High Challenge Warehouse case study


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On February 18, 2010, Richard Gallagher of Zurich presented the keynote presentation at the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s SUPDET 2010 event where he summarized the presentations of the previous day. Seven leading engineering firms presented their ideas on how best to protect a high challenge warehouse from fire.

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  • Engineering Approach to Warehouse Fire Protection Design
  • High Challenge Warehouse case study

    1. 1. rechter Rand<br />right margin<br />marge droite<br />margine destra<br />High challenge warehouse case study – Summary<br />February 19, 2010<br />Richard Gallagher<br />Michael Gollner<br />Zurich Services Corporation<br />
    2. 2. Objectives<br />Review the results of the high challenge warehouse workshop<br />Recognize participants<br />Explain the project background<br />Review case <br />Given information<br />Question<br />Summarize the eight presentations<br />Recap the overall findings<br />
    3. 3. Case study participants<br />Schirmer Engineering Dan O’Connor, Garner Palenske<br />Rolf Jensen and Associates Richard Bukowski <br />FPI Consortium Warde Comeaux <br />Telgian Tracy Bellamy<br />Summit Fire Protection Sean Merkel, Ryan Bierwerth <br />Hughes Associates Jerry Back, Joe Scheffey, <br /> Dan Gottuk<br />UCSD Michael Gollner <br /> WPI Ali Rangawala<br /> Creative FPE Solutions Jonathan Perricone<br />XL GAPS John Frank<br />
    4. 4. Background<br />NFPA 13 basis: <br />Automatic sprinklers control or suppression a fire<br />Final fire extinguishment by the fire service<br />Today’s warehouses<br />High challenges to both sprinklers and fire service <br />Recent fire experience<br />Not always reasonable to expect manual intervention<br />Foundation<br />Addressing research to support potential changes to NFPA standards.<br />
    5. 5. Workshop approach<br />Basis for workshop<br />Theoretical Case Study<br />Presentations<br />Six leading FPE companies share innovative design concepts<br />One presentation on novel approach to manual fire suppression<br />One presentation addressing need to step back further and understand commodities and storage<br />Format<br />20 minute presentations<br />Panel Q&A<br />
    6. 6. Case Study Warehouse<br />6<br />2/4/2010<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />
    7. 7. 2/4/2010<br />7<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />General conditions<br />Who - XYZ Company<br />What - New warehouse<br />Where - Rural region of US<br />
    8. 8. 2/4/2010<br />8<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />Facility parameters<br />Two attached buildings<br />Low Bay<br />100’ x 150’ x 35’ tall<br />High Bay<br /> 55’ x 150’ x 65’ tall<br />
    9. 9. 2/4/2010<br />9<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />Facility construction<br />Roof –Noncombustible steel deck on steel bar joist<br />High bay rack supported roof<br />Exterior walls – Insulated metal panel<br />Interior walls<br />Between Low Bay and High Bay<br />150’ long<br />Reinforced concrete block<br />Up to Low Bay roof<br />Floors – Reinforced concrete<br />
    10. 10. 2/4/2010<br />10<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />Public protection<br />Public fire service<br />Volunteer department<br />XYZ Company is first storage facility in district<br />Public water<br />Extending main 3 miles to site<br />Limited flow<br />60 psi static / 20 psi residual / 800 gpm flowing<br />
    11. 11. 2/4/2010<br />11<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />Private protection<br />Water supply<br />Two fire pumps – one electric, one diesel<br />Ground water suction tank<br />Detached fire pump house 300 feet from building<br />
    12. 12. 2/4/2010<br />12<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />Storage commodity<br />Group A plastics<br />Unexpanded<br />In cartons<br />Nonencapsulated<br />Conventional wood pallets<br />Pallet loads 4’ x 4’ x 4’<br />
    13. 13. 2/4/2010<br />13<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />Storage configuration<br />Workshop focus<br />The High Bay warehouse<br />High bay<br />Multiple row rack (4 pallets deep) flanked by double row racks<br />Racks are separated aisles<br />5 ft wide<br />Array 23 pallets long & 13 pallets high<br />Nominal 6” flues around each pallet load<br />Tiers 5’ tall<br />Elevation View<br />
    14. 14. 2/4/2010<br />14<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />Stock handling<br />Low Bay<br />Industrial trucks<br />High Bay<br />Automatic storage and retrieval system (ASRS)<br />Two ASRS systems<br />Operate in 5 ft wide aisles<br />Photo source: FEMA<br />
