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“Summit Code and Fire Protection Consulting has been providing much needed services, in particular on complex projects with previously grandfathered conditions that no longer meet code, for several years. I have worked closely with Natalie Buckman in their provision of these services and Natalie has always proved to be highly responsive, responsible, able to hit deadlines, and provides comprehensive analysis and narrative information required by our Clients. Natalie has lead the code analysis and fire protection aspects of such projects from the concept design phase through the bid documents and installation phases on site, and we are always very pleased to have her on our teams.”
Stephen Bellairs MSR Design
Fire-Rated Construction Consultants
- Determine code requirements pertaining to fire-rated construction, such as required fire-resistance ratings, location and routing of fire-resistance-rated construction, structural requirements, protection of openings, etc.
- Examples: occupancy separations, construction type requirements, fire walls, fire barriers, fire partitions, corridor separation requirements, control area separations (hazardous materials), etc.
- Survey existing assemblies to evaluate equivalent fire ratings.
- Perform calculations to determine the equivalent fire-resistance rating of an existing or proposed assembly.
- Develop alternate designs or code equivalencies for fire-rated construction based on unique installation, existing building conditions, desired aesthetics and design intent, etc.
- Review architectural drawings and provide comments for routing and location of fire-rated construction, fire-resistance ratings required, termination points for fire-rated construction, etc.
- Assist design team in evaluating and selecting fire-rated assemblies (walls, floor assemblies, roof assemblies, fire doors, fire dampers, fire caulk, intumescent paint, etc.)
- Review/approval by Professional Engineer (PE) in fire protection engineering.
Level of Involvement
Can vary, depending on specific project and client needs. Typically, Summit Fire Consulting is working for the Architect of Record or the Owner and can be involved during Schematic Design and Design Development only, providing cursory design guidance; or, we can be involved during the entire project: Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, and Construction Administration.
The East Village Square Apartments building is located near downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Given that the construction type classification of the building was Type III-B, a mixture of concrete walls, wood-frame floors, steel beams, steel columns, and wood-frame/gypsum interior partitions are included in the construction of the building. A majority of the interior components of the building were not required by the applicable building code to be fire-rated. However, the entire floor assembly at Second Floor and select structural components supporting the Second Floor were required by the applicable building code to be fire-rated, including both 1-hr fire-rated assemblies as well as 2-hr fire-rated assemblies. The project team intended to protect select structural members using intumescent paint; however, the code officials determined that the chosen intumescent paint product was not approved for the required fire ratings and planned configurations of the fire-rated assemblies, because it had never been tested with those specific configurations. Working directly for the General Contractor, Summit Fire Consulting analyzed the available test data for the intumescent paint product and developed, through engineering analysis, equivalent fire-rated assemblies for the various fire-resistance ratings and configurations that utilized a combination of intumescent paint and/or gypsum enclosures – depending on each specific configuration and required fire-resistance rating thereof. Though the intumescent paint and the gypsum enclosures were not listed for the specific applications at East Village Square Apartments (individually or as a combined assembly), the equivalent fire-rated assemblies were justified as part of the “alternate design” package through technical means – i.e. the engineered analysis.