Gather Your Tools, Pt.3 – Fire Sprinkler References

As fire sprinkler designers, most of our time looking up codes is spent reading through NFPA-13, the fire sprinkler designers bible.  However, after a short amount of time reading through 13, we notice that not everything we need to know about a sprinkler system is contained in the book.  Standpipe systems need to be designed according to NFPA-14.  Fire pumps needs to be designed according to NFPA-20.  Many times it is often necessary to reference NFPA-101 for life safety purposes.  We could go on and on with water tanks, foam systems, residential systems, etc, etc.  This is just a brief list of NFPA references and I haven’t even touched on building codes and local ordinances.  Before we know it, we have a reference list of code books that is longer then we care for it to be and the costs of all those books would break the bank of many design department’s budget. Continue reading “Gather Your Tools, Pt.3 – Fire Sprinkler References”

Gather Your Tools, Pt.2 — Your Computer

In the previous post in this series, Gather Your Tools, Pt.1 — The Fire Sprinkler Design Software, I explored the necessary design software to get you up and running.  However, that software needs a machine to run on which is your next critical decision.  Whether you purchase a desktop computer or a laptop computer, this is the second largest investment money wise you will make to outfit a designer.  I chose a laptop for a number of good reasons but your needs may be very different.  To make this decision you need to ask yourself some key questions.  Would you like to bring your computer out on a job site survey? How important is upgrading a computer to you?  If you work in an office, would you like the ability to bring your computer home with you?  What is your computer budget?  Lets discuss each of these questions in a little more detail. Continue reading “Gather Your Tools, Pt.2 — Your Computer”