Portfolio | FARS at 555 Tower

Taking safety to new heights

Project Overview

555 108th NE is a 42-story office tower that will be not only the tallest, but also one of the safest buildings in Bellevue when complete with the new requirement for firefighter air replenishment systems (FARS).

Services Performed
  • Bellevue, WA

Downtown Bellevue has had a tremendous amount of change over the last six years, as the state's third-largest city, we have seen height limits increase to 600 FT, population jump more than tenfold, and building requirements become more stringent. With more than a dozen new high-rises slated to be built in the next few years, the City of Bellevue took several proactive steps to prepare for steady growth. One of these steps is to require firefighter air replenishment systems (FARS) in new buildings giving firefighters access to life-saving air supplied inside of the structure, just as water standpipes provide access to water.

UMC is working with Rescue Air to make 555 108th AVE NE not only the tallest structure but also one of the safest for patrons and first-responders. The FARS in the facility operates at very high pressures (5,000 psi and beyond) and all piping and joints must be able to withstand the testing pressures of more than 6,000 psi to operate at such high pressures—all joints require orbital welding.

With over 2,000 FT of half-inch stainless-steel piping on the project, that is a significant amount of welding in the shafts and walls. To reduce the overall number of joints in the system, UMC deviated from a more traditional install approach of straight pipe and fittings and instead purchased several large rolls of approved stainless-steel tubing. Using a tubing straightening jig built specifically for this project, long lengths of tubing could be installed without the need for fittings.



2k FT

½” stainless steel piping


Projected completion


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