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Smoke Control Design / Testing

A smoke control system is an engineered system that utilizes a combination of passive barriers, mechanical equipment and automatic detection and/or suppression to inhibit smoke movement from the event zone to other smoke zones. A properly designed smoke control system should inhibit or prevent the movement of smoke into areas leading to exits or other designated safe zones in a building.

Design Approaches may include the Pressurization Method, Airflow Design Method, Exhaust Method, Passive Smoke Control and Performance Based Designs. All of these are defined in ICC standards. The objective of such designs is to accomplish the following:

      1. Contribute to the protection of life and to the reduction of property loss.

      2. Provide conditions that enable emergency response personnel to enter for rescue and fire-fighting operations.

      3. Maintain a tenable environment in smoke refuge areas and exit enclosures.

      4. Inhibit smoke from entering stairwells, smoke refuge areas, elevator shafts, or similar areas.

      5. Inhibit the migration of smoke from the event zone.


Shaft Pressurization Systems
The intent of the code is to have shaft pressurization systems that prevent smoke from entering the shaft. This is accomplished through the pressurization method of smoke-control which creates pressure differentials across the walls of vertical shafts on all floors, since infiltration through these shafts is the principle mechanism which allows smoke to move into upper floors. This is accomplished by mechanical pressurization of the exit stairways and passenger elevator hoistways, while providing limited exhaust from each floor.

 

Zoned Smoke Control
A zoned smoke control system is a smoke control system applying the Pressurization Method that includes a relative negative pressure for the event zone and a relative positive pressure for all contiguous smoke-control zones, in accordance with IBC 909.6. One such type of system is often referred to as a "sandwich smoke control system". This is a zoned smoke-control system that utilizes a combination of exhaust in the event zone and pressurization in zones above and below, creating a pressurization sandwich.

Testing and Commissioning
Special inspection for smoke control systems is required by the IBC. The objective of testing smoke control systems is to ensure that each of the components of the system is working correctly, and that they work together as a system according to design intent and governing codes. The system must detect fire events, prevent smoke migration and circulation, and maintain proper pressurization of building spaces.

 

As your designer, Allen Engineering will help ensure that the smoke control design functions as required by the code. With past history as an AHJ, Travis is uniquely qualified to ensure that the permit submittal and review is expedited for your project, alleviating time consuming re-submittals.

 

As your special inspector, Allen Engineering will witness all required special inspection testing and provide a certificate of compliance certifying that the referenced property is in substantial compliance.

 

Allen Engineering serves Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Spokane, Olympia as well as all of King, Spokane, Pierce, and Snohomish County

 

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