Client: Social Security Administration

Location: Baltimore, MD

Job Description: Design Services

Cherokee staff provided fire protection design services for the National Computer Center. The Cherokee team:

1) surveyed the facility and identified all life safety and property protection deficiencies;

2) prepared a Program of Requirements identifying the approximately $2 million construction cost to implement the corrective actions identified in the survey;

3) prepared the Basis of Design and Construction Documents for all fire protection systems including sprinklers, fire detection, smoke detection, fire reporting, fire communications, interface to building systems, interface to security systems, life-safety systems such as handicapped emergency call systems and related activities. Cherokee also provided life-safety consulting services including escape route, door sizing, door location, and room occupancy calculations, and provided cost estimates for Government advertisement of the project; and also

4) provided Construction Administration services including review of response to Requests for Information (RFIs) and claims as well as preparing the Government documentation for proposed change orders to the contract.

The work included installing a new, code compliant fire alarm system to replace the aging original system while ensuring the existing system remained functional, and the new and existing systems maintained intercommunication throughout the phased construction process. The existing preaction sprinkler systems were converted to wet pipe systems (the recommended approach of HPR insurers) without endangering the critical computing equipment. Deficient sprinkler density in the warehouse portion of the building was upgraded without the installation of in-rack sprinklers (due to operational concerns over potential damage to piping located in the racks) and sprinkler protection was extended to previously unprotected areas of the complex.  The controller for the existing electric fire pump was replaced and the pump provided with emergency power backup as well as construction of a rated pump room to protect the pump in an emergency.  Exit capacity was increased to meet NFPA 101 requirements.  All work was phased to allow uninhibited operation of this critical facility on a 24-hour basis and all sensitive operations were performed during available scheduled outages.


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