Life safety and Fire Protection Engineers


So I had a situation come up recently on a project regarding the code analysis. We kicked off the project and the PM told me (the signing architect) that he intended to have the Fire Protection Engineer do the life safety code review. I asked around at the office and this seems to be the standard practice here and has been for years, with a few of the more seasoned architects still doing their own. 

Now, I'm curious as this is the only one of the firms I have worked for where this was the case. My other forms the FP guy did sprinklers and the associated commodity classifying, but that was all. So my questions are: is this new arrangement normal and why did I bother with all that school and exams to do roof details and ADA reviews. Why don't architects want to take responsibility for the IBC requirements?

Feb 20, 18 11:32 pm
Non Sequitur

We hire out code consultants for either very specific code tasks or for when (not if) we need to take the city to court.  Everything else code-related is by the architect (me).  Hard to show your face in front of clients and large project management firms when you need to default to other consultants on basic code issues.

Sprinkler calculations are by mechanical typically although I am not shy when I review them and often add heads but we don't take responsibility for it. As for fire-protection engineers, we've relied on the them heavily for unique firestop details as they come up. 

School only goes so far. Rely on real-world experience if you want to play the victim here. 

Feb 20, 18 11:40 pm

Thanks Non Sequitur. And I agree on the school thing. I've been out and around for a while. More just frustrated as I have the experience, skill and (despite arch school) the education and we have a poor corporate philosophy. 

Feb 21, 18 1:04 am
Non Sequitur

poor selective corporate philosophy is a good one. I'd elaborate, but since I'm semi-anonymous here, I'll hold further personal comments.

As the Architect you are still responsible for for the work of the consultants you hire to complete the work you are contracted for. It is a good way to burn up your feet to contract with consultants for everything.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Feb 21, 18 9:28 am

We hire dedicated code consultants for our largest projects with very complex programming.  Example: we have an old 30k+ sqft train station that the owner has decided to reprogram into a museum with display areas, kids activities/childrens museum retail, offices, restaurant, and rentable event spaces.  Add into the mix the fact that a lot of the spaces are cavernous and more than one program will be in each room in many cases.  In this case, we have a large enough fee to hire a consultant for this.  It's actually more economical for us because it would take so much of our time coordinating between all of the consultants and updating the code drawings throughout design.  We also have FP consultants, but they are only doing work more closely related to the FP system - sprinkler calcs, coverage, and system specs.

Most jobs though, with less complex programs, are done in-house.

Feb 21, 18 10:22 am

Please tell me the opening sizes for fire truck . I mean the opening  passage or thoroughfare in building external wall

Feb 23, 18 2:03 pm
Non Sequitur

No. Hire someone if you don't know.


Thank you / good lesson

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