We're seeing an increasing number of instances where owners want to install non-fire-rated glass doors in glass partition walls that are required to have a fire-resistance rating (e.g. glass wall between an office and the warehouse). The fixed glazing assemblies can be protected by the Tyco WS window sprinkler heads and there are now Code articles in the 2016 version of NFPA 13 that address these situations. What isn't addressed, though, is when there is a glass door in that wall.
In some instances, the AHJ has been telling the owners/archtiects, "Just put in a water wash system and we'll accept that." This is based around a single instance where a designer applied for and received acceptance of a variance request that had some kind of quick response sprinkler head just above the door opening. The AHJ and the local architects are now using this as a precedence to install glass doors in many locations, even though the configurations may be completely different than that single original case.
Does anyone have any experience with these types of situations? Has anyone come up with a working solution? My typical response to the owners is to tell them to go buy the fire-rated glass doors (which are VERY expensive) because I won't accept responsibility for this "water wash system". However, I don't want to be seen as the only guy in town that won't accept something.
Does anyone have any thoughts? Thanks everyone.