Where Code Compliance is Not Adequate or Appropriate

Historic and cultural properties such as monuments, libraries, museums, and galleries pose significant challenges with respect to fire protection and life safety.  Life safety is always the primary concern, however extremely valuable and sensitive property is also at risk from fire-related events.  In many cases, the art collections, exhibits or building itself are the foundation of the institution’s existence and mission.

Historic Buildings and Monuments

Fire protection issues are particularly complex in historic buildings and monuments where fire protection and life safety features must meet the challenges of code compliance while preserving the historic fabric building features.  JENSEN HUGHES’ expertise can be especially beneficial when modifying existing building elements, such as archaic structural features, open monumental stairways, ornate ceilings, skylights, laylights, historic finishes, and fire protection of window openings to achieve strict code compliance is not feasible or would threaten the historic nature of the features.  We can supplement our traditional prescriptive-based code consulting services by developing performance based design approaches to these issues.

Museums, Galleries, Libraries

Museums, galleries, libraries and similar cultural properties are unique in that protection of the contents is often as important as protection of the structure and safety of its occupants. These types of facilities may contain irreplaceable collections (e.g., artwork, books) for which even a small fire could be devastating. In addition to large numbers of visitors which pose challenges to egress and evacuation, these buildings often contain conservation laboratories, collection storage areas and workshops that each have specialized fire protection needs including non-water based fire extinguishing systems, high-sensitivity smoke detection, smoke control, dedicated exhaust, and compartmentation.