Structural Requirements Proposal F299-16

F299-16 IFC: 3103.3.1 (New).

Proponent: Tim Earl, representing GBH International (tearl@gbhinternational.com); Jeff Hugo, National Fire Sprinkler Association, representing National Fire Sprinkler Association (hugo@nfsa.org)

2015 International Fire Code

Revise as follows:

3103.3.1 Special Amusement Building Tents and other membrane structures erected as a special amusement building shall be equipped with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with section 411.4 of the International Building Code.

Reason: Section 411 of the IBC contains requirements for Special Amusement Buildings based on the unique egress challenges they present. Tents and other membrane structures have become a popular option for temporary Special Amusement Buildings.

Unfortunately, this means they are governed by Chapter 31 of the IFC and the provisions of the IBC do not apply. A proposal was submitted last cycle to require tents used as Special Amusement Buildings to comply with Section 411 of the IBC. However, the committee felt this was too high of a bar to be met by tents, and the proposal was disapproved.

This proposal would point to only the sprinkler requirement of Section 411 (namely Section 411.4). This will increase occupant safety without introducing the more burdensome requirements of Section 411. For temporary Special Amusement Buildings, Section 411.4 permits an approved temporary water supply, providing some flexibility.
Cost Impact: Will increase the cost of construction

Operators of Special Amusement Buildings using tents or other membrane structures will be required to purchase or rent a fire sprinkler system and the cost depends on the extent of the system.