Sprinkler Design Services

Meeting Building Codes and Reducing Installation Costs

Automatic

At first sign of smoke, our sprinkler solutions begin extinguishing the fire before help arrives.

Protective

You shouldn't have to choose between protecting your building or your IT equipment. Our smart solutions allow options that allow you to protect both.

Efficient

All of our solutions have rapid turnaround times, and designed with longevity in mind, saving you maintenance costs down the line.

Get Started

All design will be done as per the International Building Code(IBC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Maximum of 2000 Sq.Ft. per floor

Get in touch -  888-575-8844

Secure Your Building With

$500
For first floor. Onwards $300/floor
  • Get your optimized sprinkler system floor plans within 2 working days per floor
  • Code Complaint Design to Protect Your Building
  • Experts in designing with all sprinkler types (Dry, Wet, Foam, Pre-action, Deluge).

How It Works?

Step 1

Upload the Hydrant flow test or send us incoming pressure (PSI) along with architectural floor plans.

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Step 2

Our experts will analyze the documents uploaded by you to design sprinkler plans based on hydraulic calculations.

Step 3

We send you an optimized sprinkler plans within 2 working days per floor. 

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Automatic Sprinkler System Characteristics

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Automatic sprinklers are among the most effective fire protection measures for buildings. They extinguish most fires before they spread, making buildings safer for occupants while protecting property. Due to their reliability, fire sprinklers also make buildings eligible for better insurance plans with lower premiums. However, a sprinkler system must be well designed to offer reliability, meeting building codes and NFPA standards. The system should also have an optimal layout, since having more sprinkler heads than necessary is a waste of capital.

Ideally, an automatic sprinkler system should have the following characteristics:

  • Offering full coverage for your building.
  • Meeting local building codes, NFPA standards, and all applicable regulations.
  • Using the smallest number of sprinkler heads that meets the two points above, and distributing water with the shortest piping length possible.

The best recommendation to meet these conditions is getting a professional design from qualified fire protection engineers. This ensures that fire sprinkler plans and all other specifications are code compliant and clear for contractors. Professional design services also help you find a sprinkler layout that offers reliable protection at an optimal cost.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), buildings with automatic sprinklers get an average discount of 7% in their insurance plans. However, insurance discounts of up to 50% have been achieved in some projects.

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition found that fire incidents cause an average damage of $45,019 in households without sprinklers. However, this is reduced to only $2,166 when an automatic sprinkler system is present.

How Do Fire Sprinklers Work?
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The purpose of sprinklers is quenching fires automatically as soon as they start, without giving them a chance to spread. Contrary to popular belief, fire sprinklers only release water directly above an active fire, and not over the entire room as shown in movies and TV series.

  • Sprinklers have a heat-sensitive seal, which opens with the hot air that rises above an active fire. This allows a localized response, preventing the release of water over areas that are not burning.
  • In most applications, automatic sprinklers are not designed with a smoke response mechanism. This is to avoid accidental opening of sprinklers, since there are many sources of smoke other than fire incidents.

For example, if someone smokes inside a building, the corresponding smoke alarms will activate. However, fire sprinklers stay closed because there is no heat. Water damage is a common concern among property owners who are required to install a sprinkler system. However, this is due to the wrong image of sprinklers that is by movies and TV series.

There are special sprinkler systems that shower the entire area when fire or smoke are detected, just like those in movies. They are called deluge sprinkler systems, and they are not normally used in residential and commercial buildings. These systems are only used in critical applications where fire is a severe hazard, such as storage areas with explosive materials.

The localized action of sprinkler systems is especially useful in offices with computers, data centers and other IT equipment.

  • If a fire incident occurs, water only falls above the affected area.
  • IT equipment is only exposed to water if it is located in the burning area, but in these cases, it would be destroyed anyway.
  • Therefore, it makes sense to use fire sprinklers even when electronic devices are present.

All sprinkler systems have the same basic principle, but they are classified into different types based on their operation. The following are the main types of sprinkler systems:

This is the most common type of sprinkler system, and also the simplest.  All the piping is permanently filled with water, which is released automatically when a sprinkler head opens.

The piping is filled with pressurized inert gas, and water is held back by a valve. When a sprinkler head opens, the gas is released and the valve opens with the pressure drop. Water can then flow through the piping to be discharged by open sprinklers.

Dry pipe systems are used in applications where a wet pipe system is unsuitable. For example, if an unheated area needs fire protection, a dry pipe system is required because a wet pipe system would freeze.

This design is similar to a dry pipe system, where water is kept

out of the piping by a valve. However, in this case the valve is opened by heat or smoke sensors. The sprinkler heads don’t change, since they open normally in response to heat.

As mentioned above, a deluge sprinkler system is like those shown in the movies. All sprinklers are permanently open, and the water release is controlled by heat and smoke sensors.

Deluge systems are used in areas that are very vulnerable to fire, such as storage areas with flammable substances.

