|Gary Hamilton, DRI, (FM)
||Hamilton Benchmark Inc.
|Don Murphy, DRI, (FM)
||PPMI Firestop, Inc.
||Top Build - Insulation Contractors (ICI)
|Tracy Smith, DRI (UL)
||Firestop Southwest, Inc.
|Jay McGuire, DRI (UL)
||Fire Stop Technologies, Inc.
Code Committee Charter
The FCIA Code Committee is working with various influences important to the Firestopping and Effective Compartmentation industries.
The Code Committee's objectives are:
- Monitor the required use of firestopping in the model building codes, and advocate for the proper "Design, Installation, Inspection and Maintenance" of firestopping for fire and life safety. The DIIM includes the use of specialty firestop contractors, independent third party inspection, and systematic maintenance.
- Provide FCIA Code change proposals when necessary and defend the industry's position against proposals submitted that would adversely affect fire and life safety through Firestopping and Effective Compartmention.
- Manage and work with the FCIA Code Consultant, form relationships at ICC and NFPA, work on the NFPA Fire Protection Features Committee representing FCIA.
Committee News - 2011-2015
FCIA's Code Committee worked during the 2012-2013 Code Development Cycle to bring clarity to many sections of the International Buildng Code.
The Committee from 2012-2014 has been working on Code Proposals for the 2018 International Code Council Family of Codes in 2014, submitted January 12, 2015.
- Contractor Qualifications
- Installation Details
- Identification Systems
Look for a complete report at the Spring FCIA Education and Committee Action Conference.
Committee News April & November 2010-2011
Bill Koffel, Koffel Associates and FCIA's Code Committee has been working on a long range plan for the ICC 2015 Code Development Cycle, along with IAPMO, NFPA and other code development organization plans. The committee presented it's long range plan to the FCIA Membership in both April and November of 2011. Once approved by the FCIA Board, the document will be part of this area of the website.
Look for more on this in the very near future. ICC Code Development Proposals are due January 3, 2012, while deadlines for other groups are much later.
Committee News February 28, 2010
The FCIA Code Committee has been very busy the past year. With the 2 week long ICC Code Development Committee Hearings in Baltimore, Oct. 24-Nov. 11, 2009, and public comments submitted February 8, we have been teleconferencing and meeting face to face to forward the industry's initatives.
ICC Building Code Final Action hearings are May 15-20, Dallas, and again in September.
FCIA's Code Reports can be found in FCIA's Enewsletters and also in Life Safety Digest, Spring 2010 Issue!
Committee News January 10, 2009
There's a lot going on in the FCIA Code Committee, as the ICC 2007-2008 Code Development Process wraps up and 2009-2010 kicks off. FCIA's Code Committee has been involved in the following Code Activities:
- International Code Council
- International Building & Fire Code Committee Hearings and Final Action Hearings
- ICC Code Technology Committees (CTC)
- Vertical Openings
- Balanced Fire Protection
- Features (Height and Area)
- NFPA Fire Protection Features Committee
- International Association of Mechanical Officials International Plumbing and Mechanical Codes.
Code development work is a very long term project, as there is a long process to implimenting code development. Watch FCIA's Enewsletter and Life Safety Digest for continuous updates about code development.
Information updated Feb. 15, 2008
FCIA has been working with the ICC Height and Area, Balanced Fire Protection and Vertical Fire and Smoke Migration Study Groups to bring the positive impact of firestopping and compartmentation to the Study Groups…while continuing work in the NFPA code development process.
International Code Council Codes - Code Development
ICC 2007/2008 Code Cycle
FCIA's ICC Code Change Proposals were Submitted August 20. 2007 for the 2008 hearings, that will result in the 2009 code.
FCIA Focused on fire, smoke and other resistance rated compartmentation definition, ‘certified firestop contractors by an approved agency’, independent inspection, shop drawings' and others to improve reliability of firestopping and effective compartmentation.
ICC Study Group Participation
ICC Height and Area Study Group – FCIA attended all meetings in 2007 for this important group, who is determining how big, and how tall buildings can be with our without fire resistance rated compartmentation and structural hourly ratings.
ICC Vertical Fire and Smoke Spread Mitigation (now Vertical Openings) – FCIA has continued to with the committee to develop code language that makes sense for areas where open stairways transmit between floors in occupancies where they are allowed. FCIA is concerned that this does not add to safety, by reducing compartmentation through putting big, (and small) unfilled holes in structures.
Balanced Fire Protection – This committee may be chaired by the Height and Area Committee chairs, and is studying just what 'Balanced Fire Protection really is'.
NFPA 5000 / 101 – FCIA's Bill McHugh was added as principal, with Bob LeClair as the Alternate to Bill. Bill McHugh attended the meetings to present code public comments on inspection AND contractor qualification / approval standards, which was well received by the committee.
