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“Thank you so very much for your hard work and efforts to get things done a short time frame! It just confirms the reason that I use the Summit brand! Thanks to all of you!”
Michael Larsen Hotel Ivy, Minneapolis
Alternate Design to Building & Fire Code Requirements
- Provide design guidance and technical justification for alternative solutions to prescriptive code requirements
- Utilize fire protection engineering tools and code research to meet the intent of the codes
- Provide documentation in the form of Design Reports (submitted to the Authority Having Jurisdiction) as well as Design Outlines (for use in specifications; performance-based) and Proposals for Alternate Designs (submitted to the Authority Having Jurisdiction)
- In addition to design guidance, provide Special Inspection services of alternate designs when required by Authority Having Jurisdiction or Owner
- Example: Design an enhanced fire sprinkler system to protect structural steel trusses, beams, etc. in lieu of passive structural fire protection (such as spray-applied fireproofing, gypsum enclosure, concrete enclosure, etc.)
- Example: Design an enhanced fire alarm system to accommodate for travel distances or common path of travel distances that exceed prescriptive allowances of the building code.
- Design/approval by Professional Engineer (PE) in fire protection engineering.
Level of Involvement
Can vary, depending on project. Typically, Summit Fire Consulting is hired by the Architect of Record or the Owner to address a select building/fire code issue. After an initial fact-finding effort, Summit Fire Consulting presents its initial findings and proposed concepts to the design team/Owner—prior to presentation to the Authority Having Jurisdiction. After feedback is gained from the design team/Owner, the concepts are presented to the Authority Having Jurisdiction on a conceptual level—to acquire feedback from the Authority Having Jurisdiction. The alternate design is then finalized to meet the needs of all stakeholders; and, Summit Fire Consulting formulates the necessary documentation for review and approval.
The Rogers Activity Center is an ice hockey arena for youth ages. The footprint of the building is approximately 36,000 ft2 and the overall building area is approximately 41,000 ft2. The building is composed of noncombustible, fire-rated construction (Type II-A), which prescriptively requires a 1-hour fire-rated roof assembly by the Minnesota State Building Code (MSBC). Although the MSBC allows exception to the required fire-resistance rating of the roof assembly for structural members that are located greater than 20 ft above “any floor immediately below”, an occupied Upper Level of the ice arena prevented the Architect of Record from pursuing this exception without incurring significant costs to the overall project budget. Furthermore, the construction of the roof assembly coupled with the environment and use of the building, do not lend themselves well to traditional means of providing the required fire-resistance rating – such as enclosing in gypsum or spray-applied cementitious material. As an alternative, Summit Fire Consulting was retained by the Architect of Record to develop design criteria for an Alternate Design to prescriptive structural fire protection of a select portion of the roof assembly, including approximately 61% of the building footprint. The Alternate Design included enhanced fire sprinkler protection in the applicable areas, with increased hydraulic criteria and specific spacing requirements for such sprinklers. Summit Fire Consulting documented the Alternate Design and technical justification thereof in a Design Report, which was presented to the City of Rogers for final approval purposes. Ultimately, the Alternate Design was successfully implemented using the available municipal water supply to the building such that a fire pump was not required. Although the enhanced sprinkler protection increased the overall fire protection budget for the building, these additional costs were well offset by the extra cost to the project that would have resulted from any of the various options for prescriptive code-compliance for the roof assembly.