The Impact of Automatic Sprinklers on Building Design – WSP

This independent report, produced by WSP, is a comprehensive and authoritative document which aims to provide those involved in the design and construction supply chain – including contractors, developers, architects and consultants – with useful and helpful information on the design implications of automatic sprinklers.

Executive Summary

The main purpose of producing this guide is to raise awareness in the industry of the beneficial impact that incorporating automatic sprinkler systems can have. It is reviewed in terms of cost (capital and lifecycle), aesthetics, design flexibility and construction programme for an intended audience including contractors, developers, architects and investors in new building developments.

This document is different from other reference sources because it focuses on the commercial and design impacts of automatic sprinklers rather than fire safety.

In building design, attaining an adequate level of fire safety is a statutory requirement. However, it is up to the designer to decide what design features and fire safety services are required to achieve this. Standard fire safety guidance offers concessions for a variety of building types if automatic sprinklers are incorporated whilst fire engineering techniques can derive further value. The first section of the report discusses these concessions generally whilst Section 6 onwards provides a review of office building types. It is intended that the reader will be able to use the guide by referring to the building type and key objectives relevant to them.

The intended outcome of this report is to give the reader an appreciation of whether the inclusion of automatic sprinklers for a particular scheme is worthy of further consideration. For some schemes, whilst there may be other benefits, the inclusion of automatic sprinklers will not add value in terms of all of the objectives set out above. However, for other schemes, the reader may be surprised as to how they will be able to add value and understand that there is merit in investigating further.

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