Fire Alarm Code Issues

Facility name: Kendall Regional Medical Center

Project name: KENDAL-New Tower
Location: MIAMI, FL
Project classification: Hospital – Vertical Expansion
Project type: Acute Care
Project number: 3594100019
Lesson Learned number: 112
Impact: Cost, Schedule

Lesson Learned/Best Practice

During the permitting process the following items arose.

  • High rise requirements for fire alarm systems.
    • Initially the AHJ required the Kendall fire alarm system be upgraded to cover high rise guidelines. A building is considered a high rise if any floor above 75′ is continually occupied. ICT and the AHJ discussed this and finally came to the conclusion that the building did not have to be upgraded. 
    • Though this did not require a re-design (which would have been costly), it did delay the permitting process.
  • Pull station at helipad vestibule was required.
  • Smoke evacuation system is controlled by the fire alarm system and needed to be added. However, the design is by the mechanical controls contractor. 
  • The review process itself is slow.

During inspections a couple of items arose.

  • Pull station at helipad vestibule was required.
  • Spacing between smoke detectors was exceeded in some instances.

Suggested Actions for Future Projects

Bringing the fire alarm vendor on at EDI would allow them to assist with design and code verification. The fire alarm vendor could then produce shop drawings during the EDI process that could be included as part of the CD set. This would make the shop drawings part of the initial building permit application and not a separate application after the permit is obtained. Therefore speeding up the fire alarm system local jurisdiction approval process. 

Actions Taken / Current Status

HCA comment:  The best practice is to bring the Fire Alarm vendor in during the EDI process at the appropriate time based on the design schedule for a given project.

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