    15. 15. 2/4/2010<br />15<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />The challenge<br />Local fire chief has made it clear that<br /> in the event of a fire -<br />Will enter building to save people<br />Will not enter building to save property<br />Question: <br /> As the fire protection engineer of record, what fire protection design will be proposed to achieve final fire extinguishment without fire service intervention?<br />Photo source: FEMA<br />
    16. 16. Summary of case study presentations<br />
    17. 17. Summary format<br />Ignition - Sources of ignition<br />Agent - Extinguishing media<br />Detection/<br /> Release - Method of detection and release<br />ASRS - Uses for ASRS<br />Failure - Noted failure concerns for method<br />Comments - Additional comments<br />Where no data provided – marked “NA” and grayed-out<br />
    18. 18. Schirmer Engineering<br />Ignition - Arson, electrical, etc.<br />Agent - Water - ESFR high zone at intersection of flues & over aisles<br /> ESFR low zone at intersection of flues<br /> One level in-racks in each zone<br /> 1600 gpm either zone<br /> Horizontal barrier between high and low zones<br /> CO2 - Low zone for redundancy (higher exposure area)<br /> Local application, can pipe long distances, can handle flammable liquids and electrical fires, no pumps, <br /> Use a 30-60 second discharge<br /> Divide low zone into sections (CO2 volume calculations)<br />Detection/<br /> Release - Sprinkler fusible element, In-rack linear/spot heat detection<br />ASRS - NA<br />Failure - NA<br />Comments - Test ESFR configuration, locate in flues, avoid water ricochet Test low zone detection concept<br /> Develop CO2 nozzle<br /> Technology proven and can implement today<br />
    19. 19. Rolf Jensen and Associates<br />Ignition - NA<br />Agent - Water mist<br /> Zoned vertically (vertical risers)<br /> Spray either side of pallet and one side of adjacent pallet<br /> High velocity exhaust fans on outside walls <br /> - Produce airflow perpendicular to aisles to distribute water mist<br /> - Maintain visibility<br />Detection/<br /> Release - In-rack linear heat detection to locate fire <br />ASRS - Use self-contained foam skid IR camera guided nozzle<br /> Not for primary suppression due to response time <br />Failure - NA<br />Comments - Low bay is typical for ESFR<br /> Critical to maintain longitudinal and transverse flues<br /> High bay ceiling sprinklers to protect building<br />
    20. 20. FPI Consortium<br />Ignition - ASRS (lights not usually in use) electrical rails top and <br /> bottom, fires involve ASRS unit and spreads to storage<br />Agent - High expansion foam – submerge in 4 min<br /> 13 foam generators<br /> 30 minute duration<br /> 100,000 gallons water for 30 minutes<br />Detection/ - Heat detection - ceiling & in-rack spot heat detection Release Ceiling 15’ x 15’, in-rack 10’ vertical & 8’ horizontal<br />ASRS - Not used, returned to home base and shutdown<br />Failure - Doors and openings must close<br /> False release of foam (cross-zone possible)<br />Comments - Sprinklers not considered due to environment impact <br />
    21. 21. Telgian<br />Ignition - ASRS or lighting at elevated location<br />Agent - Water<br /> Design an in-rack sprinklers, quick response<br /> Need horizontal barriers above in-racks, perhaps each tier<br /> Use waterflow to locate fire vertically<br />Detection/<br /> Release - Fusible sprinkler elements<br />ASRS - Locate fire using thermal imaging<br /> Relocate stock to safe area<br /> Handle wet and damaged loads (enclosed unit)<br />Failure - NA<br />Comments - Need in-rack sprinkler design guidance<br /> - In-rack response time<br /> - In-rack water distribution<br />
    22. 22. Summit Fire Protection<br />Ignition - NA<br />Agent - Water<br /> Develop suppression mode in-racks<br /> Increased clearance for larger orifice in-rack sprinklers<br /> Fire barriers to provide fire confinement<br /> 300,000 gallons – 2 hour duration<br />Detection/<br /> Release - Fusible sprinklers elements<br />ASRS - Under fire conditions, ASRS not available<br />Failure - NA<br />Comments - Introduce ESRF into racks<br /> Evaluate all changes over time (personnel turnover, <br /> commodities, maintenance, etc. <br />
    23. 23. Hughes Associates<br />Ignition - NA<br />Agent - High expansion foam<br /> Zoned system, 4 quadrants, barriers wire mesh/noncombustible fabric<br /> Curtains strips to allow ASRS passage <br /> Safety factors of 2+ compared to NFPA requirements<br /> 20,000 gallons water – 30 minute duration<br />Detection/ - In-rack linear heat detection<br /> Release Flame detection for open spaces<br />ASRS - Apply skid mounted fire suppression system<br /> Remove pallets of stock around fire<br /> Evaluate extinguishment – video monitoring<br /> Remove pallets of damaged stock<br />Failure - Fire at zone interface, Openings between zones,<br /> Collateral damage to stock remote from fire<br />Comments - Goals include low complexity, reasonable cost, rapid control, <br /> extinguishment, minimum fire damage, and<br /> minimum collateral damage <br />
