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Fire Protection Documentation – College Campus, New York, NY

A Fire Protection Subcontractor called the Helm team in urgent need of assistance. His firm was hired to install the fire protection system in the central portion of a college classroom building and he was behind on getting his shop drawings to the General Contractor. The project was an interior demolition of an existing communal space that was being remodeled. All other trades professionals had shared their shop drawings with the General Contractor, and he was waiting for the fire protection to share his documentation to move forward. 

He called the Helm team, and we responded right away. The first thing we needed was a 3D Laser scan of the jobsite. Other trades people such as electricians and HVAC professionals were already beginning work, and we needed to understand the placement of their systems. We used the RTC360 by Leica Geosystems and captured a colorized point cloud of space. 

After our onsite visit we brought the data back to the office to be registered and published. We published the point cloud and overlayed the floor plan we captured with the contract drawings provided to us by the client. With the point cloud showing the existing conditions we were able to draft the fire protection system within the existing environment. 

We modeled the fire protection system in 3D, and then published 2D views from the model that we created. Our modeling team worked closely with the Fire Protection subcontractor to confirm the placement of branches and sprinkler heads and confirmed that there were no conflicts with those desired locations. 

The final product was shop drawings for the fire protection subcontractors that were ready for construction and coordination with the General contractor and the rest of the subcontractor. 

The Helm team was able to step in quickly and help gather and present the necessary information for this project. While our team is agile and can step into almost any situation, there are some important items to keep in mind:

  • Start the documentation process earlier – 
    • While implementing BIM documentation and methods at any point in a project can add value, there is more benefit to be had if we were to come into the picture from the very beginning. Having well documented as-builts at the start would have been valuable for all other trades professionals aside from just the fire protection contractor. 
  • Benefits of Modeling & Coordinating Multiple Trades
    • By taking on more drafting scope (more MEP systems) the quality of Helm’s coordination service increases dramatically. In this instance we used a point cloud scan of what we existing to coordinate, but if we were able to use models from the other trades to coordinate against the quality and thoroughness of our coordination it would be much more significant.