BCAB #1587 - Sprinkler Systems for Rack Storage, Sentence 3.2.5.13.(1)

August 20, 2003

BCAB #1587

Re: Sprinkler Systems for Rack Storage, Sentence  3.2.5.13.(1)

Project Description

The subject building was constructed under Article 3.2.2.68. of the Building Code which requires the building to be sprinklered throughout in accordance to NFPA 13. The sprinkler system installed was designed to the Ordinary Hazard Group 2.
A tenant of the building has installed storage racks (36 bays - 44”x96”) with the uppermost shelves approx. 4.9 meters above the floor. The intended storage is PVC plastic material (“Prolen”).

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.2.5.13.(1) requires a sprinkler system for the building to be installed conforming to NFPA 13 – 1999. NFPA 13 limits “Ordinary Hazard” to stockpiles of combustibles that do not exceed 3.7 m. High-piled storage is defined in NFPA 13 as rack and shelf storage in excess of 12 ft (3.7m) in height.

Appellant’s Position

The appellant considers the existing sprinkler system (Ordinary Hazard Group 2 classification) to be adequate fire protection and that additional protection would be unreasonable.

Building Official's Position

The Building Official considers the existing sprinkler system inadequate due to storage of plastics located on racks with shelves up to 4.9 m above the floor. The Building Official considers the addition requirements of NFPA 13 for “high piled storage” are applicable.

Appeal Board Decision #1587

This project contains rack storage exceeding 12ft. (3.7 m), therefore the existing sprinkler system does not comply with the applicable requirements of NFPA 13-1999 for rack storage.

George Humphrey, Chair