ASHRAE Toronto & TSMCA
3rd Annual Joint Trade Show & Dinner Meeting & Panel Discussion
November 6th, 2017
On November 6th, 2017, the joint ASHRAE and TSMCA (Toronto Sheet Metal Contractors Association) tradeshow presented an opportunity to learn about the latest in HVAC, hydronics, and sheet metal products, and to network with the HVAC and sheet metal community. The tradeshow was followed by a presentation on the following topic as well as a panel discussion:
SMACNA - Fire, Smoke and Radiation Damper Design in Commercial Buildings
The presentation was by Eli P. Howard III,
Executive Director Technical Services, National Office (Virginia, USA) of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA). Mr. Howard discussed the code requirements and standards regarding the selection, installation and maintenance of fire/smoke dampers.
Eli P. Howard III.
Photo courtesy of Niss Feiner; firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Codes and Regulations
- NFPA 90A (Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilation Systems)
- NFC (National Fire Code of Canada)
- NFPA 80 (Standard for Fire Doors & Other Opening Protectives)
- NFPA 105 (Standard for Smoke Door Assemblies & other Opening Protectives)
- SMACNA Fire, Smoke & Radiation Damper Guide
Figure 5-1. Basic Fire Damper Installations
C. Damper Sleeve
E. Retaining Angles Fastened to Sleeve.
F. Damper Attachment to Sleeve.
G. Connection of Duct to Sleeve.
H. Access Door or Panel
Figure 5-5. Fire damper out of wall
Fig. 5-6 Combination Fire/Smoke Damper Out-of-Wall Installation
- Leakage rate tested across a closed damper
- Tested at 4, 6, 8, 10 & 12 Inch WG.
- Higher leakage class-I, II, or III-represents a higher CFM/FT² leakage rate through the closed damper
- Has NO relation to air leakage from the overall duct system!
Inspection, Testing & Maintenance
- Dampers to be tested and inspected 1 year after installation
- Test & inspection frequency shall be every 4 years, except in hospitals where frequency is every 6 years
- Operational test after installation for dynamic fire dampers and combination fire smoke dampers
Smoke Control Systems
Some analysis and design factors of smoke control systems, in high-rise buildings, hotels, atriums, underground buildings, etc. are the following:
- Stack Effect
- Temperature Effect of Fire
- Wind Effect/Climate
- HVAC Systems
- Duration of Operation (20 mins min)
Responsibilities of the Various Parties Involved in Ensuring Fire/Smoke Dampers Meet the Code and Owner Requirements
Aldo Jimenez, Denka Mortella, Eli Howard and Darryl Stewart.
(Photo courtesy of
Niss Feiner; email@example.com.)
Introduction by Darryl Stewart
Executive Director, Toronto Sheet Metal Contractors Association
General Manager, Nailor Industries, Inc.
- Look for dampers better than the minimum required, eg. smoke leakage.
- Development of damper products is ongoing to save labour, and to make dampers easier to inspect.
- "Must comply with local regulations" is a disclaimer in manufacturer's instructions; therefore, choose a manufacturer you trust to give you appropriate installation instructions.
- Stuffing fire retardant material around damper in the expansion space for damper sleeve within wall/floor opening is not acceptable.
Lead Engineering Associate, Building & Life Safety Technologies, UL LLC
- Collaboration between manufacturers, installers/contractors/tradesman, authorities having jurisdiction/inspectors, building owners and safety testing and certification organizations. Working together helps to add clarity and understanding to situations that arise and to find resolutions that add safety and improve performance of products and systems.
- Continue to adapt, evolve and grow certification programs, test/installation standards/guides and codes. The code update to include a reasonably sized duct access door to allow proper inspection and maintenance of fire dampers is a great example of how involvement of various parties can lead to realistic and beneficial results.
- Communication, Communication, Communication. If all relevant parties communicate clearly and without hesitation we can become a better connected community with less divisions between roles and organizations. This helps to continue to build business relationships, technical references and better understanding of other roles and responsibilities. This benefits us all to have a better connected industry from the mfg. to the end user and everyone in between.
Executive Director Technical Services, SMACNA National Office.
- The 2 new standards being produced by SMACNA for early next year are the following: SMACNA HVAC Duct Construction Standard 4th edition
- SMACNA HVAC Total Systems Air Duct Leakage Manual 1st edition.