BSA releases report on the impact of automatic sprinklers on building design

The Business Sprinkler Alliance (BSA) has today released the first in a series of independent reports, produced by WSP, which aims to provide those involved in the design and construction supply chain with useful and helpful information on the design implications of automatic sprinklers.

This comprehensive report, The Impact of Automatic Sprinklers on Building Design – Commercial Sector, Offices, will enable contractors, developers, architects and consultants to gain an awareness of the beneficial impact that incorporating sprinklers can have and how they can add value to building design.

The first in a series produced by leading engineering consultancy WSP, this report will give the reader an appreciation of whether the inclusion of automatic sprinklers for a particular scheme is worthy of further consideration. Through robust research and by looking at different building types and design options, the report identifies the capital and lifecycle costs, design benefits and flexibility, as well as the potential to reduce the construction programme.

Commenting on the report, Iain Cox, Chairman of the BSA, said:

“The report is different from other references because it focuses on the commercial and design impacts of automatic sprinklers rather than fire safety. It also supports the view that automatic sprinklers should be considered early in the design process and dispels many myths about cost and design freedom.”

In building design, attaining an adequate level of fire safety is a statutory requirement. However, it is up to the designer to decide which 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 and a guide to office building types. It is intended that the reader will be able to use this to refer to the specific building type and key objectives relevant to them.

The BSA is calling for better education on the substantial benefits that fire sprinklers can deliver to the business community and wider economy, and calling for government to review existing building standards to bring policy on fire sprinklers in in line with competitor economies.

A copy of the full report is available to download by clicking here.