SFPE Discussions

Compliance schedules

A question for the crowd. Should fire engineers include compliance schedules in their fire reports or specify what is in them, particularly for everyday items? Building with “odd” features may be different - say zoned alarm or smoke control systems.
The compliance schedule covers building services and some architectural items. Surely these should be appropriate services engineer or architect since we don’t select e.g. door hold opens and hence their manufacturing and installation standard? The exception being perhaps fire alarms and sprinklers where the fire report may list NZS4512 and NZS4541, assuming there is not a job specific fire protection specification.
I feel there is a risk to us giving standards or methods for compliance schedule items when we didn’t specify them and may not know what the relevant documents are.

Hi Geoff,
I provide only fire safety related specified systems in the fire report as means to satisfy NZBC B2/AS1 para 2.2. Others must take this info and add to it to complete the compliance schedule. Lifts, venting, hoods, audio loops, backflow preventers, BMU’s are all by others. The remaining 9 systems are fire safety related. Note that its the fire report which determines occupant load per floor per use, and is the place to look for fire hazard info (now a non-existent term).

Its more a case of why wouldnt scheduled maintenance of fire safety systems be included in a fire report. I also list the normal fire safety maintenance requirements as required by B2/AS1 para 2.1 in addition to the scheduled maintenance requirements, such mezzanine floors, external fire walls, evacuation notices, clean and clear escape routes.

Who lists the inspections the BCA must undertake? The Building Act requires this info to be submitted with the plans and specs as part of a consent (see def of ‘plans and specs’. I provide this as well to prompt whoever is doing the CM if not me, including prompts for the BCA.

Hot topic is construction hazards. Who provides this as means to satisfy S39 of the HSAW act as a designer?

Hi Geoff
I have a simple one page (looks like BWOF) with columns for new, altered, existing. It is of value to put a simple reference such as sprinklers in an older bldg would be to NZS4541:2007, which doesn’t require IMR to NZS 4541:2013 and obviously won’t require IMR to NZS 4541:2020. Then there is always possibility of sprinklers to NFPA 13 or to Factory Mutual. Frequently the CS issued by the BCA is bounced back to the fire engineer (and others) via RFI to fill in the gaps.

These are all ‘standard’ systems but I think it is of even more value for fire engineer input when you have the ‘not so simple’ systems that could have multiple standards for IMR.
Regards
John

Agree with John, we put this in our fire reports but only for fire safety related systems. We’ve also had to help our clients more recently with some more extensive RFI questions from Auckland Council around I&M requirements where it is no longer good enough to just quote a standard, you have to give specific clauses, there is a policy document and guidance on their website to refer to.

Simply refer to Section 103(2)(b)(i) of the Building Act 2004. Its still lawful to refer to a prescribed Acceptable Solution or Verification Method to identify the IMR for a specified system. Complications arise when means of compliance relies on a standard that hasn’t been prescribed, like AS/NZS2293.2:2019 for example, or the upcoming new NZS4512:2020 standard for fire alarms.

Compliance schedules are considered as part of the “plans and specifications” (Building Act 2004 s7) for building consent. If you choose to make your fire report part of the plans and specifications for building consent then include the compliance schedules.
I choose not to make my fire reports part of the “plans and specifications”. My fire report is a report to the design team on what they need to incorporate in their respective designs in order to comply with the NZBC fire codes C1-C6.
As such I just indicate in the fire report which compliance schedules each respective designer needs to address.
An issue could occur where there is no fire protection engineer specifying the fire protection systems. In that case I provide a separate document outside of the fire report with what could be a simple 1 page fire protection specification. This should keep the fire report outside of the “plans and specifications” for building consent.

The new AC process is a significant step change and so winging it is a thing of the past. The level of information being demanded is onerous to the extent that compiling it is going to become quite specialised.

We also have a one page document with columns for new, altered, existing which is only related to the fire safety systems.

My question is, who’s responsibility is to complete the new AC Compliance Schedule template - see dropbox link below (hopefully it works). Is it the IQP’s responsibility? Fire Engineers/Designers?Architects? Other consultants/disciplines?

The template is over 50 pages and the level of information requested is rigorous. If a multilevel building is undergoing alterations/change of use and the updated Compliance Schedule form needs to be completed this will be a headache, for example under Specified Systems (15c) - Fire Separations, the correct Performance Standard needs to be identified and all the Type of fire separations within the building need to be either noted or deleted from the form. I don’t believe an IQP or an architect would know…?

I believe it should be the designer of specified systems’ responsibility. In some cases this may require the assistance of the fire engineer but I believe the responsibility should be place on the designer preparing the plans and specifications of the specified system. They are the ones that should know the intricacies of the maintenance and testing requirements of the systems that they have designed.
If the fire engineer chooses to provide plans and specification then the fire engineer would be responsible for providing the compliance schedules for the specified systems in his/her plans and specifications. As fire engineer, my fire reports are deliberately not plans and specifications. For any separate fire protection plans and specifications I provide, I also provide the compliance schedules for the specified system contained in those plans and specifications.