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Fire Rated Code Update – 2012

This article offers a fire rated code update for 2012. It explains how 2012 International Building Code tables were revised to minimize misapplication of fire rated glazing and framing.

Fire Rated Code Update – 2012

by Diana San Diego

When it comes to fire rated glazing codes, architects need to familiarize themselves with the revised Chapter 7 tables in the 2012 International Building Code: 716.3, 716.5 and 716.6. These tables are significant step towards minimizing misapplications, because for the first time the IBC recognizes the difference between fire protective versus fire resistive glazing, and clearly outlines their allowed applications and limitations.

It’s important to note that these are not new code requirements, but rather a clarification of the 2006 and 2009 editions of the IBC. Even though the new tables will not be adopted locally until jurisdictions accept the 2012 IBC, they are useful today in nderstanding the 2006 and 2009 IBC glazing requirements. The requirements contained in the new tables have been effect since the 2006 IBC, and conform to those the National Fire Protection Association provided in thw 1999 and 2007 NFPA 80 editions, which are incorporated by reference in the 2012 IBC.

Also, previous editions if the code provided for an exception that allowed larger fire protective vision panels in fire rated doors used in exit enclosures and passageways when the building was fully sprinklered. The new 2012 IBC removes that sprinkler exception and now reads as follows:

Section 716.5.5.1 makes it clear that fire protective glazing cannot exceed 100 square inches. It further states that fire resistive glazing is allowed in excess of 100 square inches as longas it limits the temperature rise to 450 degrees F above ambient after 30 minutes of fire exposure.

Lastly, it is important for design professionals to understand that the listing agencies, such as Underwriters Laboratories and Intertek/Warnock-Hersey, do not list fire-rated glass products in accordance with the codes or limitations on their use. Instead, test agencies simply report the sizes and types of assemblies in which a product has beeb tested. Accordingly, listings cannot be relied on for determining accepted code applications.

Source:  Glass Magazine, May 2012

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