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Green House Racks - High Piled Storage?

Discussion in 'Commercial Building Codes' started by nealderidder, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. nealderidder

    nealderidder Bronze Member

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    Got an interesting plan review comment (third-party reviewing for Fire in CA). For an indoor greenhouse we have some movable racks. The racks are 4' wide by about 45' long and roll on tracks (think high-density storage). There are two shelves, the bottom one about 6" AFF and the top one about 7'-8" AFF. The racks are made up of sections about 4' x 8' with a post in each corner. The top of these 2 x 2 posts is about 12'-5" AFF.

    You see where this is going, right? Per the reviewer, that post is 12'-5" tall so this is High Piled Storage (HPS). I call BS!

    rack.jpg

    My first thought is that HPS is storage of packaged goods and other stuff that provides dense fuel for a fire. The definition of HPS is "storage of combustible materials in closely packed piles or combustible materials on pallets, in racks or on shelves where the top of storage is greater that 12' in height".

    Live, irrigated plants with the top shelf at 7'-8" AFF - does anyone think this qualifies as HPS?

    They also asked for a commodity classification. I guess Class 1? That includes fresh vegetables in nonplastic trays...
     
  2. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    So how many sq ft of this type of storage?

    How many total Sq ft for the entire structure??

    So what is the greenhouse made out of?

    Is this a standalone or attached to something else?

    What kind of shelving will they be on?
     
    #2 cda, Nov 7, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  3. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Could be high piled

    What are the containers made out of??

    I can see Class 1-3 possibly


    Does this business have an existing location with same set up???

    As can we see some pictures
     
  4. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    Cut the post off about 18 inches :)
    Yes it is BS because it is the height to the top of the product stored not the post on the rack. In your case live plants that will be water a couple times a day and may or may not exceed 12 ft AFF IMHO is not a big deal.:rolleyes:
     
    kilitact likes this.
  5. nealderidder

    nealderidder Bronze Member

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    Total building SF = 9,600 SF
    Rack SF = 1,364 x 2 (two separate grow rooms)
    Construction = Concrete tilt-up with wood roof. Grow rooms are metal stud and drywall with drywall ceiling.
    Stand alone = yes
    Shelving = metal pan

    So what do any of these questions have to do with whether or not live plants on two-high shelves = High Piled Storage? I'm arguing that an indoor grow shouldn't qualify to be called HPS - you can't "stack" plants (they need air and light) and there just isn't the density of fuel that the HPS code is intended to mitigate.
     
  6. nealderidder

    nealderidder Bronze Member

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    Class 3? I realize plants will burn but I don't see the image below as having the same fire danger as:

    Charcoal
    Firewood
    Lumber
    Mattresses
    Paint
    Straw Bales
    etc.

    indoor grow.JPG
     
  7. nealderidder

    nealderidder Bronze Member

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    The posts are about 12'-5" tall. So yes, that's exactly what's going to happen. And did taking that 5" off each post make any difference to the fire danger?
    My eyes are rolling waaaay back in my head.
     
  8. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    So what will be the measurement to the top of the commodity???

    The first diagram does not match the pictures.
     
  9. nealderidder

    nealderidder Bronze Member

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    The first image shows a plant I grabbed off the internet, it's not actually a bonsai tree farm but how cool would that be? The rack is accurate.

    The photo is the more accurate representation of the plants. What's the measurement to the top of the commodity? That's kind of my point - is a growing plant a "commodity" like bales of paper? It doesn't have fixed dimensions. Maybe the owner needs to attest that he will prune anything over 12'?
     
  10. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    At issue more than fire would seem to be seismic, being tracked as they are, how would you prevent overturning? As plants requiring watering their weight will vary day to day. Also the product is not restrained on the shelves, unlike boxed or palleted goods.
     
  11. nealderidder

    nealderidder Bronze Member

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    We submitted seismic clacs for the racks showing the required resistance to overturning.
     
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  12. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Sorry but for me you would need to state maximum height, to top, that will ever be.

    In away I do not care how high the racks are,,, more how high will the commodity be.


    If all else fails, hire a FPE, to write some amazing engineering words, And see if the ahj will accept that.
     
  13. nealderidder

    nealderidder Bronze Member

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    Ha! I like that. I'll direct the FPE - "Amazing Engineering Words Here"
     
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