Arquitectonica: Building and Fire Code Consulting

Arquitectonica is an international design firm with offices located throughout the United States as well as Spain, France, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Brazil. They are known for their unique modern designs that is particularly popular for their high tech feel and aesthetics. Because of their extremely unconventional designs, Zari Consulting Group has provided a vast array of building code consulting and smoke control consulting services.

Zari Consulting Group’s smoke control consulting for Arquitectonica included the following:

  1. Reviewing the Smoke Control System Rational Analysis prepared by the design engineer for the purpose of developing an understanding of the design features and testing requirements.
  2. Preparing a Smoke Control Commissioning Plan for submittal to the local building and fire departments.
  3. Obtaining and reviewing catalog product data sheets and other required information of all related smoke control components from the construction team.
  4. Attending construction meetings ahead of the smoke control system testing to provide explanations of the test program.
  5. Reviewing the Fire Alarm Contractor’s system shop drawings to confirm that the Firefighter’s Control Panel design meets code requirements and local city Ordinances.
  6. Reviewing test reports of the contractor provided air balancing company or mechanical contractor’s personnel.
  7. Conducting site visits to observe and document the following items for conformance with the International Building Code, UL listings, and Smoke Control System Rational Analysis:
    • Fans.
    • Fire/smoke dampers.
    • Ducts.
    • Smoke Boundary walls.
    • Exterior wall/floor interface.
    • Fire stopping of penetrations in smoke barriers.
    • Smoke detection, heat detection, sprinkler waterflow switch.
    • Motion devices, control relays.
    • Magnetic hold-opens for doors.
    • Electrical (related to smoke control).
    • Manual fire alarm stations.
    • Fire alarm control panel / Firefighter’s control panel.
  1. Witnessing the testing of individual components was conducted, including the following:
    • Firefighter’s Smoke Control Panel, including all associated LED lights, fan control switches, and damper control switches
    • Fire alarm initiating devices that activate smoke control.
    • Automatic-closing doors.
    • Fan operation and associated current or pressure differential sensors, including loss of belt simulations and power monitoring downstream of maintenance disconnects.
    • Damper operation and associated end switch activation.
  1. Witnessing duct leakage testing of ductwork associated with the smoke control system.
  2. Witnessing volumetric, static pressure, amps, and voltage testing of fans associated with the smoke control system.
  3. Sequence of operation testing: Each device was tested with all smoke control equipment confirmed for proper activation and accurate alignment with the Firefighters Smoke Control Panel.
  4. After appropriate sequence of operation was confirmed, pressure differential testing occured. Pressure differentials were verified, as follows:
    • From the corridor on the floor fire incidence to the adjacent vestibules
    • From the vestibules on the floor of fire incidence to the adjacent stair enclosure
    • From the corridor on the floor of fire incidence to the floor above
    • From the corridor on the floor of fire incidence to the floor below
  1. Door opening forces were recorded for each exit door landing into an adjacent zone.
  2. Witnessing UUKL Weekly Self-Test. This test was performed in three scenarios, as follows:
    • Successful completion of the Weekly Self-Test with no recorded fault conditions
    • Completion of the Weekly Self-Test where a system component shows a fault condition
    • Activation of a fire event during the Weekly Self-Test, proving that the system abandons the Weekly Self-Test and initiates the appropriate smoke control sequence of operations for the given event.
  1. After completion of the smoke control system testing, Zari Consulting Group prepared a final Smoke Control Commissioning report for the smoke control testing. This report included results of all tests and conformance with the International Building Code and applicable documents. The report was wet stamped by a registered Professional Engineer.