Question of the Day - #89 Let's keep the code users confused

General discussion area relating to building and construction codes. To post a topic for discussion you must register. Everyone is welcome to register. Registration is necessary to fight off spam. Under no circumstance is any part of this forum to be used for advertising or spam purposes. Welcome to our Minnesota community forum!

Question of the Day - #89 Let's keep the code users confused

Postby RDavidson » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:08 pm

2015 Minnesota Rules 1309.0313 section R313.1 states:
R313.1 Townhouse automatic fire sprinkler systems. An automatic residential fire sprinkler system shall be installed in townhouses.
Exception: An automatic residential fire sprinkler system shall not be required when additions or alterations are made to existing townhouses that do not have an automatic residential fire sprinkler system installed.

R313.1.1 Design and installation. Automatic residential fire sprinkler systems for townhouses shall be designed and installed in accordance with IRC section P2904 or NFPA 13D.

R313.2 One- and two-family dwellings automatic fire systems. An automatic residential fire sprinkler system shall be installed in one- and two-family dwellings.
Exceptions:
1. Detached one-family dwelling, less than 4500 square feet of floor area. Floor area shall include all floors and basements, excluding garages.
2. An automatic residential fire sprinkler system shall not be required if additions, alterations or repairs are made to existing buildings that do not have an automatic residential sprinkler system installed.

R313.2.1 Design and installation. Automatic residential fire sprinkler systems shall be designed and installed in accordance with IRC section P2904 or NFPA 13D.

R313.3 Installation requirements. When an automatic sprinkler system is required in one- and two-family dwellings, it shall be installed in accordance with IRC section P2904 or NFPA 13D.

Automatic sprinkler systems for one- and two-family dwellings and townhouse buildings shall be installed in accordance with the following:
1 Attached garages are require to have one dry head sprinkler located within 5 lineal feet of each door installed in the common wall separating the dwelling unit and the attached garage.
2 Attached covered patios, covered decks, covered porches, and similar structures are required to have automatic sprinklers with a minimum of one dry head for every 20 lineal feet of common wall between the dwelling unit and the covered patio, covered deck covered porch, or similar structure.
Exception: Attached roofs of covered patios, covered decks, covered porches, or similar structures that do not exceed 40 square feet of floor area.

Notice that R313.1.1 states that townhouse sprinklers must be designed in accordance with IRC P2903 or NFPA 13D.

Notice that R313.2.1 states that one- and two-family dwelling sprinklers must be designed in accordance with IRC P2903 or NFPA 13D.

Notice that we have an additional section R313.3 titled “Installation requirements”. It repeats that one- and two-family dwellings must be designed in accordance with IRC P2903 or NFPA 13D. Why this statement is repeated is not obvious. Then the next paragraph includes the phrase “one- and two-family dwellings and townhouse buildings”, emphasis on “townhouse buildings”.

If ever a townhouse sprinkler designer had a reason to complain about poor code writing, this is it. It would be very easy to overlook the additional requirements in R313.3 for townhouses because at first glance the section appears only to apply to one- and two-family dwellings. Coupled with the inconsistencies between the state amendments and the national model codes, this could result in another situation that would pit building departments against builders/designers/owners.

Do you think the townhouse application is obvious or do you think this is careless code writing?
RDavidson
 
Posts: 317
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 2:36 pm

Return to 10K Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron