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Ambulatory Care Facility sprinklers
May 20, 2019
12:07 pm
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lisa@designbuildevolutions.com
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March 15, 2019
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I have a B occupancy building. One half is Oral Surgery Office and the other half is an Ambulatory Care Facility (ACF).  I think I can sprinkle only the the ACF half if I divide the two sides with a fire barrier. I didn't think so using code only, but if you review the Commentaries it seems to change the circumstances. The local building official and fire marshal interpret the way I do but the ICC phone line says I must sprinkle both sides based on 903.2.2 only:

903.2.2 Ambulatory care facilities. An automatic

sprinkler system shall be installed throughout the entire

floor containing an ambulatory care facility where either

of the following conditions exist at any time:

(commentary says: "The sprinkler requirement is limited to the floor

area that contains the Group B ambulatory care facility")

 

But when you take the commentaries in to consideration and these sections, it looks different.

422.6 Automatic sprinkler systems. Automatic sprinkler systems shall be provided for ambulatory care facilities in accordance with Section 903.2.2.

(commentary: The entire fire area meeting either one of the criteria must be sprinklered.)

 

And lets look at the definition for Automatic Sprinkler System:

….. The system is usually activated by heat from a fire and discharges water over the fire area.

 

What is fire area?

FIRE AREA. The aggregate floor area enclosed and

bounded by fire walls, fire barriers, exterior walls or horizontal

assemblies of a building. Areas of the building not provided

with surrounding walls shall be included in the fire area

if such areas are included within the horizontal projection of

the roof or floor next above.

 

707.3.10 Fire areas. The fire barriers or horizontal

assemblies, or both, separating a single occupancy into

different fire areas shall have a fire-resistance rating of

not less than that indicated in Table 707.3.10.

 

Table 707.3.10 requires 2 hour separation of fire areas in B occupancy.

I know I could just go with the local AHJ's opinion but we specialize in these types of buildings and it will come up again.

I would appreciate clarification.