Attendees at the Suppression, Detection, and Signaling Research and Applications Conference (SUPDET) in Orlando received a wealth of information on a sprinkler system's role in protecting increasingly popular cloud ceilings, or suspended ceilings covering a portion of a room or space.
"There hasn't been much significant research on cloud ceilings," said presenter Jason Floyd with Hughes Associates. Moreover, NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, does not provide any definitive guidance on automatic sprinkler installation for these ceilings.
Floyd noted that a project under way by the Fire Protection Research Foundation has identified research gaps and initiated fire tests to examine this issue. Results from the project, anticipated for completion later this year, will be shared with NFPA 13 committee members for them to consider when developing the standard's next edition.
For more information on cloud ceilings and how this building feature is addressed in NFPA 13, read the NFPA Journal column "Head's Up" by NFPA's sprinkler expert Matt Klaus. Also, read the Journal feature story highlighting cloud ceilings and other key components of the 2013 edition of NFPA 13.