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Economic Analysis of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems.

pdf icon Economic Analysis of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems. (4026 K)
Brown, H.

NISTIR 7277; 67 p. December 2005.


U.S. Fire Administration, Emmitsburg, MD


sprinkler systems; sprinklers; residential buildings; building fires; building economics; cost analysis; cost effective decision; economic analysis; life-sycle cost


This report designs and applies a comparative life-cycle cost analysis to multipurpose network and stand-alone fire sprinkler systems designed in compliance with NFPA 13D. The life-cycle costs of the systems are studied in each of three NIST-designed prototypical house floorplans: a 3338 ft2 (310 m2) two-story colonial with basement, a 2257 ft2 (210 m2) three-story townhouse, and a 1171 ft2 (109 m2) single-story ranch. The economic analysis follows the standard method in ASTM E917-02, and includes those elements of life-cycle cost that are unique to each system, such as design, material, installation and inspection costs. System plans, a comprehensive list of required components, and material costs were obtained from manufacturers and sprinkler system installers. NIST economists obtained data on a multipurpose network design and three stand-alone designs from manufacturers and sprinkler system installers. To these material cost data were added estimates of installation cost and design cost. In addition to the economic analysis of the sprinkler system designs, this report documents the collection and development of the cost data. The comparative analysis is applied to the cost data to determine which of the proposed systems analyzed in this report has the lowest estimated life-cycle cost. Estimated cost results for all systems are within a close range, and are most sensitive to the decision to incorporate a backflow preventer. Both the cost data in this report and the cost-effectiveness analysis are intended to support a followon benefit-cost study by NIST on residential sprinkler systems.