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RE: Fire Protection

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Scott,

The ultimate authority will continue to be the building official or the term
used in the FEMA NEHRP documents is "the authority having jurisdiction".
This mystical entity will be granted a lot of latitude in the IBC.  There is
a section called "Alternative methods for determining fire resistance" that
contains 5 different alternatives including "Calculated fire resistance".

Your experience is accurate.  The architect serves as team leader, but it is
a team effort that determines the most effective means of fire resistance.
In the type of structures that I work on, the team leader is just as likely
to be an electrical or mechanical engineer.  A fire protection engineer is a
valuable addition to the team where it gets fuzzy.  

We frequently encounter the fuzzy in nonbuilding structures such as nuclear
fuel reprocessing facilities.  The building official's first inclination is
when in doubt, sprinkle it.  But those practiced in nuclear fuel want to
keep water far away from nuclear fuel at all costs.  To the rescue comes the
fire protection engineer, who know the issues and can develop alternate
methods of fire protection acceptable to the building official.

Regards,
Harold Sprague


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Scott E Maxwell [SMTP:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu]
> Sent:	Monday, June 26, 2000 12:15 PM
> To:	seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject:	RE: Fire Protection
> 
> Harold,
> 
> Do you know anymore about how the IBC will handle fire protection?  The
> reason I ask is that an article in the April 2000 Structural Engineer
> magazine implies that the IBC will allow alternates to UL assemblies.  The
> article is mainly aimed at masonry applications, so I am not sure about
> other assemblies.  Any input that you can provide?
> 
> Also, I agree that the architect general dictates the fire ratings for
> assemblies.  It has been my experience that the architect will determine
> the required fire ratings and then select the appropriate assemblies.  The
> structural engineer will provide some input interms of floor assemblies
> (i.e. LW vs NW concrete, thickness of concrete, etc).
> 
> Scott Maxwell, PE, SE
> 
> 
> On Mon, 26 Jun 2000, Sprague, Harold O. wrote:
> 
> > Mike,
> > 
> > U.L. has had a virtual lock on the "canned" systems for many years.
> There
> > are many assemblies contained in the U.L. Fire Resistance Directory.  In
> a
> > given U.L. assembly, you must have all the approved ingredients or the
> > assembly is not approved.  If you change deck manufactureres you may
> loose
> > the assembly rating.  The UBC probably has the most prescriptive generic
> > assemblies for given fire ratings.
> > 
> > Traditionally the fire rating has been the domain of the architect, but
> > often times the architect needs some help from the structural engineer.
> And
> > occassionaly the design team needs the input of a fire protection
> engineer.
> > There are not many fire protection engineers.  
> > 
> > The fire protection engineer can design assemblies to provide a given
> level
> > of performance, but his designs will probably require the approval of
> the
> > Building Official.  The summary answer is that the architect is the
> captain
> > of the design team under which the fire protection engineer can be
> brought
> > on board.  The design team provides a design that will probably require
> the
> > approval of the building official.
> > 
> > This is a link to many fire related links:
> > http://www.nfsa.org/nfsalink.html.   There is also a particularly good
> book
> > by Walt Coon.  I don't have it in front of me, but it is something like
> Fire
> > Protection Engineering Handbook for Architects and Engineers.
> > 
> > Regards,
> > Harold Sprague
> > 
> > 
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From:	Michael Zaitz [SMTP:mzaitz(--nospam--at)hgbd.com]
> > > Sent:	Monday, June 26, 2000 9:44 AM
> > > To:	seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> > > Subject:	Fire Protection
> > > 
> > > Hello,
> > > 
> > > We have a building which is required to be Type II construction per
> the
> > > Standard
> > > Building Code.  This requires the structural members to have fire
> ratings
> > > from 2
> > > to 4 hours depending on the member. I have not done a building that
> > > requires
> > > Fire Protection at this level.   My questions are:
> > > 
> > > Who's responsibility is the Fire Protection?  Ours, the Architect's or
> > > both of
> > > us.
> > > 
> > > Are there any good references out there on this subject?
> > > 
> > > I understand that there are prorated assemblies for fire rating.  Is
> this
> > > published by the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL)?
> > > 
> > > Thanks,
> > > 
> > > Mike
> > >