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Alternative to Smoke Dampers

Alternative to Smoke Dampers

Alternative to Smoke Dampers

In the last few years I have came across combined fire/smoke dampers being installed more and more. The cost associated with these dampers is raised significantly when you factor in the control panel and cabling between each unit.

My question is, is there a more cost effective solution to these dampers?

RE: Alternative to Smoke Dampers

If the installation requires a smoke barrier, I don't think the price difference between a combination fire-smoke damper and a smoke damper is huge. The smoke damper is what drives the major costs. Fire dampers can be fairly simple and be completely standalone requiring no external interface. Obviously the exact requirements are dependent on the application.

RE: Alternative to Smoke Dampers

I probably shouldn’t vent too loudly about this because new regs have translated to work for me… but once in a while I rant on this site:

Codes and regs have overstepped their bounds. These requirements that constantly evolve and grow by the year should be about protecting against bad practice, not about dictating every aspect of every building’s installation.

In my area, our building code’s 8th Edition, which is basically IBC 2009 and IMC 2009, started requiring fire PLUS smoke protection at every shaft opening whereas it used to be just fire dampering (a meltable link causing the fire damper guillotine action) along rated boundaries. This evolved to requirements for smoke detection within 5 feet of all of these combo devices, and other requirements such as closure of these FSDs with the shutdown of each associated AHU.

These (relatively) newer requirements have created horrific, unadulterated, ungodly headaches in all large buildings I’ve commissioned in the past few years. There are usually separate control systems between building automation and fire alarm and controls. Trying to figure out workings between the two involve tons of time and effort and drives up cost.

Enough rant. TamHam, the more cost effective solution to these dampers is to change the building codes back to less restrictive requirements. FDs versus FSDs… just my opinion…

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