BKM is the engineer of record for the redevelopment of the Maryland School for the Blind Campus. The new campus plan called for the design of two new classroom type buildings at 22,000 square feet each and two new residence buildings at 5,000 square feet each.
The SOLAR classroom and the LIFE classroom buildings are both two-story structures, including classrooms and office areas. The SOLAR and LIFE residence buildings were designed to house students and provide dining and lounge facilities.
The fire alarm systems for this new campus were designed to be tied into a central command center; however, the Maryland School for the Blind personnel requested a “private mode notification” system per NFPA 72. The “private mode notification” system allows for the notification of staffed areas that are manned 24/7 before the system alarms the center command for dial-out to the fire department. The notification system allows the staff to assess if an actual emergency is valid, allowing the staff to assist all students that require help exiting the building in a calm and controlled fashion before the fire department arrives.