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  1. #1
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    Default Sprinklers Passed

    Sprinklers just passed in Minneapolis, the sprinkler industry paid AHJs to send fire personnel as their voting members, so the vote was loaded, this obviously means billions of dollars in the pockets of the sprinkler and plastic pipe industry. (why would cities pay the expenses if they can get reimbursed by the sprinkler/plastic industry?)

    I don't understand the ramifications of this, but apparently there are trade-offs, in "lightweight construction" (which is undefined but apparently means I Joists in floors and roof trusses in ceilings) if you protect them with a 30 minute barrier you don't need the sprinklers, the question I have is what is a 30 minute barrier, I know what a 20 minute door is, and a one hour wall, but a 30 minute barrier? The other thing this appears to do, is a cheap builder using I Joists and roof trusses can trade off his sprinkler requirement; whereas, a good builder who uses dimensional lumber in his floors and stick frames his roofs is going to get stuck with sprinklers? As I see some interpretations I'll keep you guys posted.

    In the meantime, fight it at your local level, it has been in the IRC Appendix to be adopted by local jurisdictions, now it's in the code so instead of adopting it if they want it, they'll have to delete it if they don't want it. Sprinkler requirements have been in the IBC, when California adopted the IBC they deleted the mandatory sprinkler requirements for one and two family dwellings, so those of you under the IRC can do the same thing at the local level.

    For homes like Allan builds this will increase the costs by about $90,000 if the home were in the Bay Area, even with a 13D plastic system, if Houston costs are half ours' this still means an extra $50,000 for something people don't want.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  2. #2
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    Sep 2004
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    5,891

    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Seibert View Post
    I don't understand the ramifications of this, but apparently there are trade-offs, in "lightweight construction" (which is undefined but apparently means I Joists in floors and roof trusses in ceilings) if you protect them with a 30 minute barrier you don't need the sprinklers, the question I have is what is a 30 minute barrier, I know what a 20 minute door is, and a one hour wall, but a 30 minute barrier?
    1/2 fire rated drywall is a 30 minute barrier.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    Richfield, Utah
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    Dick...I take exception to your comment about "cheap" builders using I joists and trusses. In my opinion, which doesn't count for much...using dimensional lumber for floors is one of the worst ways to build a floor...especially if you want a noisy floor. And the only time I don't use trusses is on a ULTRA custom roof that we just can't truss. It sounds like you are just a little too resistant to change there.

    It will be interesting to see what this ends up all meaning. Sprinklers aren't really all that expensive....at least here in Utah. $2.00 a s/f on average....but I agree its 2.00 a foot that is really unnecessary on SFR.

    Sam

  4. #4
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    Mar 2006
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    Boise, Idaho
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    Leave it to a gov't agency to increase the cost of building homes... even during a housing recession.

    Next thing you know the gov't will be telling people that no one builds affordable homes anymore so they will have to step in and start doing that job also.

    It didn't work in russia, china, cuba or any other placed it has been tried but they think they can make it work here.

    Gee! Where did that line come from? The one about securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity?
    It is a simple matter of being patient. I do patience very well, except for the waiting part. That's the one aspect of patience that still bites me.

    I'm not saying I'm Superman. What I'm saying is no one has ever seen me and Superman in the same room together.

    ParkWest Homes LLC
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    Sam:

    The problem with I Joists from a firefighter perspective is that the gang nail plates pop off and the roof collapses in a fire, the I Joists collapse in fires, several AHJ's now required that homes with either product be identified at the street with special symbols so the firefighters can just save lives and let them burn. That's why they want them fire protected. The Engineered Wood Association to go under your houses with I Joists and sheetrock the underside:
    Quote Originally Posted by Engineered Wood Association
    Millions of homes have been built and are still being built with exposed wood floor joists - typically over some type of habitable basement area. The lack of a code-mandated fireresistance requirement, such as a requirement for a one-hour fire-rated floor, means that the floor framing may not be protected on the underside.

