Design Professional Requirements: Sprinkler

Applicability of Code

For existing buildings, sprinkler work should comply with the 2014 Administrative Code, section 28-101.4.3 and the remainder of the Construction Codes, but in particular Building Code (BC) Chapter 9. Per the current 2014 Administrative Code, section 28-101.4.3, additions, alterations or modifications to sprinkler systems shall conform to what’s required for new portions without requiring the remaining existing system to comply with all of the current code requirements.

*Note: While the following is a list of key zoning, Code and other regulations that may be relevant in the project’s design, it does not cover all applicable regulations.*

Applicable Codes and Reference Standards

Project Element

Applicable Code and Regulations

Prior Code Buildings

2014 AC 28-101.4.3 and BC 901.9

Limited Sprinkler Alterations

2014 AC 28-101.5

Licensed Master Plumber

2014 AC Article 408

Fire Suppression Contractors

2014 AC Article 410

Construction Document Requirements, including a complete description of proposed scope of work on the plans.

2014 BC 107 and PC 106

Automatic Sprinkler & Standpipe Systems

2014 BC Chapter 9, NFPA 13, 13R, & 13D, and NFPA 14, as modified by BC Appendix Q

Fire Department Connections

2014 BC Chapter 9, NFPA 13 & 14 as Modified by BC Appendix Q

Fire Pumps

2014 BC Chapter 9, NFPA 20, NFPA 13 and NFPA 14, as modified by BC Appendix Q

Water Storage Tanks 

2014 BC Chapter 9, PC Chapter 6, NFPA 22, NFPA 13, 13R, and 13D as modified by BC Appendix Q

Penetrations of Fire-rated assemblies

2014 BC Chapter 7, 1968 AC §27-318 through §27-353.3, or 1938 BC Article 11

Seismic Compliance

2014 BC 1604, BC Appendix Q, PC 308 and NFPA  13 Chapter 9.3.7

List of all required Special and Progress Inspections on construction documents

2014 BC Chapter 17

Other Regulation(s) for Reference

Buildings Bulletin 2009-006 – This document is a reference guide to the automatic sprinkler system requirements of Chapter 9 of the Building Code.

You may also need to comply with other City agency requirements, for example: Fire Department (FDNY), Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP), Transportation (DOT), Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to name a few.

Guidelines for Submission of Sprinkler Project Plans

A pre-design review should cover all existing sprinkler systems and components affected by the proposed scope of work to verify code-compliant repair work, or modifications to the sprinkler systems within the building. In particular changes to the building layout, occupancy and the hazard of the building contents will impact the design of the sprinkler systems design.  Based upon the complexity and scale of the project, the information provided on the sprinkler drawings should show a clear description of the work required for the project. (Refer to the NYC Building Code section BC 107.9

Although the Department does not mandate the organization and style of construction documents, the guidelines outlined in this chapter should provide a consistent approach for preparation of construction documents that will facilitate the plan review process.  In many cases, the project may involve the documentation of existing sprinkler systems and should clearly identify new versus existing systems.

Complete Submission of Sprinkler Work Drawings

The sprinkler drawings represent work that is closely coordinated with many other disciplines such as architectural, structural, electrical, and mechanical, to ensure coordination with other disciplines. Details essential for a complete submission of drawings include (Refer to the NYC Building Code section BC 107.9:

Construction Documents.  Drawings necessary to convey essential information such as schedules, riser diagrams, floor layout, mounting details, seismic details, and control diagrams. The title page should clearly define the project location and vicinity by graphical means. The applicable Building Codes and notes should be stated on the drawings. A drawing index is recommended to clearly identify all the unique systems that may be involved in the proposed work.  

  • Site Plan.  All sprinkler filing should include a diagrammatic site plan identifying the location of the work within the building and if exterior work or water service is affected then indicating the location of that work. For example, fire department connections, fire water service relays and backflow devices should be clearly indicated.
  • Floor Plans.  Sprinkler floor plans showing existing and proposed conditions with the location of all sprinkler components, including location, size, spacing of piping, valves, feed mains, sprinkler heads and other essential features of the system. Traditionally, the floor plans provide the documentation of the architectural features as a shaded background and the sprinkler fixtures are prominently shown on top of these locations. However, it is important to clearly identify room names and penetrations of fire-rated walls and other assemblies. It is recommended to follow the architectural floor plan nomenclature for sheet order and sheet numbering in order to simplify the logical sequence of cross-coordination with all trades (disciplines).
  • Riser Diagrams.  A complete sprinkler or combination fire standpipe riser diagram is required for all sprinkler systems, showing the relevant portions of the existing building system and that portion of the system being modified. The diagram should include all  system components including sizes and capacities, available water pressure, fire department connections (FDC’s) and zones being served, interconnections, valves, tanks, pumps, pipes, and the water supply source on those floors where work is proposed.  The diagram should clearly indicate flow switches and backflow devices.  The diagram should include the available water pressure and the source of the water at the floors where the work is proposed, as well as the water pressure and source upon entering the building.

  • Detail Drawings.  Significant details should be illustrated on the plans. For example: floor/riser control valve assemblies, seismic, hanger details for the various condition of the building construction.
  • Hydraulic Calculations.  For hydraulically calculated systems, hydraulic data substantiating pipe sizes shown shall be submitted and hydraulic reference points and areas must be indicated on the plan.

