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Fire Protection Within Hydraulic and Traction Elevators There are two major types of elevators: hydraulic and traction. The hydraulic elevator utilizes a piston which telescopes and pushes the elevator upwards. The length of this piston limits the number of floors that the elevator can serve, as well as its speed. Hydraulic elevators tend to operate slower than traction elevators, in fact, both geared and gearless traction elevators can reach greater heights and faster speeds than their hydraulic counterparts. Traction elevators utilize sheaves, steel cables, and a counter weight. Control System Geared Machine Primary Velocity Transducer Governor Hoisting Ropes Roller Guides Secondary Position Transducer Door Operator Entrance-Protection System Load-Weighing Transducers Car Safety Device Traveling Cable


Fluid Tank/ Controller

Elevator Rail Counterweight Compensation Ropes Governor Tension Sheave Counterweight Buffer Car Buffer

Traction Elevator

Two Car Buffers In-Ground Cylinder

Hydraulic Elevator

Historically, elevators have required that a machine room house the hydraulic motor, fluids, and/or controls. Today, some traction elevators are considered “machine room less” meaning that the square footage traditionally required for a machine room is no longer needed. The biggest benefit of the machine-room-less elevator is evidently the space gained which then may be devoted to other uses. Protection of elevator hoistways (shafts) and elevator machine rooms are governed by local building and fire codes, including NFPA 13, 72, and ASME A17.1 (Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators). Elevators can be protected by several devices

including fire sprinklers, smoke detectors, heat detectors, and louvers. Fire Sprinklers Fire sprinkler requirements are outlined in NFPA 13. Essentially, automatic sprinklers in elevator machine rooms, or at the top of hoistways, must be of an ordinary or intermediate temperature rating. Top of the Shaft Upright, pendent, or sidewall sprinklers shall be installed at the top of elevator hoistways. Exception: The sprinkler required at the top of the elevator hoistway shall not be required where the hoistway for passenger elevators is noncombustible and the car enclosure materials meet the requirements of ASME A17.1, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators. Bottom of the Shaft Sidewall spray sprinklers shall be installed at the bottom of each elevator hoistway not more than 2 ft. (0.61 m) above the floor of the pit. Exception: The sprinkler required at the bottom of the elevator hoistway shall not be required for enclosed, noncombustible elevator shafts that do not contain combustible hydraulic fluids. Other Sprinklers shall be installed at the top and bottom of elevator hoistways where elevators utilize polyurethane-coated steel belts or other similar combustible belt material. The omission for fire sprinklers is allowed in passenger elevators only; there are no exceptions to fire sprinkler requirements for freight elevators. Smoke Detection Smoke detection is required within ALL TEXT ©2018 KOHLER RONAN, LLC

the elevator shaft, elevator machine room, and at each floor level of each elevator in accordance with ASME A17.1. Should smoke be detected at any of these locations, the elevator would immediately “recall” to the predetermined floor, allow the passengers to exit, and lock out the use of the elevator. For lay people, firefighters may be able to override the system. Should smoke be detected at the “pre-determined” floor, the elevator would respond and open at an alternate, preprogrammed floor level. In general, smoke detection initiates elevator recall. If sprinkler heads are not installed, smoke detection within the shaft is not allowed; however, the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) should be consulted. MACHINE ROOM OVERRIDE










Traction Elevator


Machine Room-less Elevator

Heat Detection If fire sprinklers are required at either the top or bottom of the elevator shaft, a heat detector is also required within 24” of each fire sprinkler head. This heat detector shall have both a lower rating and continued on page 4

IN THIS ISSUE Lighting Control 2 Got Steam? Revit® Corner


On the Boards


Lighting Control: NFPA 101 vs. IECC and ASHRAE Significant conflict exists between NFPA 101 requirements versus those indicated by the IECC and ASHRAE 90.1 regarding lighting control within interior spaces. It should be noted that these requirements apply only to spaces that contain both normal and emergency lighting. Spaces such as private offices, where emergency lighting is not necessitated, are typically not affected by these codes and standards. However, if a space has been equipped with emergency lighting due to the implementation of best practices, and not due to requirements, the space is then subject to the same codes as would be applicable if the space had in fact required emergency lighting. Background Both 2012 and 2015 NFPA 101 Life Safety Code (adopted in Connecticut and New York State respectively) state the following: “The emergency lighting system shall be arranged to provide the required illumination automatically in the event of any interruption of normal lighting due to any of the following: 1. Failure of a public utility or other outside electrical power supply 2. Opening of a circuit breaker or fuse 3. Manual act(s), including accidental opening of a switch controlling normal lighting facilities.” According to 2012 IECC C405.2.1.1 Interior Lighting Controls (adopted in Connecticut), “Each area enclosed by walls or floor-to-ceiling partitions shall have at least one manual control for the lighting serving the area. The required controls shall be located within the area served by the controls or be a remote switch that identifies the lights served and indicates their status.” Of course, there are some exceptions: 1. Areas designated as security or emergency areas that need to be continuously lighted 2. Lighting in stairways or corridors that are elements of the means of egress Adopted by New York State, 2015 IECC