    A simple, inexpensive yet significant increase in fire resistance can be achieved in any type of joist or truss system by simply adding a single layer of gypsum wallboard to the underside of the floor joists. The use of 1/2-inch thick ordinary, unrated gypsum wallboard will very likely more than double the fire-endurance time for all commonly used wood floor joist systems, including sawn-lumber, open web wood trusses and I-joists.

    Based on this, APA recommends the use of a single layer of 1/2-inch thick gypsum on the underside of all I-joists used in floor/ceiling assemblies over habitable spaces.

    5. Summary
    It is important for everyone, (home owner, building official, firefighter and others) to remain aware that no amount of additional protection will make any floor "safe" for any predictable minimum length of time when the underside of that floor is exposed to an intense fire. All floor/ceiling assemblies, however, will endure a severe fire longer if protected by gypsum wallboard, regardless of the type of floor framing. Thus, firefighter and occupant safety can be addressed by early evacuation of occupants through the use of smoke detectors, by adding passive or active fire suppression such as by the use of gypsum wall board and equally important by firefighter education and pre-planning. The wood industry has been actively involved with the USFA in providing educational materials for the fire service and this effort is continuing.*
    I guess they are not aware that 1/2" sheeetrock does not give a one hour rating.

    * http://www.webjoist.com/Other_Misc/A...20&%20Fire.pdf
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    Ok....this makes more sense to me now. Here we have a lot of unfinished basements with floor systems built of TJI's. I'm still wondering how this exception will work out though. You won't want to sheetrock the lid in the basement until all of the plumbing, wiring, HVAC, insulation, etc is done so this would end up costing more upfront than the sprinklers??? At least here it would. Like I mentioned before, I have had to do residential sprinklers recently in multifamily condo's and they ran about $2.00 a s/f. This was on a 15,000 s/f building so I'm sure the cost will be a bit higher on a 2,000 s/f home but....its not going to be the budget killer that many people think it is. On one hand...its rediculous....but on the other, its a decent idea. Are insurance rates going to go down with this?


    Sam

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    Sam:

    It remains to be seen how all of this is going to be interpreted until the lawyers get done with it, but your $2 a foot in Utah has translated to $4 to $9 in California as I posted recently. The way I heard it listening to the hearings they want the underside of I Joists sheetrocked in crawl spaces too, so when firefighters go into a burning home the floors don't collapse under them.

    At the present time I am just speculating from what I heard. A big item here in California, where all architects are striving for Platinum LEED certification, is they will have to build PVC-free homes for the LEED credit, will this be applied to PEX systems or not? All of this awaits publication and interpretation, but there are going to be a lot of changes, obviously the cheap CPVC systems won't qualify.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    This will be interesting to see how it all pans out. Are we expecting a 2009 IRC release? Personally I don't mind new code items that make homes better, stronger, etc....but sometimes it seems like all they are doing is making them more expensive. I imaging NAHB will fight this as much as they can.


    Sam

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    Sam:

    There is no guarantee that your jurisdictions will be adopting the 2009 IRC, some may and others may not. Those that adopt it may delete the sprinkler section, that's where the fight is going to move now, to the local level.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  10. #10
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    Richfield, Utah
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    I'm sure they will adopt it...we've used the 03 and 06 IRC so I see no reason that they won't go with the 09.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    Quote Originally Posted by parkwest View Post
    Gee! Where did that line come from? The one about securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity?
    It seems to me it was just before, "do ordain and establish". :D

  12. #12
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    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Seibert View Post
    ... your $2 a foot in Utah has translated to $4 to $9 in California as I posted recently. The way I heard it listening to the hearings they want the underside of I Joists sheetrocked in crawl spaces too, so when firefighters go into a burning home the floors don't collapse under them.
    I sprinklered a two story 6,800 sq ft residence wtih basement in CA for $8,000 a year ago. A 1,000 sq ft residence I did was $3,000.

    Crawl spaces don't usually have anything in them that will burn to ignite the floor joists (except for the joists themselves); basements do.

