BCAB #1738 - Fire stopping of Sprinkler Pipe Penetrations, Sentence 3.1.9.4.(1)

October 17, 2013

BCAB #1738

Re: Fire stopping of Sprinkler Pipe Penetrations, Sentence 3.1.9.4.(1)

Project Description

The project in question is a hi-rise hotel being renovated, including the installation of a sprinkler system conforming to NFPA 13, “Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.” The sprinkler piping being used is combustible CPVC plastic and penetrates the vertical fire separations between suites (fire compartments). It is proposed not to install sprinklers in closets and bathrooms as NFPA 13 allows these spaces to remain unsprinklered.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.1.9.4.(1) says “combustible sprinkler piping is permitted to penetrate a fire separation provided the fire compartments on each side of the fire separation are sprinklered.” Fire compartment is defined in Section 1.2 of Division A as “an enclosed space in a building that is separated from all other parts of the building by enclosing construction providing a fire separation having a required fire-resistance rating.” Sprinklered is defined as a building or part thereof equipped with a system of automatic sprinklers.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the bathrooms and closets are not fire compartments as intended by Sentence 3.1.9.4.(1) and do not require sprinklers in order to allow the sprinkler piping to pass through the fire separation between suites in the ceiling space above these rooms.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the definition of compartment in NFPA 13 includes rooms such as bathrooms and closets and for the piping to penetrate the fire separation between suites in these rooms they must be equipped with a sprinkler.

Appeal Board Decision #1738

It is the determination of the Board that the combustible sprinkler piping is permitted to penetrate the fire separation between the fire compartments because they are sprinklered in accordance with the requirements of the Building Code and NFPA 13. The definition of compartment in NFPA 13 is not relevant to the circumstances at hand.

George Humphrey, Chair