7.18 Historic Structures
as rated glass assemblies or historic doors modified
to incorporate rated glass should be considered when
barriers must be kept closed to maintain a rated
For an overall fire protection plan and to emphasize the
enclosure. Non-prescriptive compliance solutions, such
Design Team's responsibility to address fire protection and
as modification of historic door assemblies, must be
to preserve the historic integrity of historic structures, the
approved by GSA's regional fire protection engineer.
Design Team shall explore alternative approaches outlined
New fire-rated doors in preservation zones should be
in state rehabilitation codes, International Existing
designed to resemble historic doors in panel detailing
Building Code (IEBC), and performance based codes to
and finish. True-paneled fire doors are preferred for
resolve conflicts between prescriptive code requirements
replacement of original paneled stair or corridor doors.
and preservation goals. In addition, the requirements and
In historically significant spaces, sprinklers should be
recommendations of NFPA 914 shall be considered for
carefully placed to minimize damage to ornamental
rehabilitation projects in historic structures. The Design
materials. Develop detailed drawings for architecturally
Team shall also evaluate the HUD Guideline Fire Ratings
sensitive areas, showing precise sprinkler locations and
of Archaic Materials and Assemblies that provides test
finishing notes as necessary to ensure proper installation.
data on the fire resistance of a variety of historic materials
Sprinklers should be centered and placed symmetrically
and GSA publication titled Fire Safety Retrofitting in
in relation to ornamental patterns and architectural
features defining the space, such as arched openings.
GSA's regional fire protection engineer serves as the
Sprinklers and escutcheons should match original
AHJ, who must exercise professional judgment to assess
architectural surfaces or hardware. Oxidized brass or
the acceptability of alternative compliance solutions.
bronze heads are recommended for use in deeply colored
Early and frequent coordination between the architects,
(unpainted) woodwork. In elaborately decorated ceilings,
State Historic Preservation Officer, Regional Historic
heads should be camouflaged by custom coating and
Preservation Officer, preservation specialists, external
omitting escutcheon plates. In such cases, low profile,
review groups, and the Design Team's fire protection
quick response sprinklers are preferred.
engineer is imperative to timely resolution of conflicts
In historically significant spaces, smoke detectors should
between fire safety and preservation goals.
be placed to minimize destruction of ornamental surfaces.
Fire Protection Alternatives for Consideration. Listed
Where ceilings are elaborately embellished, explore
below are fire protection alternatives for the Design Team's
alternative detection products and approaches such as
fire protection engineer to consider when designing a project:
air sampling detection, projected beam, low profile spot
New stair enclosures in historic buildings should be
housings to blend with ornamental finishes. Application of
designed to minimize visual impact on significant spaces,
special finish treatments outside of the standard factory
including historic lobbies and corridors. Cross corridor
process must be coordinated with, and approved in writing
doors should be designed to provide maximum height and
by, the manufacturer to ensure that UL labels and detector
width clearance and avoid visually truncating the corridor.
performance are not compromised. Smoke detector
Oversized hold-open doors will achieve this end in most
housings must be removed prior to application of special
circumstances. For more ornamental spaces, accordion
rated doors may be used. Transparent treatments, such
232 F A C I L I T I E S S T A N D A R D S
7.18 Historic Structures
Revised March 2005 PBS-P100