Design Standards for Sprinkler Plans

The NFPA 13 standard from the National Fire Protection Association is the main design reference for automatic sprinkler systems. When state and municipal governments determine the requirements for fire sprinklers in their codes, these are normally based on NFPA 13. There are also two versions of NFPA 13 for the residential sector:

  • NFPA 13D applies for one- and two-family dwellings, and also for manufactured homes. 
  • NFPA 13R applies for low-rise residential buildings up to 4 stories above grade (60 feet).

Consider that building codes and fire codes are legally enforced, but NFPA standards by are not, unless they are mentioned directly in a local law or code. For this reason, local codes should always be the main guideline for sprinkler plans, while NFPA standards are used as reference.

Building codes often have additional requirements that are not found in the NFPA 13 standard. Sprinkler plans that miss these requirements are not approved for installation, even if they fully meet NFPA 13.

Filing Sprinkler Plans for Project Approval
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Since automatic sprinkler systems have a critical role in buildings, local authorities normally have stringent requirements for their design and installation. Effective fire protection is always important, but especially in cities with a high density of buildings and people. For example, New York City has some of the most demanding fire protection requirements in the world.

Before installing a fire sprinkler system, the first step is drawing a set of sprinkler plans as required by local codes. These plans are then submitted to local authorities for review, and the project can only proceed until the documents are approved. Once an automatic sprinkler system is installed, inspectors are sent to verify that it matches the approved design, and also to make sure the system works properly.

All new sprinkler installations in NYC must be filed, regardless of how small they are. The sprinkler plans must be submitted to the NYC Department of Buildings for approval, and the procedure can only be carried out by a Registered Design Professional (RDP) - a Registered Architect (RA) or a Professional Engineer (PE).

The NYC DOB does not require filing for the following alterations in existing sprinkler systems, as long as their budget is under $35,000 over a 12-month period.

  • Part replacements
  • Modifications that don’t affect the operation of the sprinkler system
  • Rearrangement of up to 20 sprinkler heads
  • Addition of up to 5 sprinkler heads

After approving the sprinkler plans, only a qualified contractor can carry out the installation. Sprinkler systems in NYC must be installed by a Licensed Fire Suppression Contractor (LFSC), but a Licensed Master Plumber (LMP) is also eligible for projects with up to 30 sprinkler heads.

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How Fire Protection Engineers Can Optimize Sprinkler Plans

Ideally, a building interior should have full protection against fire with the smallest number of sprinklers possible. When a building uses more sprinkler heads than necessary, the piping layout becomes more complex and the overall installation becomes more expensive.

The number of fire sprinklers required in a building will greatly depend on its floor area. However, architectural features and interior design can also affect the layout of a sprinkler system. 

  • Many issues can be prevented if fire protection engineers meet with architects and interior designers early in the project.
  • This way, each party will be aware of how design decisions affect others. This improves collaboration throughout the entire project.

For example, having a tall piece of furniture directly below a sprinkler head is not recommended. If there is a fire and that specific sprinkler activates, the furniture blocks a large portion of the water released.

Like with other MEP installations, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a powerful tool when designing fire protection systems:

  • Once a three-dimensional model of all building systems has been created, sprinkler plans can be generated with ease.
  • Key technical information can be attached to specific components in the sprinkler system model, making it accessible for everyone involved in the project.
  • Automatic sprinkler systems must often share ceiling spaces with components such as lighting fixtures, electrical conduit and HVAC ducts. By using BIM, the layout of all theses systems can be optimized, preventing clashes and specification conflicts.
When Are Fire Sprinklers Mandatory?
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The requirement to install sprinkler systems is determined by local authorities, and there are differences between cities, states and countries. In New York City, the conditions for mandatory sprinkler systems are determined by the building’s occupancy classification, floor area and a number of occupants. There are also special applications in which fire sprinklers become mandatory regardless of building area and occupancy.

Read More: When are sprinkler systems mandatory in New York City?

When new versions of building codes are published, they apply for new constructions, renovations and building expansions. Owners of existing buildings are not forced to upgrade their properties according to the new code, unless they carry out a renovation project.

In the case of existing buildings without fire sprinklers, the installation is only mandatory when requested by a NYC local law. For example, Local Law 26 of 2004 makes sprinklers mandatory for all buildings that belong to Business Group E (as defined back in 2004), with a height of at least 100 feet. 

  • The deadline to install fire sprinklers according to LL26/04 was July 1, 2019.
  • Any building covered by the law that still lacks a sprinkler system is subject to penalties.
  • Filing sprinkler plans is necessary to meet LL26. Even a building with sprinklers is not compliant if the project has not been filed yet.

Sprinkler systems are recommended even for buildings that are not covered by LL26/04, due to how effective they are as a fire protection measure. However, keep in mind that building codes are mandatory even if your fire sprinkler installation is optional. You must contact a Registered Design Professional (RDP) to get the sprinkler plans approved by the NYC Department of Building, and must then hire a qualified contractor for the installation.

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