This section applies to mechanical or passive smoke control systems where they are required by other provisions of this code. The purpose of this section is to establish minimum requirements for the design, installation and acceptance testing of smoke control systems that are intended to provide a tenable environment for the evacuation or relocation of occupants. These provisions are not intended for the preservation of contents, the timely restoration of operations or for assistance in fire suppression or overhaul activities. Smoke control systems regulated by this section serve a different purpose than the smoke- and heat-removal provisions found in Section 910
. Mechanical smoke control systems shall not be considered exhaust systems under Chapter 5 of the International Mechanical Code
Buildings, structures or parts thereof required by this code to have a smoke control system or systems shall have such systems designed in accordance with the applicable requirements of Section 909
and the generally accepted and well-established principles of engineering relevant to the design. The construction documents
shall include sufficient information and detail to adequately describe the elements of the design necessary for the proper implementation of the smoke control systems. These documents shall be accompanied by sufficient information and analysis to demonstrate compliance with these provisions.
In addition to the ordinary inspection and test requirements that buildings, structures and parts thereof are required to undergo, smoke control systems subject to the provisions of Section 909
shall undergo special inspections
and tests sufficient to verify the proper commissioning of the smoke control design in its final installed condition. The design submission accompanying the construction documents
shall clearly detail procedures and methods to be used and the items subject to such inspections and tests. Such commissioning shall be in accordance with generally accepted engineering practice and, where possible, based on published standards for the particular testing involved. The special inspections
and tests required by this section shall be conducted under the same terms in Section 1704
A rational analysis supporting the types of smoke control systems to be employed, their methods of operation, the systems supporting them and the methods of construction to be utilized shall accompany the submitted construction documents
and shall include, but not be limited to, the items indicated in Sections 909.4.1
The system shall be designed such that the maximum probable normal or reverse stack effect will not adversely interfere with the system's capabilities. In determining the maximum probable stack effect, altitude, elevation, weather history and interior temperatures shall be used.
Buoyancy and expansion caused by the design fire in accordance with Section 909.9
shall be analyzed. The system shall be designed such that these effects do not adversely interfere with the system's capabilities.
The design shall consider the adverse effects of wind. Such consideration shall be consistent with the wind-loading provisions of Chapter 16
The design shall consider the effects of the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems on both smoke and fire transport. The analysis shall include all permutations of systems status. The design shall consider the effects of the fire on the HVAC systems.
The design shall consider the effects of low temperatures on systems, property and occupants. Air inlets and exhausts shall be located so as to prevent snow or ice blockage.
All portions of active or engineered smoke control systems shall be capable of continued operation after detection of the fire event for a period of not less than either 20 minutes or 1.5 times the calculated egress time, whichever is greater.
The design shall consider the interaction effects of the operation of multiple smoke control systems for all design scenarios.
Smoke barriers required for passive smoke control and a smoke control system using the pressurization method shall comply with Section 709. The maximum allowable leakage area shall be the aggregate area calculated using the following leakage area ratios:
- Walls A/Aw = 0.00100
- Interior exit stairways and ramps and exit passageways: A/Aw = 0.00035
- Enclosed exit access stairways and ramps and all other shafts: A/Aw = 0.00150
- Floors and roofs: A/AF = 0.00050
A = Total leakage area, square feet (m2).
AF = Unit floor or roof area of barrier, square feet (m2).
Aw = Unit wall area of barrier, square feet (m2).
The leakage area ratios shown do not include openings due to gaps around doors and operable windows. The total leakage area of the smoke barrier shall be determined in accordance with Section 909.5.1 and tested in accordance with Section 909.5.2.
Total leakage area of the barrier is the product of the smoke barrier
gross area multiplied by the allowable leakage area ratio, plus the area of other openings such as gaps around doors and operable windows.
Compliance with the maximum total leakage area shall be determined by achieving the minimum air pressure difference across the barrier with the system in the smoke control mode for mechanical smoke control systems utilizing the pressurization method. Compliance with the maximum total leakage area of passive smoke control systems shall be verified through methods such as door fan testing or other methods, as approved by the fire code official.
Openings in smoke barriers shall be protected by automatic-closing devices actuated by the required controls for the mechanical smoke control system. Door openings shall be protected by fire door assemblies complying with Section 716.
- Passive smoke control systems with automatic-closing devices actuated by spot-type smoke detectors listed for releasing service installed in accordance with Section 907.3.
- Fixed openings between smoke zones that are protected utilizing the airflow method.
- In Group I-1, Condition 2; Group I-2; and ambulatory care facilities, where a pair of opposite-swinging doors are installed across a corridor in accordance with Section 909.5.3.1, the doors shall not be required to be protected in accordance with Section 716. The doors shall be close-fitting within operational tolerances and shall not have a center mullion or undercuts in excess of 3/4 inch (19.1 mm), louvers or grilles. The doors shall have head and jamb stops and astragals or rabbets at meeting edges and, where permitted by the door manufacturer's listing, positive-latching devices are not required.
- In Group I-2 and ambulatory care facilities, where such doors are special-purpose horizontal sliding, accordion or folding door assemblies installed in accordance with Section 1010.1.4.3 and are automatic closing by smoke detection in accordance with Section 722.214.171.124.
- Group I-3.
- Openings between smoke zones with clear ceiling heights of 14 feet (4267 mm) or greater and bank-down capacity of greater than 20 minutes as determined by the design fire size.
