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IFC Compliance Problems

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My current status is:

I expect my DSP in one week.

I have been paying for 4200 square feet for months zoned light industrial.

I occupy 2 suites in a 10 unit industrial complex, with neighbors on both sides.

I regestered a small still to TTB but a larger still (400l Kothe) and equipment just left Germany and will be here in 4 weeks.

I have satisfied the Department of Aggriculture (wow).

I have Oregon State approval.

Suddenly, my local building officials are concerned my building is not adequate for occupancy because I am classified as H-2 (storage of more than 30 gallons of flamable liquid). I have two hour fire walls with sprinklers but my city officials feel that this may not comply to International Fire Code.

Does anybody have any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Brad Irwin

soon to be... Oregon Spirit Distillers

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If your officials are paying attention, you're fine. The sprinklers add 1 hour to those 2 hour fire walls, giving you three hour walls. That's all you'd ever need.

Further, if you are making vodka, all you have to do is dilute it after it comes off the still and store it at below proof. That takes care of that.

If you are making whiskey/brandy, if you store the spirit in "casks" as IBC puts it, the barrels are exempt from flammable storage requirements. Or, you can do as we do, and store it below proof.

You should be all set, and whomever signed off on your drawings should have all this info. at the ready. There's another thread here were I cited the IFC code that discusses spirit storage.

Of course, all this assumes reasonable civil servants.

Does this help?

Cheers.

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It all depends on the total square footage of the entire (connected) building for occupancy and fire protection level. Anything over 7,500 or 10,000 square feet (I'll have to reference my IBC/IFC code books for certain) and you are required to have fire sprinklers and/or 4 hour fire walls depending on construction type and separation. Which you have, so you should be good.

This is a hot topic that comes up quite often. Maybe the admins could make a sticky somewhere for building/fire codes for reference....

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Brad,

I'm just getting ready to engage the state in Oregon as well. May I ask what it was like satisfying the Dept. of Agriculture? The "wow" wasn't very comforting!!!

Thanks in advance for your insight,

Ashley Balogh

Criterion Club

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It all depends on the total square footage of the entire (connected) building for occupancy and fire protection level. Anything over 7,500 or 10,000 square feet (I'll have to reference my IBC/IFC code books for certain) and you are required to have fire sprinklers and/or 4 hour fire walls depending on construction type and separation. Which you have, so you should be good.

I'm pretty sure that it's 10,000 square feet. Pretty sure isn't very helpful, though. I know it's not 7,500, though, because that's what we have now.

I should have mentioned the square footage issue, my apologies.

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Here's some code references (not everything you'll need, but the high points for DSP's)

IBC 306.2 (occupancy classification of manufacturing liquor)

IBC 307.1(1), IFC 2703.1.1(1) (storage limits of flammable and hazardous liquids)

IFC 2701.1(9), IFC 3401.2(9), NFPA 60.1.2.1(5) (exception of storage of distilled spirits in barrels)

These are all IBC/IFC 2006 code edition references (newer editions should be similar).

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Thanks all for your help so far.

I received a response from the building department that contained 18 line items that they want addressed. Some of them are easy. Some...not so easy.

They are requiring me to provide a Mechanical hazardous exhust system and "make up air system."

They are requiring a shower for exposed skin contamination.

Do these requiremnts seem reasonable?

Brad

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Thanks all for your help so far.

I received a response from the building department that contained 18 line items that they want addressed. Some of them are easy. Some...not so easy.

They are requiring me to provide a Mechanical hazardous exhust system and "make up air system."

They are requiring a shower for exposed skin contamination.

Do these requiremnts seem reasonable?

Brad

We were required to put in the makeup air system. It cost us a bunch as our hazardous area is 6000+ sq ft with 16ft ceilings and you have to be able to change the air in 10 minutes (not sure I'm recalling that correctly?). I hated the idea of the added expense- especially the cost of heating that much makeup air. But we had no choice. They require you put it in, but they don't require you to use it. Ours is on only a few times per week.

If your space isn't too large, you may be able to find a used restaurant hood system pretty cheap.

We were never required to put a shower in. I don't think alcohol is a hazzard to your skin unless drying it out is considered a hazard.

Good luck, and keep us posted!

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Brad the short answer is yes to both air and shower station. I have to assume at some time you will be using cleaning agents, chemicals, bleach any thing else you could think of. You may get by with a small eye cleaning station which would double for skin washing. These are standard items for everyone but not enforced everywhere. Usually only large towns or cities have code officers to take care of it. Any place that has codes can require it. Our make up air was ok because we have two large evaporation type coolers on the roof. All we need to do is open the roll up door and turn them on if necessary and they accepted that. Many ways to skin a cat. coop

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Thanks everyone for your help so far. I though I would post an update.

I went back and forth with city planning a few times. We are going to install an exhaust system. We are going to have a fixture above the mop sink that will work as a shower. We were able to use windows and doors as return air.

Our permits were approved.

I was lucky my equipment was delayed to give me time to resolve these issues.

Brad Irwin

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One added note, if you are considered a "farm" and a "farm operation" that status may exempt you from many of the standard OSHA and zoning requirements. But seeing as how you're located in an industrial area it may be complicated to gain "farm" designation. In NY it requires lease agreements with farmers producing your raw materials and accepting financial responsibility for the crop.

The above noted observation on the character of goods stored in oak is correct, the listing of Hazardous Materials characterizes spirits stored in oak as not included in the listing of Hazardous Materials. You may want to check to see if vodka stored outside your building in a secure stainless steel tank constitutes a hazard in the minds of your regulators.

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