R2- And U 1 hour Seperation

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Which way are you calling this?

Poll ended at Tue May 30, 2006 4:58 pm

Yes allow it
No votes
No not allowed
Total votes : 8

R2- And U 1 hour Seperation

Postby JimW » Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 pm

A friend from the fire inspection side set this over asking questions.

I'm look to get some feed back for him. Please read and respond.

Our building and fire department have been researching the fire wall separation requirements for occupancies that are classified as "R2" and built under the International Building Code (IBC). These are typical row townhomes with private garages attached to them. The walls in question are for the separation of the private garage (classified as a "U") and the residential occupancy("R2"). It has been common for contractors to use the same requirements as for an R3 occupancy with these walls using 1/2" gyp board and a 20 minute rated door. Until our building department came across the issue I believe the separation to be ok.

What has been found now is that the separation between and R2 and a U is suppose to be a true ONE- hour separation, both horizontally and vertically according to table 302.3.3 of the IBC. There are no exceptions noted. There are exceptions for an R3 occupancy which the code sends you to exception #2 of 302.3.3. Because there is no exception for the R2, a rated one-hour wall, door, and self closure is required. Also required is rigid piping, fire caulking etc.

Several of us have adopted the 1306 provision of the building code that lowers the sprinkler thresholds of certain occupancies. Those occupancies that are exempt from 1306 may still need to be sprinklered under the IBC provisions in Chapter 9. 1306 only requires a lower threshold on certain occupancies (A,B,F,M,E and R's). Check the IBC for those that are exempt from 1306 before you pass the plan off as no sprinklers required.

Here is my question to you. There is currently nothing in the code that lowers the one-hour rating for the R2 to U separation. Because our garages are sprinklered I am for allowing the 1/2- inch gyp board and giving the contractor credit for the sprinklers. What do you think? And I believe this could be called an alternate design?

Your comments would be appreciated.
Jim W
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 3:03 pm
Location: St Paul

Firewall Separation

Postby John Edberg » Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:47 am

The way I read the code, yes this would require a one hour separation with ditto on the door. I think your stretching the alternate provision, because you do not have a true NFPA 13 system, only a biproduct of the NFPA 13D system.
John Edberg

R-2/U separation

Postby Guest » Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:43 am

The BCSU has an interp on this particular issue that is posted on the website. This specific question was asked by BAM back in May 2003 - as it related to the IBC. Basically, the interp states that a 1-hour separation is required. Take a look at the website and the interp. If you can't find it, let me know. (TJ signed the interp, so it is not a "staff" opinion.)
Paul Heimkes

Postby Steve N » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:24 pm

This has been a 1 hour separation for me, sprinklered or not. If you decide to use sprinkler and 1/2" as an alt, your call.
Steve N

Postby David Swan » Tue Oct 31, 2006 4:19 pm

The State has addressed this clearly. Go to http://www.doli.state.mn.us/pdf/bc_opin ... y_bldg.pdf to find Tom Joachim's opinion in May 2003.
In that opinion, he recognizes no further reduction is possible (to the one-hour requirement of Table 302.3.3)
There is very similar language in a document of a response to BAM's question on this same issue: Go to http://www.doli.state.mn.us/bc_opinion_ ... am_r2_html
David Swan
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 3:28 pm
Location: City of Maplewood, MN

Postby Kyle Klatke » Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:22 pm

I believe you answerd your own question in the second paragragh,second sentance when you said there are no exceptions noted. I personally would not consider the 1/2 hr seperation an alternate method. This is just my opinion.
Kyle Klatke
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:10 pm

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