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from Factory Mutual revising its Global Data Sheets 8-9 with attached
contents in regards to ESFR systems.
ESFR Fire Sprinkler Systems have solved many of the industries High Pile Storage problems but unfortunately the systems can be a double-edged sword.
The ESFR Systems do allow for higher storage of commodities without in-rack sprinklers and eliminate the requirement of draft curtains. The newer sprinklers (K-25) allow for lower starting pressures and the elimination of fire pumps in many of the ESFR installations. All of this is a plus for Developers, Tenants and Architects, but there are very restrictive requirements for the installation and modification to these systems.
When ESFR Systems are installed in buildings intended to be multi-tenant or divisible, care must be given to where the future demising walls are to be located and that information must be built, not only into the building location of doors and mechanical supplies but, into the design of the ESFR Sprinkler System. Walls located to close to the lines will result in a design situation that will be in conflict with the ESFR Criteria and may result in the elimination of the advantages of the system. Buildings over 30’-0" in height are very limited in the line and sprinkler arrangement.
In addition to the future demising walls, the ratio of Smoke Vents must be taken into consideration. ESFR Systems will allow a tenant to store High Hazard Commodities over 20’-0" in height, requiring a vent to floor ratio of 1:40. Most Spec Buildings are designed with a Smoke Vents at 2%, that is only a ratio of 1:50.
If you are developing a building with ESFR Systems or an ESFR Ready Building, care and planning with your Fire Consultant or Designer is very critical.