Sprinkler Mandate Information

Below is a link to a matrix showing (to the best of BAM’s understanding) the sprinkler square footage calculation.  It was run by DOLI earlier this year for their review & comment before we started using it with members.  It MAY still be subject to change as the systems get “engineered” and questions are presented to the agency.  Nevertheless, it should give members a pretty darn good rule of thumb.

Click here for square footage Matrix


Also, based on recent inquiries from folks around the state, the following information may help you answer a few of the recent most frequently asked questions about sprinklers.


1.  Garages are NOT included in the calculation BUT basements (finished or unfinished) are part of the calculation.


2.  The residential building code is slated to become effective January 24, 2015.


NOTE: This may be pushed back if the agency doesn’t get the radon and energy codes formally adopted soon.  ONLY the IRC was published on July 28, 2014 so that’s how we know January 24, 2015 is the stated IRC effective date. We are still waiting on the state to published the adoption notice for energy and radon. There have been some internal discussions that the agency wants to have all three codes effective at the same time but to make that happen the latest adopted code shall be effective only 180 days after the agency publishes its adoption date in the state register.     HOWEVER, the agency MAY push back the effective date if it finds significant reason to do so.  BAM believes that having all three codes effective and built to at the same time is a significant reason.  That said, don’t hold your breath that the state will push out the effective date of the IRC — especially because of the sprinkler mandate.


3.  Building permits pulled before the effective date of the new code will be built to the old code (i.e. grandfathered in).


4.  BAM is not aware of a state issued guidance document on the new IRC nor sprinklers.  BAM has contracted with Building Knowledge, Inc.’s Ed VonThoma to prepare several members only Field Guides, including a Field Guide to Fire Suppression Systems.  Superior, Ferguson, & Uponor are sponsoring this field guide and Ed is consulting with them on the best specs to meet the minimum-maximum code requirements of the state code – give them a shout out if you get the chance.   A draft is underway and we anticipate releasing it in September.


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