College, university building fire/life safety design

College and university campus buildings have a lot going on—classes, research, dining, and sleeping. Fire, life safety, mass notification, and emergency communication systems are key components of these campuses.


Robert Garra, PE, CDT is Vice president, electrical engineering of Cannon Design, Buffalo, N.Y. Courtesy: Cannon DesignRandy Hassler, PE, LEED AP is a Principal at McClure Engineering, St. Louis, MO. Courtesy: McClure EngineeringAndrew Slater, PE, is an electrical engineer at HGA Architects and Engineers in Milwaukee, WI. Courtesy: HGA Architects and Engineers


Robert Garra, PE, CDT, Vice president, electrical engineering, Cannon Design, Buffalo, N.Y.

Randy Hassler, PE, LEED AP, Principal,McClure Engineering, St. Louis, MO

Andrew Slater, PE, Electrical engineer, HGA Architects and Engineers, Milwaukee, WI

CSE: What unique fire suppression systems have you specified in these facilities? 

Hassler: For a recent project we used a wet pipe pre-action to reduce the damage that accidental water damage would cause without the issues associated with corrosion of a dry pipe system or nitrogen charges. This system can be applicable for locations where some water discharge is not catastrophic. A broken sprinkler head may discharge many gallons of water, but it is significantly less compared to a sprinkler head discharging 15+ gpm for 15 minutes or longer until it can be shut off.

ARTHUR , OH, United States, 02/27/14 04:52 PM:

Pre-action system doubles the cost of a wet pipe installation adding detection and wiring. How often do you get false trips at a college?