[Greenbuilding] Fire Sprinkler Exemption?
George J. Nesbitt
george at houseisasystem.com
Thu Feb 7 16:37:30 PST 2013
On 2/7/2013 3:58 PM, John Straube wrote:
> It is sad that the sprinkler lobby have convinced code officials that sprinklers make sense.
And they bussed in code officials to vote for it
> There are many stories like this.
Yep, I have knowledge of 2 cases, one was $10k of damage in the early to
mid 90's, and another several times that.
> I don't now how to argue for common sense.
Yes you do, but that doesn't' mean they will listen.
We know smoke detectors save lives.
But the evidence that sprinklers save lives does not appear to be there,
and we could debate that they save property too.
I remember a Timber Framer recounting a story of a house they built,
with SIP panels. There was a fire in the kitchen, nobody was home, the
fire died out. Thanks to air tight construction (probably with hrv), the
fire consumed the oxygen, and starved. I've always wondered why
firepeople put holes in roofs, and feed the fire air.
> But, if you don't win, just install the sprinkler, and after the code officials leave, install a shut off.
> You can install a sprinkler by freezing the pipe as it enters the house (to create a plug), then cut the pipe on the house side of the plug, install a shutoff, leave it open, then let the plug thaw.
> I have heard of this down using liquid nitrogen, since this was available to the person (liquid N2 is used to keep bull semen frozen if you must know).
> On 2013-02-07, at 5:39 PM, Frank Staub <fjstaub at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> FIRE SPRINKLER EXEMPTION?
>> A neighbor's fire sprinkler accidentally discharged causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. He couldn't turn it off because the fire department doesn't allow a shutoff.
>> I was resigned to installing a sprinkler system in the strawbale house I'm building with mud plastered interior walls because I thought it wasn't possible for sprinklers to go off accidentally. Now I know that's false. So I'm going to oppose our Fire Department's requirement to install sprinklers. As many of you know, water is the big enemy of straw/mudplaster walls. A sprinkler discharge, accidental or not, could be catastrophic. In a load-bearing strawbale building it could mean demolishing the entire structure and rebuilding. In my case, a sprinkler discharge in the room containing the batteries, etc for my stand-alone solar electric system would be a tremendous tragedy.
>> Any input would be greatly appreciated. I'm interested in arguments against the requirement and contact info for people who have applied for exemptions even if they weren't successful.
>> If I succeed it could be a great benefit to future builders using mud and straw.
>> Frank Staub
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George J. Nesbitt, Environmental Design / Build, Building Performance
Contractor, HERS I Verifier & HERS II Rater, GreenPoint Rater new &
existing SF & MF, CABEC CEPE (Certified Energy Plans Examiner),
Certified Passive House Consultant, BPI Multifamily Analyst,
www.houseisasystem.com, (510) 655-8532 office, (510) 984-8344 mobile
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