Some key elements required on plans for all projects include:

  • Existing conditions including demolition must be clearly shown on the floor plan and proposed layout must be outlined on a separate floor plan in the drawing set;
  • Validation that water supply is adequate for the proposed system demand for projects where demand is increased to exceed the existing demand;
  • Riser diagrams for the entire building and system being modified;
  • Sprinkler design criteria, including new pipe sizes, connections to existing piping on floor plans and risers locations, hazard of the spaces served;
  • Indicate equipment/device/appliance approval numbers (UL or other Listings) and hanger details and seismic bracing;
  • Proper identification of piping and valves – color coding, labeling and tagging;
  • Penetrations through fire rated assemblies and locations;
  • Penetrations through the thermal envelope assemblies and locations;
  • Location of water flow alarms, fire pumps, water storage tanks, and water supplies.

Submission of Construction Documents

1. Drawings. The sprinkler drawings should reflect clear scope of work and include all affected systems. Examples of this are as follows:

Designator - Sheet Number: Sheet Description:
SP-001.00 Sprinkler Title Sheet, Drawing Index, Sprinkler General Notes stating compliance with the 2014 BC, PC and NFPA 13/2007, FC 2014
SP-002.00 Sprinkler and Equipment Schedules, Notes, Design conditions
SP-100.00 Site Plan – Diagrammatic
SP-201.00 Floor Plan – Sprinkler Plans
SP-202.00 Floor Plan – Sprinkler Plans
SP-301.00 Enlarged Floor Plans - Sprinkler
SP-401.00 Piping – Riser Diagrams for Water Supply, distribution piping, drains
SP-501.00 Details

Sprinkler Legend to include: symbols, abbreviations, notes, definitions, and list all applicable Building Code section numbers.

Recommended Drawing Designators

SD: Standpipe: Mandatory designation if Standpipe work is filed separately from other fire protection work.

SP: Sprinkler: Mandatory designation if sprinkler work is filed separately from other fire protection work.

SP/SD: Sprinkler & Standpipe: This designation may be used when filing sprinkler and standpipe work together on the same drawing sheets.

2. Schedule of Building Systems.  A new schedule, which allows the Department to better record and track key building systems and devices, is being established to replace the current Schedule B and other schedules submitted with job filings. This will provide DOB and other city agencies, including utilities, with pertinent system or device details. For sprinkler work, applicable details for the following systems may need to be submitted:

  • Sprinkler Components
  • Fire Pumps
  • Fire Department Connections
  • Water supply/storage tanks
  • Water Service Piping and connections to building – Dedicated or Combined System

3. Required Documents/Submissions. Based on the scope of the project the following submissions may have to accompany the drawings at intake:

  • FDNY approval for alternate fire suppression systems
  • DEP (Hydrant Flow Letter when sprinkler demand is increased)
  • FDNY approval for impairment of five stories or more
  • Tenant / Occupant Protection Plan (for occupied buildings and residences)
  • SRO MD Anti-Harassment (HPD) Attestation Statement – general item required for all projects

4. Plan Review or Audits for Approval or Acceptance.  Following submission, the application is assigned for review to a Department Plan Examiner.  If professionally certified, the application may be subject to audit.  Plan review or audit of the submission by Plan Examiner or Auditor may result in either approval or disapproval, or in acceptance or fail, respectively.

Following plan review disapproval or audit fail, a Notice of Objections is sent to the Applicant of Record and Owner.  Objections must be resolved through in person appointments with or electronic submissions to the Department Plan Examination or Audit staff following which the application is approved or accepted.

5. Post Approval Amendments. Any changes to approved scope of work that is significant and substantive will require submission of revised plans for a Post Approval Amendment (PAA). Approval for an amendment must be obtained before the work or equipment is completed.  Changes that are not substantive do not require a PAA; however these changes must be shown on plans and included in the “as built” submission at the end of the project (§28.104.3). Substantive changes that meet the following criteria should be submitted for review to amend the approved plans:

  • Change to layout or design, such as an increase in floor area
  • Change of design conditions, such as the NFPA hazard of spaces served

6. As Built Submission. All changes must be submitted in “as built” drawings at the end of the project.

Special Inspections

Sprinkler work may require, per the Building Code, certain Special Inspection to be performed during, and at the end of construction, as per table below. The Registered Design Professional is responsible for indicating which Special Inspections are required at submission, and the owner must engage a responsible special inspection agency, per BC 1704.23.

Sprinkler Systems

Per NYC Building Code, Sprinkler systems Special Inspections are required to verify that installation of materials and fitting hangers’ assemblies and signage, are per approved documents. In addition, ensure that painting of system complies with BC 903.6. This portion of the inspection may be conducted periodically at increments suitable to the progress of the work.

Special inspector shall witness all required tests, both hydrostatic and flow tests and ensure submission of Form FP 84 to FDNY.

Fire Resistant Penetrations of Fire Rated Assemblies

When Sprinkler Installation involves the penetration of fire-rated barrier assemblies, such as walls, floors, and roofs, drawing details must be provided that show the proper fire-rated barrier penetrations as required by BC Chapter 7.

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