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Economic Analysis of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems



Daniel M. Madrzykowski, R P. Fleming


This report designs and applies a comparative life-cycle cost analysis on two basic types of sprinkler system designs allowed by NFPA 13D a stand-alone residential sprinkler system and a multipurpose system using a network design. The life-cycle costs of the systems are studied in each of three NIST-designed prototypical houses: a 3 338 square foot two-story colonial with basement, a 2 257 square foot three-story townhouse, and a 1 171 square foot 1-story ranch. The economic analysis includes those elements of life-cycle cost that are unique to each design, such as installation and maintenance costs, consistent with ASTM E917-02. Installation plans, a comprehensive list of required components, and material costs were obtained from manufacturers and sprinkler system installers. NIST economists obtained data on an multipurpose network design and three stand-alone designs from manufacturers and sprinkler system installers. To these material cost data were added estimates of installation cost and design cost. In addition to the economic analysis of the sprinkler system designs, this report documents the collection and development of the cost data. The comparative analysis is applied to the cost data to determine which of the four proposed installations has the lowest estimated life-cycle cost. Estimated cost results for all installations are within a close range, and are dependent upon the decision to incorporate a backflow preventer in a stand-alone system, the markup on materials, and the system design. Both the cost data in this report and the cost-effectiveness analysis are intended to support a forthcoming study.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7277
Report Number


building economics, cost analysis, cost-effective decision, economic analysis, fire sprinkler, life-cycle cost


Madrzykowski, D. and Fleming, R. (2005), Economic Analysis of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed February 28, 2024)
Created December 1, 2005, Updated August 3, 2009