Nortech Systems (Nortech) provided engineering services, with respect to fire and life safety, to Tony Fallon Architecture (Client) for the fit-up of an existing two-story building. The 36,000 square-foot building was modified to serve Sanctuary Medicinals (Sanctuary), a vertically-integrated medical-marijuana company.

Nortech partnered with the Client to mitigate hazardous conditions. Sanctuary presented a unique challenge as it was one of the first marijuana growing, processing, and extraction facilities in Massachusetts. However, its hazards are common to many existing industrial buildings. Hazards include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment,
  2. Elevated fuel loads,
  3. Extended paths of egress,
  4. Hazardous materials (in use and storage),
  5. High electrical loads,
  6. Operation-specific construction,
  7. Security doors,
  8. Solvent extractions, and
  9. Vapor-air mixtures.

The existing building was altered to comply with the Massachusetts State Building Code (780 CMR), specifically, the Eighth Edition, Base Volume, which adopts and amends the International Existing Building Code (IEBC). The building was also modified to comply with the Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code (527 CMR), which adopts and amends the Fire Code (NFPA 1). Massachusetts codes have been updated since the completion of this project. However, the building was designed to account for future requirements.