Wasting Energy or Catching Fire
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A version of this article appears in the May/June 2012
issue of Home Energy Magazine.
April 30, 2012
Builders nationwide are installing more and more home fire sprinkler systems. Often the motivation for installation is the requirement in the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) for automatic fire sprinkler systems in townhomes and one- and two-family dwellings. According to this code, the sprinkler system must be installed in accordance with IRC Section P2904 or the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 13D, "Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes." While the value of sprinklers remains a contentious issue, the reality is that sprinklers are currently being installed and will continue to play some role in construction. Therefore, builders and contractors need to be aware of the implications that sprinklers have for the thermal building envelope. And they need to know how to install sprinklers to maximize occupant safety and building performance.
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