C405.2.1.1 Occupant Sensor Control Function stipulates that “Occupant sensor controls in spaces other than warehouses specified in Section C405.2.1 shall comply with the following: 3. Shall incorporate a manual control to allow occupants to turn lights off.” Conflict Conflict arises from the fact that NFPA 101 does not allow emergency lighting to be turned off manually in an occupied space, whereas the IECC and ASHRAE codes require that there be a switch in the space in order to allow occupants to turn off the normal lighting. This conflict is particularly problematic in open office spaces where providing a switch for the occupants to turn the lights off is not practical. One occupant may find it too bright and want the lights off, while other occupants may prefer to have the lights remain lit. Another example highlighting the conflict, as well as bringing attention to a potential safety issue, is lighting controls in public bathrooms. If there is a switch in a room where someone can turn off the lights and accost another occupant, those controls are not in the best interest of the occupants. An installation that does not require emergency lighting, but is recommended to have emergency lighting, would be a classroom sized for 49 people or less and having just one door. The reason for the emergency lighting becomes evident when normal power is lost and occupants must move toward the classroom door via a path cluttered by chairs or other obstacles. Kohler Ronan’s previous experience has shown that the

AHJ requires that it operate in compliance with the adopted codes. If a teacher would like to give a presentation in the classroom, with the lights turned off, she could not do so--yet. Below are examples of the above case: G


V1 H1





V2 H2 N



120V 277V





Lighting Control Wiring

Solutions The conflict is not without a solution. Providing emergency/night lights would meet all three codes’ requirements. Should a building owner not want night lights, then the following are possible solutions: 1. Provide a keyed switch in the space accessible only to facility staff. As this would violate the IECC and ASHRAE requirements, submission of a code modification would be required in order to have the IECC and ASHRAE requirements waived. While this solution would not increase the energy consumption of the space, there is a downside. By not allowing the building occupants to control the lighting, they may not feel as productive as they would if they had such control. 2. Locate the switch for the space in a

AIA Registered Provider Kohler Ronan, LLC is a registered provider of AIA Continuing Education Credits. Our professionals have prepared several presentations on relevant and timely industry topics. In the coming months, we will be available to visit your offices and share these presentations. To learn more, or to schedule a visit, please contact Joe Lembo at (203) 778-1017 or via email at krce@kohlerronan.com.

NYSERDA Approved Provider Kohler Ronan is an approved Technical Consultant for the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Commercial New Construction Program. Under this program, we will provide technical support in assessing and determining appropriate energy efficiency opportunities for New Construction and Substantial Renovation Projects. For details, please email Madhav Munshi at mmunshi@kohlerronan.com.


remote location. A pilot light should indicate the status of the space’s lighting, and all switches should be clearly labeled for easy identification of what spaces are controlled. The IECC and ASHRAE codes do allow for this situation which could result in a switch’s being located in a locked room, such as a janitor’s closet,

Got Steam?

Do You Need to Upgrade Your Steam Services? New York City has one of the largest steam distribution systems in the world. Operated by Consolidated Edison, Inc. (Con Ed), the grid provides high pressure steam to residential and commercial customers across the city via an underground network of mains and service pipes totaling 105 miles. This high-pressure steam, typically 150175 psig & 350°F -400°F, is piped to the customers’ buildings and metered on site. Many buildings utilize Con Ed steam for heating, domestic hot water production, and even cooling through absorption chillers. When planning major renovation projects, the design team needs to understand as early as possible exactly what is served by the existing steam system as it can have a major impact on space proofing. Certain situations trigger the need to upgrade an existing steam meter station. The most common of these situations is a change in the steam load for a building. The load may increase due to a change in building use, or an increase in overall size. Alternatively, the load may decrease due to major plant upgrades such as changing from an absorption chiller plant to an electrically driven chiller plant. In any event, it is the responsibility of the owner, or design team acting on behalf of the owner, to report these load changes to the utility company. Similar to other utilities, this process involves submitting a load leader to the utility company for review. Once a service determination has been made, the existing steam meter station may be deemed adequate in its current condition, or, as is often the case, a specification package is issued detailing how the new steam meter station shall be constructed.

accessible to authorized personnel only. Further clarification by the IECC, however, indicated that it was not their intent to have the remote switch be in a locked room. 3. Provide “ON-only,” low-voltage switching in the space. This would allow the

The design team must follow the specifications given by the utility company or risk not having steam service.

