automatic fire sprinklers


Gerald R. Spencer, P.E. has been the EOR for the design and the construction of more than 200 automatic fire protection projects. Gerald R. Spencer, P.E. has been the EOR on fire protection projects that included automatic fire sprinkler systems (NFPA 13), fire standpipe systems (NFPA 14), halon fire extinguishing systems (NFPA 12A and 12B), fire dampers (NFPA 90A), cooking hood exhaust systems (NFPA 96), flammable liquid handling systems NFPA 30), natural gas and combustion air and ventilation of gas-fired appliances (NFPA 56), Class 1 explosion-proof electrical systems (NFPA 497M), purged and pressurized enclosure systems for electrical equipment (NFPA 496), lightning protection systems (NFPA 78), smoke and heat venting systems (NFPA 204M), fire pump installations (NFPA 20), emergency power systems (NFPA 78), portable fire extinguishing systems (NFPA 10), fire alarm systems (NFPA 71, 72A, 72B, 72C, 72D, and 72E), medical facilities (NFPA 99) and rubbish and trash chute protection systems (NFPA 82).  

We are the EOR for the following recent fire protection projects:

3.1. NIMA-St. Louis AFS - Replace Bldg 36E Fire Alarm System 2002

3.2. NASA-JSC, Building 31, added fire sprinklers to entire building

3.3. NASA-JSC, Building 45, added fire sprinklers to entire building

3.4. NASA-JSC, Building 37, added fire sprinklers to entire building

3.5. NASA-JSC, Site Water Fire Flow Computer Simulation

3.6. Darnall Army Hospital, fire sprinkler upgrade

life safety code


Gerald R. Spencer, P.E. has been the engineer of record for thedesign and the construction of more than 400 construction projects that required life safety cond compliabce. We perform life safety analysis on all projects and work with MIL-HDBK-1008C on a regular basis.  Projects include electronic data processing buildings, assembly buildings, educational facilities, health care facilities, detention and correction facilities, hotel and dormitory facilities, apartment buildings, duplexes, single-family dwellings, industrial buildings, parking garages, automotive maintenance facilities, warehouses, fuel handling facilities, elevators and cooking facilities.  These projects included all design aspects of egress, fire protection, fire extinguishing, fire detection, smoke removal and other life safety considerations.  Gerald R. Spencer, P.E. is familiar with all construction, mechanical and electrical aspects of NFPA 101, NFPA 99, and NFPA 80.  We perform life safety analysis on all projects and work with MIL-HDBK-1008C on a regular basis.




Gerald Spencer, P.E. has more than 50 years experience serving as the Engineer of Record responsible for the design and construction of the MEP portions of more than 1300 building construction projects since 1968 including more than 30 years of preparing forensic engineering reports. Gerald Spencer, P.E. has also been providing licensed professional engineering expert opinion and testimony concerning HVAC, electrical, plumbing, cryogenics, ventilation, construction contract compliance, construction cost  estimating, construction contract acquisition, construction contract administration, and other construction matters for attorneys with  since 2001.


computer simulated fire protection flow


Gerald R. Spencer, P.E. performed the field survey, evaluation, field fire flow measurements, wrote the computer code program, and trained the NASA employees on how to use the NASA-JSC EVALUATION OF THE FIRE FLOW CAPACITY OF THE POTABLE WATER SYSTEM AT JSC to predict residual static water main pressures with various conditions such as different site water mains shut off for maintenance.

Gerald Spencer, P.E. wrote the computer code that created a flow simulation  model of the existing and projected future potable water systems for the NASA-JSC facility. The Kentucky Pipe Program (KYPIPE) is used to perform water loop fire flow simulations on the computer model. The simulations can be for short time period (instantaneous) or for an extended period of time.

Water demand values for the existing and projected potable water systems are based upon actual and anticipated potable water consumption and fire flow rates. The computer models have the capability to change the water demand values and system configurations to conduct "what if” simulations. The "what if” simulations allow evaluations to be made before the actual addition or removal of line sections or equipment are implemented. The water demands of the turf irrigation can exceed all other normal water demands.

Studies can be run on the computer models to assist in making the determination of the amount and duration of the turf irrigation. The extended period simulations can be useful when evaluating heavy interruptible water demands such as turf irrigation.

The computer simulations that were run on the existing and projected water distribution systems suggest that an orderly expansion of the potable water system can be made as the site expands. The computer models should be utilized to facilitate the planning of the potable site potable water system expansion.

The numbering system used by the computer model corresponds to the assignments made on Drawing 8926N, NASA-JSC Site Water Supply Schematic.

The existing potable water system simulations provide a complete listing of the flows and pressures calculated with "normal" demands on the existing system. This simulation can be used as quick reference for evaluating the performance of the existing potable water system.

A tabular list of the piping system which includes line sections and fittings. The equivalent pipe lengths are also tabulated for entry into the input file of the existing system model for the KYPIPE program.

This computer program is utilized to evaluate the adequacy of the site potable water system as required to serve proposed new buildings and services.

Gerald Spencer, P.E. prepared a computer simulated model of the existing system that allows simulated results of additional new proposed water line construction to be evaluated.

This work is performed under Contract No. 17796, Delivery Order No. 22, dated 10 May 1989.

This program allows NASA to input various new proposed new pipelines and determine the results of the proposed system modifications.

This program allows NASA to determine the effect of closing various valves (for maintenance).

