fire rating

Restrained versus Unrestrained Members

by EVstudio AEP July 26, 2019
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In the last several months, I’ve had many questions about what constitutes a “restrained” concrete member, and what constitutes an “unrestrained” concrete member.  The volume has been such that I’ve decided to take a break from my usual post-tensioned discussions and lay this out. This […]

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Elevator Machine Rooms Need To Be Rated Too

by Sean O'Hara, AIA, LEED AP January 18, 2019

The International Building Code requires that elevator machine rooms and machinery spaces have at least the same rating as the elevator shaft. The openings into the machine room also need to be protected with doors having a fire rating equal to the fire rating of […]

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The Easiest Place to Find Fire Rated Assemblies is the Gypsum Association Manual

by Sean O'Hara, AIA, LEED AP June 10, 2016

After several projects of fighting with the UL Manual (Underwriters Laboratories) and the International Building Code I discovered that there is a much easier visual way to find fire rated assemblies. I use the Gypsum Association Fire Resistance Design Manual. Everything is visual and it […]

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Rating of Floors and Ceilings of Exit Enclosures

by EVstudio AEP March 24, 2016

(Disclaimer: Code Analysis especially for egress and fire ratings is very building specific and a solution that works for one building may not work for another.) In a recent project I set about to solve a question that occurs quite frequently in multi-story buildings. Can […]

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Dwelling Unit Separation Wall at Duplexes and Townhomes (2 Hour Fire Wall)

by Sean O'Hara, AIA, LEED AP December 15, 2015

The International Residential Code requires that in townhomes and duplexes, each unit needs to be separated from the next by fire walls. In addition each unit needs to be self supporting where the collapse of one unit will not damage the neighboring unit. In my […]

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Latch Required in Fire Doors – Opening Protectives

by Sean O'Hara, AIA, LEED AP September 8, 2015

Under the International Building Code, fire doors and swinging pairs of fire doors must be provided with an active bolt that can secure the door when locked. One spot where this could be easily overlooked is restrooms shared between spaces where the restrooms do not […]

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2009 International Code Manuals Available for FREE Viewing Online

by EVstudio AEP January 29, 2010

Electronic versions of the Code books for the 2009 International Codes including the 2009 IBC (International Building Code), the 2009 IRC (International Residential Code) and the 2009 IFC (International Fire Code) have been made available for free viewing by the ICC (International Code Council). The […]

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Construction Types V-A and V-B in the International Building Code

by Sean O'Hara, AIA, LEED AP July 20, 2009

Section 6 of the International Building Code defines types of construction for buildings. The type of construction that you select is important because it tells you how big and how tall a building you can construct for your occupancy. For small commercial projects, the most […]

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Achieving a 2 Hour Floor Ceiling Assembly From the Underside Only

by Sean O'Hara, AIA, LEED AP March 21, 2009

One of our current projects is a change of occupancy where the change will require a 2 hour rating between the main level A-2 occupancy and the R-2 occupancy above. The challenge in these situations is that you do not want to tear into the […]

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Fire Door Protection Ratings May Be Less Than the Rating For the Wall Assembly

by Sean O'Hara, AIA, LEED AP January 12, 2009

There is a common assumption that a wall with a certain fire rating will require a door with an equal rating. While the door will generally need to be rated it oftentimes requires a lower rating. These are the numbers from the 2006 International Building […]

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