LKPB Engineers is well known as an MEP firm, offering services in Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing. But when you venture into our office, or look at a set of our plans for a project, you might find additional services like Medical Gas and Fire Protection System plans and specifications.


As you might expect, not all buildings will have Medical Gas systems. They are utilized in hospitals, clinics and learning facilities with simulation labs. Systems include: Oxygen, Medical Air (compressed air with correctly maintained dew point levels), Nitrous Oxide, Nitrogen, Instrument air/surgical air (to power surgical equipment), Carbon Dioxide, Medical vacuum, waste anesthesia gas disposal, and various mixtures of gases used for testing and calibrating. Any building that is in need of Medical Gas likely won’t have every type running through the walls however. Those decisions are made by the owner, and planned by the engineers. The installation includes alarms that will monitor pressure, station outlets to make connections to equipment in various parts of the facility and Area Zone Service Valves for emergency shut-off at the entrances to all departments.


Fire sprinkler systems are required by the building code for most larger commercial and residential buildings. In addition to code-mandated sprinkler systems, sprinkler systems are also provided as a less expensive trade-off for certain construction features. So in cases where the building code doesn’t require a fire sprinkler system, it still can make economic sense to provide one.  Depending on the type of construction, sprinkler systems can also be utilized to make a building either taller or larger than would otherwise be allowed


There are four main types of fire sprinkler systems, these are; Pre-action, Dry Pipe, Wet Pipe and Deluge. Careful consideration goes into deciding which type of system will work best in each building/situation. Fire sprinklers work alongside fire alarm systems that detect smoke and fire rated construction which compartmentalizes fire hazards into manageable sections to provide an integrated fire protection package for the building.


Taller buildings and storage facilities present even greater fire protection challenges and may require fire pumps and even on-site water storage if the municipal water supply cannot adequately serve the sprinkler system.


These systems and how they integrate with the rest of the building are a complex puzzle. The brain at LKPB behind these systems is Lewis Anderson. A registered fire protection engineer (FPE) and ASPE certified plumbing designer (CPD) with over two decades of mechanical engineering and fire protection design experience. Lewis joined LKPB in 1996 and is an Associate with the firm. He designs fire protection, medical gas and plumbing systems for new construction as well as for the renovation, upgrade, and expansion of existing buildings and portrays them for construction along with his team of fellow engineers and design technicians. His responsibilities extend throughout the design, bidding and construction phases of a project.


Over the years Lewis has led the design of his specialized services on significant projects at LKPB, including: The University of Minnesota Rec Center Expansion, Como Park Polar Bear Exhibit, Middlebury College Davis Library, the Mayo Clinic Dan Abraham Health Living Center, and many others.


Other specialties he is capable of engineering include: smoke management systems, high piled storage analysis, special hazard protection, building/fire code analysis and swimming pool design.


LKPB Engineers, designing systems for comfort, convenience and of course, safety!