This program allows NASA to input new water demand loads and determine the resultant effects upon the system.

Drawings plotted to scale according to the starting and ending coordinates with Pipeline AutoCADD attributes are assigned to each pipeline. This correlates to the NODE number that is assigned in sequence for each pipeline end and accessory.


fire protection


Gerald R. Spencer, P.E. is the AE of Record for the design and the construction of many new Fire Protection projects, Automatic Fire Sprinkler projects, Fire Standpipe systems, Fire Pump installations, Fire Alarm systems and for many projects to replace or modify existing Fire Protection systems with the new technology that will scan the system for alarms with greater frequency to comply with the current Fire Protection code requirements. Gerald Spencer, P.E. is the Engineer of Record (EOR) for more than 300 Fire protection projects.



HIGH RISE BUILDING DESIGN


Gerald Spencer, P.E. is the MEP Engineer of Record (EOR) for the design and the construction of the fire protection systems for projects that complied with high rise municipal codes in Chicago, Memphis, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Tampa, and Ft. Worth.


These projects included fire standpipes, automatic fire sprinklers, fire pumps, jockey pumps, surge tanks, backflow preventers, smoke removal, stairwell pressurization, Halon, Cooking Hood fire extinguishing, and other systems as required to meet the various building codes.



fire alarms


Gerald R. Spencer, P.E. performed the field survey, evaluation, and design on the $1,100,000.00 Replace Existing Fire Alarm System project STL 99-0011 at the National Imagry & Mapping Agency NIMA-St. Louis Air Force Station; Buildings 36E St. Louis, MO 63118-3399; - Warren Carter 314-263-4107. 

1.2.1. Gerald Spencer, P.E., was the project manager and also the mechanical and electrical EOR.


1.2.2. Mr. Jim Dunaway, AIA was the designer for the Architectural building 

1.2.3. The existing Building 36 Section E fire alarm system will be replaced with 

1.2.4. All of Section E is a secured SCIF area, and not open to the public without 

1.2.5. The construction contractor was not generally be allowed to travel within the electrical designer for the Fire Alarm Replacement system. modifications. This project design is complete and project is awaiting construction funding for year 2003.  new technology (flash memory - fast scan) equipment that is completely compatible with the existing Notifier 2020 series equipment at the main fire alarm panel/processor. The specifications was a sole source specification for the acquisition of the Fire Alarm Equipment as apart of the contract requirements. Building 36 is an existing building. permission. Portions of the existing Building 36 contain classified data and operations that are vital to National Security and are appropriately secured at higher levels of security SCIF. building for construction operations unless escorted at all times. The existing site is secure and not open to the public without permission. Portions of the existing Building 36 contain classified data and operations that are vital to National Security and are appropriately secured at higher levels of security SCIF. The construction contractor was not generally be allowed to travel within the building for construction operations unless escorted at all times.  The AE economically justified replacing the existing FACP system with the new fast scan flash memory equipment such as the Notifier ONYX type of equipment utilizing the flash memory-scan type equipment. This equipment will be specified to be 100% compatible with the older Notifier 2020 type equipment. This new equipment will comply with proposed changes to the Fire Alarm Code, and will "last longer" than the existing Notifier 2020 type equipment before becoming non-code compliant and/or not supported by the 

1.2.6. The AE did not verify each and every Fire Alarm detector above the ceiling manufacturer with replacement parts. This new equipment is only slightly more expensive than the older type equipment. The AE visited, surveyed and documented the locations of the existing Fire Alarm Equipment. and/or below the raised floors. The AE has spot-checked the smoke detectors above the ceiling and below the raised floor locations. The detectors are located very close to the locations indicated on the original construction contract drawings.  This structure is eight levels above grade. The occupied basement is above grade and is the first level. Six occupied floors of building 36E above the basement equals seven floors.


1.2.7. The occupied roof penthouse above the sixth floor of building 36E is also the same level as the occupied sixth floor of Building B, and this would be the eighth occupied level of Building 36E. Most codes define high-rise as having an occupied floor 75' above the grade level. BOCA and all of the other various codes would measure the highest occupied floor from the lowest grade point at the building perimeter.


1.2.8. The new Notifier ONYX Fire alarm equipment is able to flash scan the system every 15 seconds maximum. This will soon become a code requirement. An existing Notifier 2020 system will take minutes to scan a 4,000 addressable device system. This new system is 100% back compatible with the existing 2020 equipment. Addressable device Loop Distances are limited to 12,500 feet if wires with #12 AWG copper wire. #18 AWG wire will allow for 3,225 foot loops. We provided one loop per floor, with three sub-loops consisting of nine sub-sub-loops we will have nine 500' loops for a total of 4,500 ft per floor. The AE and the NIMA maintenance personnel believe that the maintenance forces might benefit with each loop and sub-loop returning back to a terminal strip so that when one loose connection occurs, the entire floor would not have to shut down to find and correct the loose wire.


1.2.9. Shutting down of the entire floor in these secure areas is very hard to do because one group of the floor occupants is always working on an urgent project that cannot be shut down. We could bypass the sub-loop that has a loose connection and partially have the floor protected/monitored. The part of the floor with the problem might be easier to schedule a shutdown than the whole floor. 

1.3. Darnall Army Hospital, upgraded fire alarm system

​1.4. Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant, base-wide fire alarm system