Author Archives: Mike Lehner

Just Like the Movies: Deluge Fire Systems

by Mike Lehner, P.E. and Paul Greenwalt, EIT This article is part of Wood Harbinger’s newsletter series. You know the scene. Action movie: Good guy running from the bad guys, gun shots, explosives, smoke. Fire starts in one small area and the ENTIRE fire sprinkler system begins dumping water on the building.

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The System That Cried Wolf: When to Believe the Fire Alarm

by Mike Lehner, P.E. This article is part of Wood Harbinger’s newsletter series. One of Aesop’s famous fables is “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” If you recall, the story tells of a young shepherd boy who cried out that a wolf was chasing the village sheep, and the villagers came running to help him, only […]

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The Fire Protection Obstacle Course Part 2: Five More “Gotchas” That Can Make or Break Your Project

by Mike Lehner, P.E. This article is part of Wood Harbinger’s newsletter series. In a previous edition of this newsletter, I introduced five “gotchas” related to fire protection systems that could wreak havoc on your project. This list, of course, is far from comprehensive, so I thought I’d follow up with a few more “gotchas” […]

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The Many Aspects of Fire Protection Design Analysis

by Mike Lehner, P.E. This article is part of Wood Harbinger’s newsletter series. The fire protection discipline covers a broad spectrum of systems and building design considerations. A fire protection engineer is knowledgeable about conventional fire suppression and fire alarm systems, egress systems (exits, exit door hardware, emergency lighting, exit signs, and wayfinding signage), building […]

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Tricks of the Trade for Hydraulic Calculation

by Mike Lehner, P.E. This article is part of Wood Harbinger’s newsletter series. NFPA 13, the standard for sprinkler system installations, requires that the sprinkler system designer perform a hydraulic calculation to verify that the system is sized correctly for its specific application. This involves determining the total friction losses in the system and ensuring […]

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Water Hammer: The “Belly Flop” of Piping Systems

by Mike Lehner, P.E. Water is a seemingly harmless thing, but in reality, it is quite a force to be reckoned with. Have you ever done a belly flop in a swimming pool and felt the pain afterwards? While the pain of a belly flop results from the surface tension of the water resisting your […]

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Save Your Data! Fire Protection for Data Centers

by Mike Lehner, P.E. This article is part of Wood Harbinger’s newsletter series. Many of us have experienced the instant dread and gut-wrenching anguish of such an error message appearing on our computer screens, and escalating frustration as realization sets in; now you get to type that report all over again. Multiply those feelings by […]

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Canary in the Computer Room: How Smoke Detection Systems Can Save the Day

by Mike Lehner, P.E. This article is part of Wood Harbinger’s newsletter series. Data centers and computer server rooms play a pivotal role in an organization’s infrastructure. System failures can wreak havoc in lost time and money. A fire in a data center or server room is the ultimate bad day. Wouldn’t it be great […]

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Playing with Fire: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for Fire Protection

by Mike Lehner, P.E. This article is part of Wood Harbinger’s newsletter series. Fire is a chemical reaction that can take on a life of its own, growing and spreading wherever it can. It symbolizes different things in our lives, with its ability to provide warmth and light as well as its power to destroy. […]

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