UL, RJA partner

Collaboration to prevent hassles with AHJs
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
CHICAGO--In a move designed to save fire installers time and money, Underwriters Laboratories announced June 1 it had forged a new partnership with Rolf Jensen & Associates, a fire protection engineering and life safety consulting company. 
The partnership will help fire installers and building contractors ensure quick approval of projects by local AHJs (authorities having jurisdiction). Under the new arrangement, UL and RJA will work together during the design and construction phase of a project to help ensure that a project will meet all UL specifications, and thus, avoid any problems with getting the job approved by AHJs.
The partnership will be particularly helpful with international jobs, said Randy Tucker, executive vice president and chief technology officer for RJA. It will also be useful domestically, he said, because RJA has resources all over the country. 
Tucker explained how the partnership may help a fire installer. “It could be that a fire detection system is designed in a way that appears slightly beyond UL limitations,” he said. In that instance, RJA could do an “analysis of the project and demonstrate that it is in compliance with UL.” RJA would send its analysis to UL, which would issue a letter to the contractor for the local AHJ stating that the project is in compliance.
“It will save a lot of money for the contractor,” he said.  
Although UL and RJA have worked together over the past 40 years, this collaboration represents a new approach to working with consultants and contractors for UL, according to Tucker. “UL has partnerships with other [entities], but not with consultants and engineering firms like ours. It’s a new partnership approach for them [that will enable us to] leverage our capabilities together.”