Looking for information or code related to trampoline parks, is there currently anything requiring sprinklers below the trampolines in the concealed space?
I would think if there was no access for storage of materials, no mechanical/electrical equipment such as blowers for inflatables, and the exposed materials in the concealed space were non- or limited - combustible, and rigid materials has low flame spread and smoke development index 25 or less per the concealed space requirements of 2019 NFPA 13 Section 9.2, the sprinklers may be omitted in that location.
This would be governed by NFPA 13. I think it would depend on the arrangement. When I hear "trampoline park", I picture multiple trampolines possibly recessed (i.e. the surface is nearly flush with the floor) with the surrounding pit filled with foam blocks. This was the arrangement when my 5 year old took gymnastics. Such an arrangement would be considered a fixed, non-continuous obstruction greater than 4 feet wide. This is not a hazard one should take lightly.
There are no specific extinguishment codes in the building safety codes (IBC or NFPA 5000 or NFPA 101) for trampoline parks. However within those codes, the occupancy classification and/or the building type may have provisions for extinguishment systems using NFPA 13 as the installation standard. 2019 NFPA 13 has some basic requirements for sprinkler locations in Section 9.1. The space under the trampolines must be sprinklered in accordance with Section 9.1.1 unless they are permitted to be omitted by another section of the standard. Section 9.2 has provisions where sprinklers may be omitted.
I am currently reviewing plans for a new trampoline park opening inside an existing building. This building does have sprinkler protection and the designers wish to omit sprinkler protection from underneath a raised platform which covers 3/4 of the 40,000 sqft area. The designers are referring to the concealed spaces provision to omit sprinkler protection underneath this platform. Would this space be considered a concealed space when the underside of the platform is open to the trampolines and other attractions? I have been treating this as a raised platform/stage and have required protection under the platform. Would this be an incorrect application of the code? Any feedback is welcome on this topic. Also, through internet research, I have found a fire that occurred in a trampoline park similar to this. This fire happened on April 2, 2018 in Gwinnetta County, Ga. It was determined the fire began in an area where electrical components for a blower system are located, under an air bag platform. The overhead sprinkler system activated, but was not able to extinguish the fire.
What do you mean by this::;
Would this space be considered a concealed space when the underside of the platform is open to the trampolines and other attractions?
Which fire code and year edition has the city adopted??
I apologize for not providing this information. We are working off the 2015 ICC codes which references 2013 NFPA 13. The designers are referring to NFPA 13 section 188.8.131.52.2 to omit sprinkler protection. The building is an old furniture store in strip mall of type II construction. The platform is approximately 4 to 5 feet in height and is constructed of steal members with fire treated plywood for the decking. The wood will have a rubber finishing over top of it. The side of the platform will continue from the raised platform to the floor where it is exposed to the public. Designers state that employees will access the underside of the platform, for maintenance only, by pulling back the trampoline fabric. The underside of the platform will not have a barrier between it and the trampolines or foam pits. One of the attractions will be "blow bags" which require blowers to inflate large bags that will launch people into the air. This design will allow the customers to walk directly from the platform onto the trampolines/attractions as is seen in most trampoline parks. I am requiring sprinkler protection due to the design being a platform and not a concealed space. I have interpreted a concealed space being created by building construction (i.e. a soffit or pipe chase) and that the platform is not part of the building construction. The designers have contested this interpretation. Due to this being a unique design, I am hoping for a little help from everyone in the field.
Thank you in advance.
I occur that the platform does not form a concealed space as defined by NFPA.
Taken from 2019 NFPA Glossary of Terms:
Concealed Spaces - That portion(s) of a building behind walls, over suspended ceilings, in pipe chases, and in attics whose size might normally range from 44.45 mm (13∕ 4 in.) stud spaces to 2.44 m (8 ft) interstitial truss spaces and that might contain combustible materials such as building structural members, thermal and/or electrical insulation, and ducting.
Taken from NFPA Journal®, November/December 2011, Sprinkler [omissions] Not every space in a structure is required to be protected by sprinklers—and NFPA 13 is very clear on what those spaces need to remain unprotected:
...The majority of the spaces from which sprinklers can be omitted from NFPA 13 designs center around the concept of concealed spaces. Concealed spaces are non-occupied spaces that are created by building construction. These spaces may contain piping and wiring for various building systems, or, in many cases, may be void of any and all combustible material. The starting point for all designers, installers, and enforcers who are trying to determine if sprinklers are required in a specific concealed space is that concealed spaces should be sprinklered unless Section 8.15.1 of the 2010 edition of NFPA 13 provides alternate direction...
...Where access to noncombustible or limited combustible concealed spaces is provided, sprinkler protection can be omitted, provided the space is not used for occupancy or storage of combustibles. Often, access panels into noncombustible concealed spaces are present so that maintenance can be performed on building equipment. In these instances, the presence of the access hatch is not intended to trigger a requirement for sprinklers in an otherwise noncombustible space where no goods are being stored...
From the above one could argue that the platform was not created during the building's construction, therefore the space was not concealed and requires sprinkler protection. I don't see how an AHJ can waive the requirement with an written operational agreement not to occupy the space that was not created by the building's construction. It is not the intent of NFPA 13 to write operational policies and procedures to avoid sprinkler protection. The written policy of "no fires" in a space seems to contrary to the standard's intent for equivalency.
Invite the code officials to be part of the team to help find solutions that satisfy the code objectives while enabling the project to be constructed economically and function as the owner desires.
Since I have never done one, cannot speak for eyes on experience
The only trouble I would have is predicting if they will store under there????
I could see treating it as a stage 8.15.7, and because noncom, not sprinkler it.
I would get notarized from the owner, that there will be no storage under there, OF ANY TYPE, with also written that if found sprinklers will be required retrofit.
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