The Department of Veterans Affairs engaged the team of Apogee Consulting Group, PA (Apogee) and CEMS Engineering, Inc. (CEMS) to furnish Architectural and Engineering services necessary to perform life safety plan review and site survey of the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) Fitzsimons Campus. The purpose of this plan review and site survey was to evaluate the life safety features of the campus buildings. The life safety features evaluated were limited to the following:
- Fire and Smoke Barrier Integrity
- Fire and Smoke Door Rating and Performance (closes, latches, edge tolerances, labels)
- Sprinkler spacing and continuity of sprinkler type
- Hazardous Room Assessment (code compliance, barriers, doors)
- Accessible Means of Egress
- Life Safety Code (NFPA 101) & The Joint Commission (TJC) Environment of Care (EC)
- Life Safety (LS) Compliance
The Apogee and CEMS team was provided with the Fire and Life Safety plans (FLS) for each of the buildings on the campus. The plans were developed by H+L* SOM Architects and CRA*SAM Engineers. These plans were reviewed for general compliance with the 2015 editions of the VA’s Fire Protection Design Manual as well as the 2015 edition of the Life Safety Code (NFPA 101). This plan review focused on occupancy classification, fire and smoke barrier locations, hazardous room identification, and means of egress.
In conjunction with the plan review, the Apogee and CEMS team performed site surveys over the course of approximately 4 weeks. The purpose of the site surveys was to visually evaluate the fire and smoke barrier integrity, fire and smoke door ratings and operation, fire sprinkler spacing and continuity of sprinkler type, hazardous room assessments, as well as validate the occupancy classifications of the buildings and visually evaluate the means of egress for each building on the campus.