Fire Protection Code Consultants Save Client $200,000 in Construction Costs
Over the 25+ years that Harrington Group has been providing fire protection code consulting services, we have been able to form many strong and trusted relationships with real estate developers and architects by delivering value with creative and cost-effective fire protection solutions. Many times, our code consultants are brought in at the last hour of a project. Our ability to avoid project delays and deliver cost savings has shown our developer and architect clients the value of bringing in a code consultant earlier in the design phase of a project. They have seen firsthand how we understand the Authority Having Jurisdiction’s (AHJ) perspective and how our fire protection solutions can clear the path of approval before problems arise.
One of our existing clients was engaged in the design-build process for a new apparel distribution center in Alabama when they ran into issues complying with the prescriptive code requirement for egress travel distance. The code required a maximum 250 feet for egress travel, but in order to maintain operational efficiency, the facility needed an egress travel distance of 400 feet. Not only would complying with the 250 exit access travel distance interfere with operations, it would also mean added construction costs of at least $200,000 to create exit passageways, tunnels, or fire separation walls. Instead of trying to justify the code modification on their own, the client engaged our fire protection code consultants right away to help gain approval for a modification from the local AHJ.
After a thorough review of the applicable codes and building design, as well as a review of smoke and egress modeling we have conducted for similar facilities, our code consultants determined the life safety objectives of the codes would be satisfied, even if the exit travel distance was increased from 250 to 400 feet.
After reviewing our fire risk analysis and supporting justifications, the AHJ granted the code modification to increase the exit travel distance to 400 feet. Harrington Group’s fire protection code consultants delivered substantial value to the client by saving an estimated $200,000 in construction costs without compromising the safety objectives in the codes.
The favorable results of this project also further solidified the trust we have built over the years with the developer’s Project Manager, as evidenced in his quote below:
I have worked with Harrington Group for nearly 20 years and their commitment to delivering the most cost effective solution to meet both owner and code requirements continues to be unbeaten. When I have a special life safety issue HGI is the first group I consider for the job.