In Group I-1, Condition 2; Group I-2; and ambulatory care facilities
, where doors are installed across a corridor
, the doors shall be automatic
closing by smoke detection in accordance with Section 7126.96.36.199
and shall have a vision panel
with fire-protection-rated glazing materials in fire protection-rated frames, the area of which shall not exceed that tested.
Ducts and air transfer openings are required to be protected with a minimum Class II, 250°F (121°C) smoke damper
complying with Section 717
The primary mechanical means of controlling smoke shall be by pressure differences across smoke barriers
. Maintenance of a tenable environment is not required in the smoke control zone
of fire origin.
The pressure difference across a smoke barrier used to separate smoke zones shall be not less than 0.05-inch water gage (0.0124 kPa) in fully sprinklered buildings.
In buildings permitted to be other than fully sprinklered, the smoke control system shall be designed to achieve pressure differences not less than two times the maximum calculated pressure difference produced by the design fire.
The maximum air pressure difference across a smoke barrier shall be determined by required door-opening or closing forces. The actual force required to open exit doors when the system is in the smoke control mode shall be in accordance with Section 1010.1.3. Opening and closing forces for other doors shall be determined by standard engineering methods for the resolution of forces and reactions. The calculated force to set a side-hinged, swinging door in motion shall be determined by:
A = Door area, square feet (m2).
d = Distance from door handle to latch edge of door, feet (m).
F = Total door opening force, pounds (N).
Fdc = Force required to overcome closing device, pounds (N).
K = Coefficient 5.2 (1.0).
W = Door width, feet (m).
ΔP = Design pressure difference, inches of water (Pa).
or elevator hoistways are pressurized, such pressurization systems shall comply with Section 909
as smoke control systems, in addition to the requirements of Sections 909.20 of this code and 909.21 of the International Fire Code
by the fire code official, smoke migration through openings fixed in a permanently open position, which are located between smoke control zones
by the use of the airflow method, shall be permitted. The design airflow shall be in accordance with this section. Airflow shall be directed to limit smoke migration from the fire zone
. The geometry of openings shall be considered to prevent flow reversal from turbulent effects. Smoke control systems using the airflow method shall be designed in accordance with NFPA 92.
This method shall not be employed where either the quantity of air or the velocity of the airflow will adversely affect other portions of the smoke control system, unduly intensify the fire, disrupt plume dynamics or interfere with exiting. Airflow toward the fire shall not exceed 200 feet per minute (1.02 m/s). Where the calculated airflow exceeds this limit, the airflow method shall not be used.
by the fire code official, mechanical smoke control for large enclosed volumes, such as in atriums
, shall be permitted to utilize the exhaust method. Smoke control systems using the exhaust method shall be designed in accordance with NFPA 92.
The height of the lowest horizontal surface of the smoke layer interface shall be maintained not less than 6 feet (1829 mm) above a walking surface that forms a portion of a required egress system within the smoke zone
The design fire shall be based on a rational analysis performed by the registered design professional
by the fire code official. The design fire shall be based on the analysis in accordance with Section 909.4
and this section.
The engineering analysis shall include the characteristics of the fuel, fuel load, effects included by the fire and whether the fire is likely to be steady or unsteady.
Determination of the design fire shall include consideration of the type of fuel, fuel spacing and configuration.
The analysis shall make use of best available data from approved sources
and shall not be based on excessively stringent limitations of combustible material.
A documented engineering analysis shall be provided for conditions that assume fire growth is halted at the time of sprinkler activation.
Equipment including, but not limited to, fans, ducts, automatic dampers
and balance dampers
, shall be suitable for its intended use, suitable for the probable exposure temperatures that the rational analysis indicates and as approved
by the fire code official.
Components of exhaust fans shall be rated and certified by the manufacturer for the probable temperature rise to which the components will be exposed. This temperature rise shall be computed by:
c = Specific heat of smoke at smoke layer temperature, Btu/lb°F (kJ/kg • K).
m = Exhaust rate, pounds per second (kg/s).
Qc = Convective heat output of fire, Btu/s (kW).
Ta = Ambient temperature, °F (K).
Ts = Smoke temperature, °F (K).
Exception: Reduced Ts as calculated based on the assurance of adequate dilution air.
Duct materials and joints shall be capable of withstanding the probable temperatures and pressures to which they are exposed as determined in accordance with Section 909.10.1. Ducts shall be constructed and supported in accordance with the International Mechanical Code. Ducts shall be leak tested to 1.5 times the maximum design pressure in accordance with nationally accepted practices. Measured leakage shall not exceed 5 percent of design flow. Results of such testing shall be a part of the documentation procedure. Ducts shall be supported directly from fire-resistance-rated structural elements of the building by substantial, noncombustible supports.
Exception: Flexible connections, for the purpose of vibration isolation, complying with the International Mechanical Code and that are constructed of approved fire-resistance-rated materials.
Equipment shall be located so as to not expose uninvolved portions of the building to an additional fire hazard. Outside air inlets shall be located so as to minimize the potential for introducing smoke or flame into the building. Exhaust outlets shall be so located as to minimize reintroduction of smoke into the building and to limit exposure of the building or adjacent buildings to an additional fire hazard.
, regardless of the purpose for which they are installed within the smoke control system, shall be listed and conform to the requirements of approved
, recognized standards.