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Russ Davis


How a developer cost-effectively sprinklered a community's new homes

Developer Russ Davis was able to cost-effectively sprinkler 140 homes in a new development

Sprinklering all 140 new homes within a new, 35-acre development in Greenville, South Carolina, initially seemed like a smart decision to developer Russ Davis. Then he got an estimate from a contractor. "It was high," Davis said, "so we decided to take it out."

Enter the local fire service, who reviewed the development's plans and alerted Davis that if he were to install sprinklers in all of the homes, he would benefit from a series of "trade-ups," including a reduction in the number of fire hydrants needed in the development. A sprinkler installer surfaced who was able to cost-effectively install the devices in accordance with NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes.

Davis told attendees at NFPA's 2015 Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Boston that the sprinkler installation cost was a paltry $1 per sprinklered square foot, which, in total, turned out to be 1.81 percent of the total construction cost. "There was no obvious downside to our investment," said Davis. "We can't find a reason not to [install sprinklers]."

To offset the cost of installation, Davis also noted that his tenants are only paying $9.80 a month extra in rental costs.

Watch this video case study of the Homestead at Hartness Development, and download Davis' summit presentation for more information.