When using sprinklers or water mist systems in combination with aisle containment systems, issues may arise both in the design and in the installation process. Minkels, part of the publicly traded company Legrand (NYSE Euronext Paris: LR), has addressed these issues in an update of its white paper titled ‘Integration of Aisle Containment with Fire Suppression Systems.’
Sprinklers may be obstructed by the aisle containment roof construction. “That’s why Minkels has developed an extensive portfolio of roofing that provides room for sprinklers,” said Niek van der Pas, Lead Data Centre Expert at Minkels and co-author of this white paper, ‘Integration of Aisle Containment with Fire Suppression Systems.’ “Solutions including pivot roofs were discussed earlier in white paper 05. Now, the updated document is also paying attention to the FM approved Drop Away Panels – an extension to the roofing portfolio.”
Using sprinkler and water mist systems in data centers has been commonplace in the United States for a number of years now. “Insurance contracts for data center buildings demand that sprinkler and water mist systems are being used,” added Mr. van der Pas. “Even relatively small data centers in English-speaking countries are obliged to use these methods instead of gas-based fire extinguishing. The regulations are not yet so strict in continental Europe. It is however expected that the regulations will soon be tightened up in countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands.”
White paper 05 had already paid attention to Minkels’ Next Generation Corridor, which allows airflows in data centers to be kept separate from each other, which would be quite energy-efficient. “The white paper is now also paying attention to Minkels’ Free Standing Corridor,” added Mr. Van der Pas. “The Free Standing Corridor gives clients the flexibility to add in various types and sizes of racks at a later time. Complete corridors can already be kitted out with fire extinguishing, even if only part of the corridor is in use. This means that certification of the fire extinguishing systems in the whole corridor is possible from an early stage.”
Minkels White Paper 05
The updated version of Minkels’ white paper 05, ‘Integration of Aisle Containment with Fire Suppression Systems,’ can be found here. Attention is also paid to the latest legislations and regulations about fire extinguishing and the most recent fire safety and data center standards. Furthermore, the white paper offers guidelines for designing fire-safe data centers with aisle containment.
Minkels Drop Away Panels can also be retrofitted. The lightweight panels are ‘FM approved and UL Listed’ as ‘Ceiling Panels for Use Beneath Sprinklers.’ These roof panels that Minkels has designed are eligible for an insurance contract.
The working of the Drop Away Panels is illustrated in a video: www.youtube.com/minkels_HQ.