    I'm in favor of residential sprinklers, in fact I put them in the 1,000 sq ft residence even though I could have gotten around it. I like the extra time it gives the occupants in a fire and I like that it will usually extinguish a fire. Remember that recent beach house fire in North Carolina that killed seven students? Sprinklers would likely have provided extra time to get out. Dick usually knows what he is talking about, but he hasn't convinced me to remove my fire sprinklers yet! ;-)

    I used Open Web Joists on the 6,800 sq ft project but am not sure I would again. They have a lot of the characteristics of kindling: kiln dried, lots of surface area, and not much cross sectional area. I used 5/8" Firecode everywhere and 1-1/8" floor sheathing, which should provide some mitigation. I suspect that I-joists, Open Web Joists, and trusses will be found to be a long term fire problem, as discussed in this thread. Metal fireplace chimneys inside stick framed chimney chases too when they start to corrode...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    I've come into possession of some of the documents on the "fix", anyone wanting to challenge adoption by your local jurisdiction can contact me if they want full copies to argue that the adoption of mandatory sprinklers was induced by fraud.
    Quote Originally Posted by The International Residential Code Sprinkler Coalition
    To win this issue, hundreds of fire sprinkler supporters will need to attend and vote. International Code Council (ICC) rules will require a 2/3 majority vote to win. To vote, individuals must represent a governmental agency that is an ICC member, which can be easily accomplished. For ICC voting members who cannot otherwise afford the cost of travel associated with attending the Minnesota hearing, the IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition is offering assistance.

    The program will cover the cost of common carrier transportation (air, train, bus) plus one or two nights' room and tax (9/20-9/21/08) in a Minneapolis hotel. Incidental expenses, including meals, taxi, gratuities, airline baggage fees, etc. must be paid by the traveler.

    The Coalition is a 501c6 not-for-profit association with an interest in residential fire safety, governed primarily by code officials, representing code official and fire service organizations and other public safety interests. See the "About Us" section on our Web site at www.1RCFireSprinkler.org for further information.

    The Coalition has obtained a legal opinion that, with respect to ethics, conflict of interest and Federal law, conveys that it is entirely appropriate for representatives of jurisdictions to participate in the Coalition's travel assistance program and accept assistance that directly offsets expenses associated with ICC hearing attendance. Individuals accepting assistance are responsible for verifying that state and local laws, rules or regulations do not otherwise affect acceptance of assistance.
    Apparently the NAHB figured the fix was on and there was no way to beat them, so they introduced all kinds of trade-offs to be voted on after the main vote for sprinklers was taken. Watching the webcast was amazing, after the sprinkler vote was taken the fire people all were celebrating wildly, then about 80% in attendance left the hall, one of their representatives was yelling at them from the stage to stay, there were more fire related issues to vote on, but they left the hall for more fun and games. Then the trade-offs were introduced and voted on, I'll let you know when I've got ti all figured out, but apparently you don't need firewalls or smoke alarms anymore if your AHJ adopts the 2009 IRC.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    I've received permission from my source to publish the whole document, if your state, or your local AHJ, seeks to adopt the 2009 IRC please download this entire document and present it to them to show that the sprinkler provision was bought by the sprinkler industry, and try to get this section deleted. The Buyoff I've OCR'd the document for copying and pasting.
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Sprinklers Passed

    It sounds like lobbies are meddling again. Yeah, sure fire sprinklers are great. I don't need the government telling me to put them into single family. We're already mandated to put them in multi-family. It's just like anything else- it starts as a good idea, them lobbyists get a toe-hold and it's a neccesity in some instances, then they fight for more and more and more. Next they dig in again & go for our exceptions and trade offs.
    Think about it, it's just like the smoking ban in restaurants (no, I'm not a smoker). They started by putting smokers in a corner, then banned it from restaurants, now you can't even walk down the street in CA and smoke for fear someone will get an offending whiff of your cigarette and sue you. What's wrong with the owner of a business determining if it's a good idea to include a sprinkler system (or a smoking section) fits their business model?
    Last edited by Unforgiven; 09-24-2008 at 07:38 PM.

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