Solving Seismic Design Challenges for Fire-Sprinkler Systems at JFK

04/06/2005


A 1.84-million-sq.-ft. behemoth that holds three complete concourses. Passenger check-in space big enough to hold Giants Stadium. A facility capable of accommodating 14 million passengers annually. Yet, the new American Airlines mega terminal at Kennedy Airport in New York pushed the envelope for designers, engineers and contractors who seemed to have less space to work with, not more.


Seeking to create clean, modern lines as well as functional space, architects challenged all disciplines to help them keep their vision. This meant squeezing utilities into as little space as possible, including a fire-sprinkler system that met new seismic codes.

No room for traditional seismic joints

As a rule, seismic joints are not small, and not pretty. They require a convoluted Rube-Goldberg style arrangement of connections that would allow movement in all directions. “There was just no room for all that extra hardware,” explains David McMahon, senior project manager, SIRINA Fire Protection Corp. “Seismic codes are a relatively new issue in our part of the country, and to use the traditional grooved coupling configuration just would not cut it.”

SIRINA found a seismic expansion joint product that makes designing fire-sprinkler piping runs a lot simpler. Capable of up to

“We installed dozens of them throughout the terminal in places I know we could not have used any other type of seismic joint,” comments Rocco Abbate, executive vice president of SIRINA.

“In fact, it was the first set we ordered that convinced us it was the right product,” he continues. “They were so easy to install in the first phase of construction we knew it was the perfect seismic joint to use for the rest of the project.”

The “wing-like” architecture of the terminal even created an interesting challenge. The designers had to have some special units created that would accommodate up to 12 in. of movement and installed them in the ceiling at building separations. They needed extra movement and flexibility there because of the expected rise and fall of the facility from wind and snow. High winds across the wing-like roofline were expected to raise the roofline up to five in. And the snow loading could cause the roof to deflect downward as much as an inch.


The American Airlines terminal, which started in 1999, is a four-phase project slated for completion in 2007. The terminal will centralize ground access and passenger processing at JFK Airport. It will have 37 jet gates and 18 commuter gates, large customs and immigration halls and a streamlined baggage system.

For more information about fireloops from Metraflex click here .





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.