Fiber Water Tank Case Study

Contributor:  Robert Barcik,  Senior Project Manager at F.E. Moran Fire Protection
Writer:  Sarah Block, Marketing Director at The Moran Group

When a once defunct property was reinvigorated, F.E. Moran Fire Protection set out to conquer the challenge of designing and installing fire protection in a partially finished building with a new fire protection plan. Not any fire protection would do. An innovative solution was needed to meet the new requirements.

A Dream Realized

In 2004, the Waterview Tower broke ground. It was intended to be a mixed-use, 90-story tower that would house Shangri-La Hotel and luxury condos. However, the high-rise dream went into foreclosure in 2008 after reaching only 28 floors.

In July, 2011, the dream was reinvigorated when Related Midwest acquired the property and began building a 60-story luxury rental property with 504 units. The ground level was built with restaurants and retail space and the apartments had access to residential amenities on the 28th and 29th floors including an indoor pool, sun deck, fitness center, theater, game room, and party rooms. When it was time to install the fire protection, they called F.E. Moran Fire Protection. They not only installed the fire protection, but also a pioneering fiber water storage tank on the 26th floor.

Unique Problem, Innovative Answer

Because the property was already built through the 28th floor, adapting the new fire protection plan to the existing building proved difficult. The new fire protection plan required a water storage tank to be installed on the 26th floor. Since the building was already built through the 28th floor, the 26th floor was not adapted for this new need. F.E. Moran Fire Protection had to think outside the traditional steel tank method. They chose to utilize Fiber Technology Corporation's FTC FRP Panel Type Water Tank.

Another issue that arose was that this was F.E. Moran Fire Protection's first time using the fiber water tank. The fitters and designers needed to determine how to adapt the tank with the fire protection they were using and learn how to make it fit the specifications that fit the traditional water tank.

State-of-the-Art Solution

The fiber water tank is manufactured from SMC using hot pressed metal matched mold to make the material strong enough to have a long life with minimal maintenance. The tank design is very similar to fiberglass tanks, but they are stronger with a smooth inner surface that prevents algae and bacterial growth. Algae and bacteria growth can corrode fire sprinklers and cause them to fail in a fire event.

The major benefit of using the fiber water tank was that the tank used a modular system, enabling a tank of any size and shape to be constructed. F.E. Moran Fire Protection was able to bring the tank to the 26th floor piece by piece and assemble it in place.

It turned out that adapting the fiber water tank was easier than initially thought. The tank was light weight and was easily assembled by the fire sprinkler fitters, who had no previous experience with this type of tank.


F.E. Moran Fire Protection completed the commissioning of the fire protection system on March 27, 2014 with no issue. They were pleased with the ease of installation of the fiber water tank. Robert Barcik of F.E. Moran Fire Protection said, "Waterview Tower presented some exciting challenges that forced us to rethink our usual protocol. Getting the opportunity to use the new fiber water tank on this project gave us a great new option for future projects where traditional water tanks just won't cut it."

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