Belle Isle Casino Sprinkler Replacement
The Belle Isle Casino opened in 1908 to replace the original wood casino building that was lost in a fire. In 2014 the state of Michigan leased Belle Isle from the city of Detroit and promised twenty million dollars in capital improvements within three years. The building name stems from the 19th-century term “casino” meaning a public gathering place for dancing, music, not related to gambling. The State regularly rents the facility to the public for weddings, meetings, and other events.
The project was driven by the need to replace a failing fire suppression system in the building. Inadequate maintenance and original installation errors had resulted in leaks and burst pipes. The project included replacing all of the fire sprinkler pipes and heads on all floors, installing a new fire pump, compressor, and generator, and installing a new fire alarm system. The new generator required the gas service to be upsized. Insulation was added and lighting replaced in 5,000 SF of the Second-Floor ceiling to comply with code and avoid adding sprinklers above the ceiling. In the main gathering areas where the original plaster ceilings remain, the design incorporated extended coverage sprinkler heads. This allowed for a reduction in the amount of exposed pipe within these historically significant areas. The pipe was arranged to maintain critical views within the space while providing code-compliant coverage.