RESNET Addresses Effect of Temporary Sprinkler Heads on HERS Tests

CodeWatcher RESNET fire sprinkler guidance

RESNET releases standard interpretation for fire sprinkler head configuration for airtightness testing.

The RESNET Standard Development Committee (SDC 300), Testing, Calculation and Labeling for Home Energy Ratings approved the interpretation of 380-16-02 Fire Sprinkler Head Configuration for Airtightness Testing on March 22, 2018. The interpretation applies to ANSI/RESNET/ICC 380 2016 and RESNET MINHERS Standards Appendix A.
The presence of temporary sprinkler head covers in a home being HERS rated has the potential to influence theCodeWatcher fire sprinkler head covers and HERS ratings infiltration test results. HERS Raters needed guidance on testing dwelling units that utilize these covers during construction to protect the sprinkler system from paint, dust, and other construction debris.
The presence of fire suppression systems creates more potential for infiltration due to more drywall penetrations. Temporary covers may still be present at the time of final testing and are permitted to remain in place during testing. While this does not represent normal operating conditions for the occupants and may misrepresent infiltration, there is no research at this time on which to estimate the amount of infiltration reduced by the presence of the temporary covers.
The need for the interpretation was found when HERS Raters, Rating Providers, and Program Administrators have inconsistent interpretations related to infiltration testing conditions for dwelling units that contain fire suppression (sprinkler) systems.
SDC 300 adopted the following formal standard interpretation:
Infiltration testing for dwelling units that contain fire suppression systems shall be allowed to be performed with temporary sprinkler head covers in place.
Click here for the full interpretation, which took effect April 22.