The steam meter rig and subsequent Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) station need to be located immediately after the high-pressure steam Point Of Entry (POE). The steam meter rig and PRV station will typically require long runs of straight piping. While every project is different, it is usually best to space proof assuming that a long, straight run of wall space will be required. For example, a 2” steam meter will require approximately 15’-0” of wall space with the clear zone for the meter extending from finished floor to roughly 7’-0” above finished floor, 7’-0” in width and 15’-0” in length. The bigger the steam meter, the longer the piping runs required. The PRV station will then be located immediately after the steam meter(s). The PRV station is not subject to the utility company’s specifications and, therefore, the design team has more flexibility in its layout. Typically, 1.5 to 2.0 times the length of the steam meter rig will be required. Again, the ideal arrangement would be a long, straight run of piping. The specification package issued by the utility company may differ from project to project, and should always be reviewed closely by the design team when finalizing the layout of a steam meter room. When space proofing for a new steam 3

occupant to turn on the lights, but not to turn them off. Instead, the lights would be turned off by sensors once the space was vacated for a preset time. While this option violates the intent of the IECC and ASHRAE, it does give some control of lighting to the occupants. This solution is in compliance with NFPA 101.

meter room, other considerations include substantial heat load as well as noisesensitive areas. There is a very large heat load associated with high-pressure steam piping, and the steam meter room will require a large amount of airflow to dissipate this heat. Often times, exhaust air is not enough to maintain the required temperature ranges set forth by the utility company. A supplemental means of cooling the space may be required. Noise-sensitive spaces should not be located near a steam meter room. Pressure reducing valve assemblies can produce a good deal of noise, so it is prudent to locate noise-sensitive spaces away from meter rooms whenever possible.

REVIT® CORNER CONTROLLING FILL PATTERN THICKNESS To denote the demolition of piping/ductwork in Revit®, the user can place a crosshatch pattern on the element to be eliminated. Internally, when comparing the crosshatches used on one set of documents to those used on another set, it became clear that there was a variation in the thickness of the crosshatches. Sometimes, the pattern was fairly wide and easy to see, while other times the PEN WEIGHT 0.0010 pattern was barely noticeable=when printed. After a certain amount of research, the team discovered that the thickness of this crosshatch is controlled PEN WEIGHT = 0.0010 by Pen Weight “1”. Therefore, adjusting the Pen Weight will give the results illustrated below.

PEN WEIGHT = 0.0010 0.0050 PEN WEIGHT = 0.0050 PEN WEIGHT WEIGHT = = 0.0050 0.0100 PEN

PEN WEIGHT = 0.0100

“Fire Protection” continued from page 1

higher sensitivity than the fire sprinkler head. Further, the heat detector(s) will activate the elevator’s shunt trip system, de-energizing the elevator prior to any water being distributed from the sprinkler heads.

instances where 1.) All the vent openings automatically open upon detection of smoke in elevator lobbies, in hoistways, and upon power failure, and 2.) A manual override control (located in approved location) is provided.

Venting/Louvers Venting is required per the building code to provide “a means to vent smoke and hot gases to the outer air in case of fire.” Such venting is necessary when the elevator is more than three stories in height and shall be located at the top of the hoistway, open directly to the outer air or through a noncombustible duct. Louvers shall be not less than 3½% of the area of the hoistway nor 3 ft² for each elevator car. Total vent area is not required to be totally open in

Additional Elevator Functions and Points to Consider •

Emergency signaling devices may be included within the elevator in order to alert trapped occupants. These devices would be 0perated from an emergency stop switch and offer critical two-way communication.

Firefighter’s emergency operation switches prove to be very valuable during emergency incidents.

Emergency stand-by power within an elevator allows cars to be lowered and passengers to be released.

Elevator cars should be sized to accommodate EMS stretchers.

Elevator sump pumps may be required to eliminate ground water if and when firefighters’ emergency operations are required.

Each municipality, including NYC, has specific variations which do not allow fire sprinklers to be installed within an elevator shaft or elevator machine room. As such, heat detection is not required.

Above all, when a building’s fire alarm activates, remember to use the stairs!

On the Boards

Courtesy of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects

Norwalk Maritime Aquarium|Norwalk, CT Kohler Ronan is excited to collaborate with Beyer Blinder Belle on a series of additions and renovations planned for the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. Areas of this unique facility must first be demolished to accommodate the Connecticut DOT’s ongoing replacement of the Walk Bridge across the Norwalk River. As this bridge construction intersects portions of the aquarium facility, approximately 28,900 square feet of the planned additions and renovations will accommodate displaced exhibits and program space. At the same time, the design team seeks to create a better visitor experience throughout the entire facility. In 2019, construction is expected to begin on a new 4D IMAX® theater, entrance/lobby, Meerkat Mezzanine, Go Fish exhibit, and Seal exhibit.

About the Firm From our offices in Danbury, Connecticut and New York, New York, our team of over 60 professionals collaborates with prominent architectural firms on a wide array of regional and nationally recognized project assignments. Commissions include those for world-renowned museums, fine and performing arts centers, prestigious universities, state-of-the-art educational and healthcare facilities, luxury residences, and premier recreation establishments. Additionally, we have the privilege of designing specialty systems for landmark sites and historically significant buildings across the country. For more information, please visit our website at kohlerronan.com or connect with us on social media.


New York 171 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 T 212.695.2422 Danbury 93 Lake Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810 T 203.778.1017 Connect kohlerronan.com marketing@kohlerronan.com

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Kohler Ronan Consulting Engineers - KR Vision Newsletter - Issue 8, Fall 2018  

Kohler Ronan Consulting Engineers - KR Vision Newsletter - Issue 8, Fall 2018