BCAB #968 - Sprinkler System Design, NFPA 13

February 22, 1988

BCAB #968

Re: Sprinkler System Design, NFPA 13

With reference to your letter of December 22, 1987, regarding application of NFPA 13-1985 "Installation of Sprinkler Systems". The building in question is an intermediate care facility containing residential suites. By definition, both in the Building Code and NFPA 13, such suites fall within the category of dwelling units.

Your letter attached a brief from Vinto Engineering, requesting that this be reviewed. We have no general objection to the views expressed by Vinto Engineering insofar as they relate to the provisions of NFPA 13 as they apply to your project. In this regard we have have commented upon the applicable provisions of NFPA 13.

Clauses 3-16.2.9. and 4-1.1.2. of NFPA 13, permit the use of residential sprinklers in dwelling units located in any occupancy, provided they are installed in conformance with their listing and the positioning requirements of NFPA 13D, "Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One-and-Two Family Dwellings and Mobile Homes". Areas in the same building outside the actual dwelling units must be protected by a standard NFPA 13 system, and the hydraulic design for the entire system would fall under NFPA 13. The term "residential sprinklers" refers to the fast response type heads required for NFPA 13D systems.

Within the dwelling units sprinklers are required in all areas, subject to the exceptions indicated in Clause 4-6 of NFPA 13D. This permits the omission of sprinklers from bathrooms not exceeding 55 sq. ft. with noncombustible plumbing fixtures.

Under the circumstances, therefore, there is no need to relax the provisions of NFPA 13, as your proposal does not seem to conflict with the applicable requirements.

J.C. Currie, Chair