The October meeting was a winner! The meeting was held at the Convergent Technologies offices in Renton on Tuesday 15 October from 4 to 5 pm. They have a great meeting space and the parking was easy. Snacks were also provided.
Romeo LaRiviere, Account Executive at Convergint Technologies, provided a great presentation regarding smoke control based on his experiences with the cities of Seattle and Bellevue. He started with reviewing the basics of smoke control, concentrating on life safety aspects in the applicable occupancies such as atria in hotels.
Whereas Romeo’s presentation was great, my favorite part of the meeting was the lively discussion among all of the participants regarding the challenges in getting the final system designed, approved, installed, and tested. Several meeting attendees were very experienced in the design and installation of these kinds of systems. There were different points of view expressed on several subjects, with some interesting examples provided for context.
These are complicated systems involving many different trades and design disciplines. Coordination between all of the stakeholders is challenging. As most of these projects are design-build, they can be very fast-moving with blurred lines of responsibility, making timely and cost-effective designs and installation even more challenging.
I was particularly interested in understanding that the two cities are staffed differently, resulting in unlike approaches to how they handle code amendments and submittals. The two organizations have fundamentally a different approach on how they deal with the applicable model codes and amend them. One example discussed was the NFPA 92 requirement for positive status indication of damper positions in certain situations. The two cities also have different approaches on how they wish to see the project design and submittals handled as the design-build progresses. For anyone currently designing, installing, or testing these kinds of systems, or planning on it, this discussion was very informative.
This is the kind of meeting that I have always found to be the most interesting - more of a round table discussion involving several viewpoints between contractors, engineers, and AHJs. I hope we have more meetings like this going forward.
As always, give me a call if you want to talk about this meeting or any other subject regarding the SFPE Northwest chapter - or email the chapter leadership at SFPEPNW@gmail.com.
Thanks, and have a great holiday season.
Mark R. Mannex, PE, FPE