Fire Models & Smoke Management – Technical Brief (10/3)

Central Florida ASHRAE interviewed the following contributors from the City of Orlando to provide guidance to the local engineering community on fire models and smoke management systems: Wendy Horency, Permitting Manager and Mechanical Plans Examiner, Donny Pittman, Inspection Services Manager and Chief Mechanical Inspector/Plans Reviewer, and Jack Richardson, Fire Protection Engineer.  Thank you all for your insight on this topic!

Q: When reviewing a fire model or smoke management system, what are the most important elements you’re checking for?

FBC 909 code compliance, rational analysis information has been incorporated into the contract documents, special inspector is required to meet the criteria set forth in the FBC 909.  Special Inspector shall be named and resume is required for approval by the BO.  Testing procedures must be clearly defined.

Q: What mistakes do you see made most commonly?

Information in the rational analysis is not always completely incorporated into the design by the EOR and the architect.  There are times when the rational analysis information is in conflict with the design docs.  Installing contractor may not always be aware of the testing requirements which causes delay in project progress and hardship to the owner.  Sometimes poor coordination between the GC, mechanical contractor and special inspector causes delays in testing.  Never assume all jurisdictions are the same!

Q: What advice or recommendations can you give to local design engineers to help the process of achieving a CO for a facility go more smoothly?

Test early and often.  Don’t wait until the last minute to test the system.  Close out documents are time consuming and extensive.  These documents are required before the CO can be issued.  We recommend a pre construction and pre final meeting with the building officials and contractors to help expedite this process.

By, Scotty Parsons–  CTTC Technical Activities Chair, 2010-2011