David J. LeBlanc

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Apr 13, 2022

Active smoke control systems are complex due to the involvement of various design disciplines to provide a coordinated life safety system. The mechanical systems used for active smoke control are subject to more stringent requirements than normal HVAC systems with the intent to provide operational reliability during a fire event.

Since the ducts and smoke control fans are ultimately responsible for transporting supply and/or exhaust air to different smoke zones, maintaining the integrity of this equipment is a critical issue that must be addressed in every smoke control system design.

This is especially true for smokeproof enclosures, where the pressurization equipment must be capable of operating for an extended duration to accommodate phased evacuation and fire department staging. Challenging stair pressurization configurations require careful analysis and selection of appropriate designs.

After reading this paper you will:

  • Gain a general understanding of active smoke control systems and the requirements related to ductwork used for such systems.
  • Learn about the protection methods for mechanical stair pressurization equipment such as smoke control fans and consider the factors that must be reviewed to provide a suitable design.
  • Review challenges associated with providing fire-resistance-rated protection of ductwork in complex smokeproof enclosures.
  • Understand the coordinated approach that should be taken to successfully design, install, and test active smoke control systems.

Read the whitepaper.

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About the author

David J. LeBlanc
David LeBlanc, PE, FSFPE, is a Vice President, Strategic Advisor with over 30 years of fire protection systems, design, and fire and life safety code consulting experience.