Engineering Project Case Studies | Erdman Anthony

Fire Protection Assessment and Design

Erdman Anthony provided fire-protection engineering and design services for the $35 million expansion of the existing emulsion aggregation (EA) toner plant on Xerox Corporation’s Webster, NY, campus. The corporation was constructing two additions to the plant, increasing it from 100,000 square feet to 155,000 square feet. 

The five-story plant, which opened in 2007, is one of only a handful of its kind in the world. It features more than 25 miles of pipe and stainless-steel tanks and has more than 9,000 sensors that track information about temperature, humidity, air flow, and other variables. Xerox has invested $100 million in the plant for the original construction and upgrades. These were the first additions to the original structure.

Working with Xerox and FM Global Commercial Property Insurance engineers, Erdman Anthony surveyed the fire-suppression systems, the existing water-supply information, and the current hazard classifications of the existing plant and compared that information to the proposed building and process additions. The existing water supply involved a complex network of underground piping and pump stations that were evaluated to confirm that adequate flow and pressure would be available to supply the proposed additions.  

Using this information, Erdman Anthony proceeded with the design of the extension of the existing automatic wet standpipe and sprinkler systems into the additions. The extension of these systems involved significant coordination with the existing process engineers and the structural engineers involved in the design of the additions. Since the existing toner plant had to remain operational during construction, the existing fire-suppression systems needed to be functional during construction. This was achieved by preplanning tie-in work during predetermined shutdowns.

In addition to the coordination that occurred with the existing and new process work, there was extensive coordination with the structural engineers involved with the additions. The structural-steel members for the additions were ordered prior to the completion of the design of the rest of the plant, and there was a requirement that the automatic sprinkler-system piping be run through the webs of the structural steel beams on the plant’s two  lower levels. This level of coordination was achieved through 3D BIM design techniques and clash detection for both the structural steel and sprinkler piping. 

Michael St. John, PE, CEM, LEED AP
Michael St. John, PE, CEM, LEED AP
 585-427-8888 x 1054