Alternatives to Enclosed Elevator Lobbies: Part 3

In continuing education on enclosed elevation lobbies, this installment will discuss how contractors and architects can use a combination of tactics to achieve results that satisfy building code requirements.

This next option basically separates smoke protection and fire protection into two separate entities. Fire suppression can be managed by an automatic sprinkler system. Automatic sprinklers turn on in the case of a fire to help extinguish or at least control the flames.

After the fire is managed by the sprinklers, the next step becomes managing the smoke. When a building is equipped with automatic sprinklers, the life safety requirements for an elevator shaft are reduced requiring only smoke partitions. This means the assembly used at the elevator opening just needs to be smoke-rated and doesn’t have to be fire-rated. Due to the fact that all high rise buildings are required to have automatic sprinkler systems these days, many high-rise buildings can take advantage of this exception by installing smoke-rated barriers at elevator entrances.