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In accordance with § 36-99.3 of the Code of Virginia, an automatic fire suppression system shall be provided throughout all buildings having a Group R-2 fire area that are more than 75 feet (22 860 mm) or six stories above the lowest level of exit discharge and are used, in whole or in part, as a dormitory to house students by any public or private institution of higher education, regardless of when such buildings were constructed, in accordance with the edition of this code in effect on August 20, 1997, and the requirements for sprinkler systems under the edition of the NFPA 13 standard referenced by that code. The automatic fire suppression system shall be installed by September 1, 1999. The chief administrative office of the college or university shall obtain a certificate of compliance from the building official of the locality in which the college or university is located or, in the case of state-owned buildings, from the Director of the Virginia Department of General Services.
Exceptions:
  1. Buildings equipped with an automatic fire suppression system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 of the 1983 or later editions of NFPA 13.
  2. Any dormitory at a state-supported military college or university that is patrolled 24 hours a day by military guards.
  3. Application of the requirements of this section shall be modified in accordance with the following:
    3.1.  Building systems, equipment, or components other than the fire suppression system shall not be required to be added or upgraded except as necessary for the installation of the fire suppression system and shall only be required to be added or upgraded where the installation of the fire suppression system creates an unsafe condition.
    3.2.  Residential sprinklers shall be used in all sleeping rooms. Other sprinklers shall be quick response or residential unless deemed unsuitable for a space. Standard response sprinklers shall be used in elevator hoistways and machine rooms.
    3.3.  Sprinklers shall not be required in wardrobes in sleeping rooms that are considered part of the building construction or in closets in sleeping rooms when such wardrobes or closets (i) do not exceed 24 square feet (2.23 m2) in area, (ii) have the smallest dimension less than 36 inches (914 mm), and (iii) comply with all of the following:
    3.3.1.  A single-station smoke alarm monitored by the building fire alarm system is installed in the room containing the wardrobe or closet that will activate the general alarm for the building if the single-station smoke alarm is not cleared within 5 minutes after activation.
    3.3.2.  The minimum number of sprinklers required for calculating the hydraulic demand of the system for the room shall be increased by two, and the two additional sprinklers shall be corridor sprinklers where the wardrobe or closet is used to divide the room. Rooms divided by a wardrobe or closet shall be considered one room for the purpose of this requirement.
    3.3.3.  The ceiling of the wardrobe, closet, or room shall have a fire resistance rating of not less than 1/2 hour.
    3.4.  Not more than one sprinkler shall be required in bathrooms within sleeping rooms or suites having a floor area between 55 square feet (5.12 m2) and 120 square feet (11.16 m2), provided the sprinkler is located to protect the lavatory area and the plumbing fixtures are of a noncombustible material.
    3.5.  Existing standpipe residual pressure shall be permitted to be reduced when the standpipe serves as the water supply for the fire suppression system, provided the water supply requirements of NFPA 13-94 are met.
    3.6.  Limited service controllers shall be permitted for fire pumps when used in accordance with their listing.
    3.7.  Where a standby power system is required, a source of power in accordance with Section 701-11(d) or 701-11(e) of NFPA 70-96 shall be permitted.

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