention with N FPA documents, having an abundance of general criteria and information about fire sprinkler systems.
This episode is based off of the 2022. Chapter four used to be about 10 short sections of standard language in earlier additions. That's the 2016 and before, but now it is very robust and includes some of the low piled and miscellaneous storage criteria and the beginnings of hazard determin. For the purposes of this episode, we are just going to get into the first couple sections of chapter four and also talk heavily about the owner certificate.
Just for [00:02:00] recap information, NFPA 13 is titled the standard for the installation of sprinkler systems. This name is very important because a standard and an installation standard is much different from a code. A code will tell you when it is appropriate to install a system and an installation standard will give you the design and layout criteria for the actual means and methods of installing a system.
If you're looking for information for how to determine when a sprinkler system is required in FBA, 13 is not the document for. in a fully sprinkler building. There are very few areas in which you can omit sprinkler protection. I bring this up, cuz this is a common misconception building owners or architects will frequently ask to omit sprinklers from an area.
Yes, there [00:03:00] are situations which are explicitly spelled out in N F P eight 13, in which you can omit sprinklers more often than not a space is required by default to have sprinklers in every space that the standard describes. The term fully sprinkler, which you will see many times throughout the codes and standards is one that buys certain allowances in other areas of fire and life safety.
There are concessions in NFP, 1 0 1 and the international building code for other life safety features like travel distances, occupant loads, building height, interior, finish, and building area. This means that if you have a building that is fully sprinkled, you can have some additional height area, travel distances, higher occupant loads, and more combustible interior finishes.
Generally speaking, if you're looking for areas in [00:04:00] which you might be able to emit sprinklers in a fully sprinkler building, then you should look into chapter nine of NFPA, 2022. Also if adding sprinklers to a space would bring the occupants in the building more danger than the safety, it would allow them by having the sprinklers, you may be in a situation in which you can't omit sprinklers.
The instance in which I could think of that fits this case is aluminum dust grinding. You can't put water on an aluminum dust fire. It can cause an. So adding sprinklers to a space that has aluminum dust grinding may be a situation that would be fire safety prohibitive. All right. So we talked about a couple of the first points of information in chapter four.
Now we're going to move on to the owner certificate portion of chapter four. So I wanna start out by reading the [00:05:00] code section. Owner certificate starts at 4.2 in NFP, 13, 20 22. It states the owner of a building structure where the fire sprinkler system is going to be installed or their authorized agent shall provide this sprinkler system installer with the following information prior to the layout and detailing of the fire sprinkler.
it says C figure a point 28.1 point parenthesis B. So what this says to me is the owner or the representative of the owner needs to provide a certain base level of information about the building, the use in the occupancy, in order for the, either the fire protection engineer or the fire suppression contractor to design the.
Then this section goes on to say [00:06:00] has a list of five things that you need to provide in this owner information certificate. Number one intended use of the building, including materials within the building and maximum height of any storage. and we're gonna unpack all these in just a moment, but I just wanted to read all these to get 'em in your mind.
Number two, a preliminary plan of the building structure, along with the design concepts necessary to perform the layout in detail for the sprinkler system. Number three, water supply information as identified in 5.2 point. number four, any special knowledge of the water supply, including known environmental conditions that might be responsible for corrosion, including microbiologically influenced corrosion make.
So this is a big deal [00:07:00] for the owner and the designer. This also goes back to it's the owner's responsibility to. Install and design the correct sprinkler system. So there's a lot of onus for the person who owns the building and sprinkler system to get this process. Right. But also as a design professional, you have to, uh, help the owner understand these criteria and the different terminology involved.
Okay. Number one intended use of the building, including materials within the building and the maximum height of any storage use and occupancy are important pieces of information for hazard determination, the owner's information certificate often abbreviated to the owner certificate. Is a important document, not to comprehensively review [00:08:00] all the pieces of information you would need to review in order to properly design the system.
But to give you a broad overview of the factors that generally only the owner can provide. This first section talks about storage because storage is a extremely complicated subject and obtaining the furniture, configuration, the storage height, the commodity, the commodity classification, all these bear significant impact to water supply, and can sometimes be so severe of a hazard that you might not be able to provide a water supply for a.
With storage in certain configurations, which might be essential to the process or use that the building owner wants to provide. Number two is a preliminary plan of the [00:09:00] building or structure along with the design concepts necessary to perform the layout in more detail for the fire sprinkler system.
This layout will typically come from an architect or a structural. this is the room layout or the structure layout in order to hang in brace, piping and or layout and space. Sprinkler heads. Number three is water supply. Hey, before we talk about water supply information for the owner certificate, I wanted to ask if you're enjoying the show, please give a rate review and subscribe to the podcast.
It really helps out the show. And that way you'll be sure to never miss an. by the way, sprinkler basics episode one is the sixth solo cast that we ever did. And if you want to go back and listen to that episode, I made sure not to cover any of the same topics in this episode, but there is a crossover in [00:10:00] this portion of the owner's information certificate.
