architecture - engineering - construction

The Best Types of Smoke Barriers in Hospitals


The Best Types of Smoke Barriers in Hospitals

In the past, the International Building Code (IBC) has stated that certain fully-sprinklered occupancies may not require an enclosed elevator lobby – with a notable exception. Healthcare facilities, like hospitals, had to have these lobbies because many patients and staff are unable to quickly leave the building, and must congregate there until help arrives.

Today, architects and designers have access to solutions that prevent the spread of smoke and fire, without requiring a dedicated lobby space on every floor. Instead of trying to improve on the protected lobby model, smoke and fire protection companies look at the root of the problem and have designed unique systems that help maximize utility and day-to-day accessibility.

Smoke containment systems are more effective at preventing vertical smoke migration than traditional lobbies with swing doors, as the doors are tested with the undercut taped since they are not smoke-tight like UL1784 tested curtains.

Different Types of Smoke Barriers

Smoke barriers inhibit the spread of dangerous fumes and gases within a building. They are required to seal on all sides regardless of the shape of the opening they are protecting, and they are required to have at least a 20-minute fire rating. Smoke barriers can be customized to protect multiple types of openings within a hospital structure.

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