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Siemens has announced Lacey Fire Protection Engineering, LLC (Lacey FPE) of Greenbrier, Ark., as the winner of its third annual Engineering Innovation Award for fire and life safety design. An external panel of industry experts selected Lacey FPE, which used an innovative design approach that incorporated Siemens’ Cerberus PRO intelligent voice communication panel into a small K-12 school district in southwestern Arkansas.
The rural school district’s 22 buildings cover a three-block area, and range in size from housing only one to two classrooms to serving as larger administrative and student facilities. Although these varied buildings had different fire protection and detection needs, all required voice communication. Of foremost importance was for the district to bring all of its buildings up to state fire code quickly while also providing emergency and non-emergency communication messaging capabilities throughout the campus.
The voice communication system addresses the International Building Code (IBC) 2012 requirement for educational occupancies as well as performance-based options identified by Chapter 24 of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72. The latter include circuit performance / survivability, incorporating duress switches for lockdown, voice message content, authorized users, locations of remote operations, network infrastructure to limit lightning damage, and more. In addition, the system can be adapted and expanded as future facility renovations occur.
“The Cerberus PRO voice communication system offered the school district what they needed and was flexible enough to help us meet a number of unexpected challenges that we encountered while planning out the district’s fire protection platform,” recalls Scott Lacey, PE, CSP, SFPE, President of Lacey Fire Protection Engineering, LLC.
None of the buildings had individual architectural floor plans, so Lacey FPE created them as well as a site plan for network routing that could be used with the voice communication system. Individual natural gas furnaces heat each classroom, which prompted Lacey to specify a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detection system for these areas. Underground fiber optics, surge protection, and isolation modules were developed to help protect against possible system impairments from lightning damage or circuit interruptions. Additionally, the mass notification system was implemented to include duress switches for faculty member use, with carefully phrased, pre-recorded messages to alert faculty and police of the potential threat’s general vicinity and lock down the campus without panicking students.
“With the Cerberus PRO panel we had the design flexibility to use a combination of copper and underground fiber, as warranted,” continues Lacey. “The panels and local operator controls (LOCs) were networked using underground fiber, and they provided surge suppression on the copper for wiring between buildings. The voice communication system also met the school district’s requirement for a LOC panel at a remote location.”
“Through this project, Lacey Fire Protection Engineering demonstrated an in-depth understanding of the Cerberus PRO voice communication system’s capabilities, which it successfully applied to the district’s campus layout, daily functions, and future safety needs,” says Dave Hopping, President of Siemens’ North American-based Building Technologies Division. “Congratulations to Lacey FPE for winning this prestigious award.”
Siemens would also like to thank the judges for reviewing this year’s submissions: Dr. James Milke, Chair of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering and Professor at the University of Maryland; Dr. Tahar El-Korchi, Professor and Department Head at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Mass.); Andy King, Assistant Chief and Fire Marshall for the City of Franklin, Tenn., and Vice Chair for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Fire and Life Safety Section and for the International Code Council Fire Code Action Committee; and Chris Jelenewicz, Senior Manager for Engineering Practice at Society of Fire Protection Engineers and Technical Editor of SFPE’s Fire Protection Engineering magazine.
Siemens’ annual Engineering Innovation Award recognizes consulting specifying engineering firms that have incorporated Siemens fire and life safety technologies into an innovative design that solved a customer’s difficult challenge or advanced the use of technology in this field. Examples of innovation may range from new applications of existing technology, to cost-effective design solutions, to meeting unique building or construction requirements. An external panel of experts in the fire protection industry selects the winner from the applications received each year. The award is part of Siemens’ EngineeringAdvantage program. To learn more about the award, go to www.usa.siemens.com/eiaward.
Cerberus PRO and EngineeringAdvantage are trademarks of Siemens and/or its affiliates in some countries
For more information, visit www.laceyfpe.com
To learn more about the Siemens Building Technologies Division, visit www.usa.siemens.com/buildingtechnologies.
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