    24. 24. WPI, UCSD, Creative FPE Solutions<br />Ignition - NA<br />Agent - NA<br />Detection <br /> Release - NA<br />ASRS - NA<br />Failure - NA<br />Comments - Must start at a more fundamental level<br /> Develop method to quantify warehouse fire control,<br /> suppression, or extinguishment<br /> Limits to “modeling” and “small scale testing”<br /> Need new intermediate-scale test<br /> - Determine water application rate for suppression<br /> - Will discuss further in a few slides<br />
    25. 25. XL GAPS<br />Ignition - NA<br />Agent - Water<br /> Mobilize remote special fire fighting team<br /> Need 12 hours (remote response, size-up, extinguish, overhaul)<br /> Sprinklers controlling fire during this time<br /> Need 900,000 gallons water<br />Detection/<br /> Release - Fusible sprinkler elements<br />ASRS - Fire fighter access to upper tiers<br />Failure - NA<br />Comments - Interim solution until an engineered solution available<br /> Specialized fire team responding from central location<br /> Similar to private emergency services such as<br /> urban search and rescue, oil wells, oil tanks <br /> Skills to verify building stability, locate fire, work <br /> vertically, apply agent<br />
    26. 26. Summary of work<br /> Ignition scenarios<br /> Proposed solutions<br /> Design challenges<br /> Gaps<br /> Manual intervention<br />
    27. 27. Identified ignition scenarios<br />ASRS equipment<br />Power rails top and bottom<br />Power on stacker crane<br />Can introduce ignition source at any level<br />Lighting<br />Ignition exposure at roof<br />Arson<br />Anticipate low level exposure<br />2/4/2010<br />27<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />
    28. 28. Solutions<br />Manual fire suppression – an immediate solution<br />XL Gaps <br />Test & validate current sprinkler suppression practices<br />WPI, UCSD, Edinburgh, and Creative FPE Solutions.<br />Sprinklers – modify current designs – ESFR inracks<br />Summit Fire Protection<br />Telgian<br />Sprinklers (2 levels ESFR) & CO2<br />Schirmer<br />High expansion foam<br />FPI Consortium<br />Hughes Associates<br />Water mist<br />RJA<br />2/4/2010<br />28<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />
    29. 29. Design challenges <br />Water sources<br />Reliability / redundancy<br />Volume / duration<br />Cost of system due to rural location<br />Environmental concerns<br />Release of contaminated water<br />Recycling of used water<br />Hazard of commodity<br />Defining the hazard of a commodity<br />Commodities changing or introducing unknown commodities<br />In-rack sprinkler placement and type (ESFR)<br /> highly specific to fuel type, configuration<br />Avoiding complex designs <br />Can collateral damage be limited to limit business impact<br />2/4/2010<br />29<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />
    30. 30. GapsTest methodologies<br />There are no methods, currently, to quantify warehouse fire control, suppression or extinguishment.<br />A test methodology is needed to ensure adequacy of current and new design concepts <br />How much suppressant?<br />Length of discharge?<br />Limitations in full scale, small scale testing and modeling demand a new approach – small scale commodity classification verified by intermediate scale testing and large scale modeling/testing for validation<br />
    31. 31. GapsDesign approach – WPI et al<br />2/4/2010<br />31<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />2. SprinklerFlow Characterization<br />Determine limits of current sprinkler protection systems<br />Analyze the warehouse fire problem in pieces<br />1. Characterize sprinkler spray<br />2. Droplet losses from geometry, plume, radiation, etc.<br />3. Suppression/Extinction interaction between film/drops and fire<br />Benefits:<br />Design fixed system to provide suppression or extinction for any tested materials<br />Utilize current sprinkler infrastructure and modify deficient systems if necessary<br />Sprinkler Spray<br />PLUME<br />1. Classification of Commodity<br />FIRE<br />
    32. 32. Gaps<br />Design approach – WPI et al<br />Engineering Approach to Warehouse Fire Protection Design<br />32<br />
    33. 33. GapsTechnology<br />In-rack sprinkler design<br />No sprinkler designed to respond quickly in a rack<br />No sprinkler designed to distribute water in a rack<br />No suppression mode in-rack sprinkler<br />Hardening of ASRS for use during fire event<br />Carry self-contained extinguishing system skid<br />Identify fire location within array<br />Verify fire control/suppression progress<br />Remove adjacent stock to isolate fire<br />Remove wet or damaged stock<br />
    34. 34. GapsManual intervention - the immediate solution<br />Water supplies<br />Are durations sufficient (2 hours vs. 12 hours)<br />Thorough pre-emergency planning<br />Safe work plan<br />
    35. 35. Questions or comments?<br />2/4/2010<br />35<br />High Challenge Warehouse Case Study<br />
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