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NFPA researches cloud ceilings and sprinklers, issues 2014 Electrical Code

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Research Foundation has completed a project to find out how sprinklers can be most effectively installed in building areas with cloud ceilings.


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Research Foundation has completed a project to find out how sprinklers can be most effectively installed in building areas with cloud ceilings.

Cloud ceilings are panels that sit beneath the structural ceiling of a room with gaps between them. They are becoming increasingly popular in commercial buildings as an aesthetic feature, but NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems does not include definitive guidance on them.

Hughes Associates did the study for NFPA to see how sprinkler protection is impacted by the cloud ceilings. They studied fire sprinkler performance when the sprinklers were placed below and above the panels.

To provide guidance for NFPA, the research included modelling and developing recommendations. They determined the maximum gap size between the wall and the cloud edge at which sprinklers located on the structural ceiling are not effective.

To see a video by Jason Floyd, Ph.D. senior engineer at Hughes Associates, discuss the findings, click here.

To read the report, click here.

http://www.nfpa.org/research/fire-protection-research-foundation/reports-and-proceedings/suppression/other-sprinkler-protection/sprinkler-protection-for-cloud-ceilings

NFPA has also just released the 2014 National Electrical Code.

The code provides the most up to date electrical safety requirements, setting the standard for safe electrical installation and inspection. It includes requirements for safely installing renewable energy systems such as photovoltaics and wind, and charging stations for electric vehicles.

Initially the code is available in PDF, but hard copies will be available by the end of August. The NFPA is also providing four-day seminars based on the 2014 edition in their headquarters in Quincy, Massachussetts.

NFPA recently launched a new website, www.necconnect.org as a resource for designers, engineers, code enforcers, and contractors for issues related to the code.