So the definition of a sprinkler system is, is one that includes water supply in the definit. So you need to know the pressure and flow information for the water supply. In order to design the sprinkler system, oftentimes owners with campuses, if buildings will have this information from either maintenance or from other design projects at their campus, water supply is a common issue that is not addressed early enough in the design process.
Flow tests have to be performed within one year of the hydraulic design of a sprinkler. Number four, any special knowledge of the water supply, including known environmental conditions that might be responsible for corrosion, including microbiologically influenced corrosion, Mick. So M is a topic that [00:11:00] affects.
Internal piping obstructions and corrosion, pinhole leaks of piping and water main systems. Mick is not so common. There are ways in which you can test for the different types of M there are, uh, wide variety of different bacterial, uh, induced corrosions. I chose to add a point in here about corrosion and how corrosion can impact the design of a sprinkler system in a different instance, the condition of corrosion in which I see more commonly in sprinkler design is where you have a corrosive atmosphere in one of the spaces in which you're designing sprinkler systems.
So if you have a pool or say a very. Uh, corrosive industrial process, such as a plating facility, you might need to address [00:12:00] the piping equipment and sprinkler heads within your space in order to greatly increase the lifespan of your sprinkler system. pools are notorious for overly corroding heads. You can take a look up if you're in an auditorium or a pool a lot of times, and see active pieces of corrosion on sprinkler heads.
Um, I could probably do a whole episode about, um, material choices for corrosions, but something to be aware of. Number five. Whether seismic protection is required in applicable short period response parameter, the seismic design category of the project has significant impact on a variety of design features of sprinkler systems.
The more fire and life safety systems you have say you have a fire. Or a Firewater storage tank in [00:13:00] combination with your fire sprinkler system, the more of an impact that seismic design category has seismic design category is calculated by the structural engineer based on. A geotechnical report. A common misconception is that you can tell seismic design category by looking at a map that indicates area of seismic activities.
This is not the case. The owner's information certificate is used as a collaboration tool between the sprinkler designer or the fire protection engineer and the owner. This tool can be used on the design side of the process or on the installation side of the process. So a engineer can use this owner certificate to provide the design documents or [00:14:00] contract documents in order to solicit competitive bids or the.
Contractor can use the owner's information certificate in order to qualify some of their design choices for the facility. If you want to get a good look at what this certificate looks like or a nice template to use for your next project, take a look at annex material, a point 28.1 parenthesis. Typical preliminary, planned.
so the owner's information certificate is not the general information signage or the hydraulic placard information that you would oftentimes see at the riser. This is a different piece of. Information and kind of tool the hydraulic placard and general [00:15:00] information signage are usually produced by the contractor in order to establish what criteria this system has been designed to, not as a collaboration or communication tool, like the owner's information certificate.
So go take a look at the typical preliminary plan or the example of the owner's information certificate in the annex material of N F P 8 13 20 22. Cause I'm gonna use it as kind of a visual aid for the next portion of our discussion. This certificate lays out information like construction type name, address, and a description.
You say occupancy of the building. Next it moves on into special occupancy types that trigger fire and life safety requirements. Remember that this list is [00:16:00] not meant to be all inclusive. This is a. High level checklist in order to trigger the appropriate design professional's knowledge of other hazards and criteria that are applicable when these different, special occupancies are in use.
some of the occupancies listed. If you're not taking a look at this document, are aircraft hanger, Marine terminal, pier, or Wharf, airport terminal, power plant or water cooling tower. Also the owner's information certificate example in the annex material, F N F P 13 references, certain hazardous materials that can be stored such as flammables and combustibles compressed or LPG cylinders, [00:17:00] liquified gas.
Also again, there is really great information. What different storage thresholds, you should be keeping an eye out for your preliminary project planning processes like high piled storage Heights or high hazard storage Heights. Remember that the reason why this information is here. Is because if you have a aircraft hanger and you are expecting an office building, you may be incurring project costs or complications that have the ability to end a project.
Yes. That is a possibility you encounter a water supply for your fire protection subsystem. That is. High in pressure and flow that you need a series of fire pumps and [00:18:00] water storage tanks that the owner never anticipated to buy. Obviously that is an extreme example and a gross oversimplification, but wanted to give you an idea of the intention and importance.
Planning your fire and life safety design as early as possible. That's gonna do it for this episode to recap on what we talked about. We discussed the preliminary portions of chapter four and we took a deep dive into the owner's certifi. after the owner certificate, we talked about the visual aid in the NX material of N F P a 13 and the intention and use of this document as a collaboration and communication tool [00:19:00] in the early stages of design and or layout of a sprinkler system.
Hope you enjoyed the episode and we'll see you next. thanks for listening. Everybody. Be sure to share the episode with a friend, if you enjoyed it, don't forget that fire protection and life safety is serious business. The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are by no means a professional consultation or a codes and standards interpretation.
Be sure to contact a licensed professional. If you are getting involved with fire protection and or life. Thanks again, and we'll see you next time.