New construction buildings that are 55-79 feet tall that are permitted after February 1, 2019, must have a manual dry standpipe in each enclosed stairwell. Every hose valve needs a sign that says “MANUAL DRY STANDPIPE”.

A manual dry standpipe is a new system type in the fire code, separate from the existing dry type in section 15-16-760. A manual dry standpipe is a system “in which a permanent water supply is not attached to the system, and which requires water from a Fire Department pumper to be pumped into the system through the Fire Department connection in order to meet the system demand”.

Th requirements for buildings of heights shorter than 55 feet and 80 feet or taller are unchanged. The existing two system types (wet, dry) are also unchanged.

The Chicago City Council adopted this change on January 23, 2019. The ordinance, O2018-9443, amends sections 15-16-090, 15-16-760, and 15-16-1115 of the fire code chapter of the Municipal Code of Chicago.

Additionally, section 15-16-1170 was amended to say that manual dry standpipes aren’t subject to the $50 per standpipe fee examined during an annual inspection.

Architects and fire protection engineers should take note of the ordinance’s other changes to these standpipe sections that affect high-rise building exceptions, exhibition areas, and buildings built prior to January 20, 1950.

Wondering how this affects you? Talk to one of MAPS’s architects or fire protection engineers.

Manual dry standpipe requirement for mid-rise buildings introduced earlier this year is replaced by the modernized building code provisions on December 1, 2019.

Photo of a dry standpipe by Travis Wise.