Canada Building Codes – FCIA has started research on this Code through FCIA MOP Update process.
Education – FCIA is using it’s Compartmentation Symposium and FCIA / UL Total Fire Protection Systems Symposiums to educate the building officials and architects about effective fire resistance rated compartmentation, sprinklers, alarms and detection. See 2008’s program plans in Marketing for more information.
To join the committee, contact Bob LeClair, Chair.
Information updated on Feb 15, 2007
2006 & 2007 Code Committee - Bob LeClair, Chair
FCIA’s Code Committee has represented FCIA and worked with Effective Compartmentation partners in several code development committee meetings, final action hearings and ICC / NFPA functions. FCIA is active at ICC’s International Building Code Development for Effective Compartmentation and Firestopping. FCIA continues to promote the “Design, Install, Inspect and Maintain” concepts that helps compartmentation perform when called upon. FCIA has worked to build standards for each of these components, to build reliability of Effective Compartmentation.
The Design, Install, Inspect and Maintain philosophy can provide better fire and life safety when called upon in the event of a fire. Below are the specifics of the program for the firestopping and effective compartmentation industry:
Design – Professional Specifiers and Designers specify tested and listed firestop and effective compartmentation systems.
Install – FCIA Member, FM Approved and/or UL Qualified specialty firestop and effective compartmentation contractors install systems using the quality management process. FM 4991 and the UL Qualified Firestop Contractor Program specify the contractor quality process for fire and life safety.
Inspect – Qualified inspectors review firestopping and effective compartmentation work to inspection standards. In Firestopping, ASTM E 2174 & ASTM E 2393, Standards for the Inspection of Firestop Systems are the inspection process protocol documents.
Maintain – FCIA’s Firestop Industry Manual of Practice outlines maintenance of firestop systems. NFPA 80 sets the standard for swinging and rolling fire doors, fire dampers and fire glazing systems maintenance.
ICC Code Change Hearings
In the compartmentation industry, there were several code changes proposed to make the building and fire codes better. The National Association of State Fire Marshals, ICC Code Chapters throughout the country, California Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Union of Fire Fighters, and those industries affected by code change, were all present in Orlando, Fla. Sept. 20 – Oct. 3.
NASFM Corridor Code Change Proposal
The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) submitted a code change that called for returning fire-resistance-rated corridors as they were in the Uniform Building Code (UBC). In code change E-128 during the Means of Egress debates, NASFM’s Bert Polk proposed that all corridors in Table 1017.1 become at least one hour fire-resistance-rated systems and assemblies. This would provide safer egress for building occupants, while allowing firefighters protected access into the building fire area, regardless of where it was located in the building.
Testimony in support came from the Lorin Neyer, California’s Office of Statewide Health, Planning and Development (OSHPD). FCIA’s Bill McHugh also testified with statistics showing that both sprinklers and compartmentation are needed in buildings to support total fire protection. The committee voted against the code proposal.
In a related change, Neyer submitted the same type of change, but in only healthcare occupancies, rather than all occupancies. This proposal was also voted down. FCIA submitted nine code change proposals focused on three things—a definition for compartmentation; proper design, installation, inspection and maintenance; and systems in the building and fire codes. FCIA requested a definition for compartmentation, used language from Chapter 9 Sprinkler Fire Protection asking that compartmentation be ‘properly designed, installed, inspected and maintained’ in the first set of changes. The third code change was simply to add the word systems to Fire-Resistance-Rated construction Chapter 7, reflecting what the real world refers to our industry, which is tested and listed systems.
All three concepts were supported by NASFM, California Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Chiefs, Door Safety Council, Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association plus the Door and Hardware Institute and Door Safety Council. FCIA’s code change proposal for adding ‘systems’ concept to the code was successful and passed through committee.
FCIA Supports IFC Code Change
FCIA was pleased to partner with the FCIA manufacturer members who are part of the International Firestop Council (IFC), to develop ASTM E 2174 & ASTM E 2393, Standards of the Inspection of Penetrations and Joint Systems. The IFC proposed these standards be added to the International Building Code, Chapter 35, but were voted down this cycle because the assembly didn’t believe they should be mandated.
Another code change from IFC attempted to add identification systems to fire and smoke resistance rated compartmentation with signs or stenciling in a manner acceptable to the building official. The committee disapproved the code change, stating that there is no good reason to add them.
The ICC 2006/2007 Code Cycle Starts
The International Code Council’s (ICC) code development process started with code change proposals, submitted March 24. Changes were heard at committee meetings, September 17 – October 3, 2006, in Orlando, FL.
The committees represent various disciplines from Fire Safety, Means of Egress, Energy, General and other categories. Consisting of about 20 people, code change committees include industry representatives, building officials and fire marshals. The committee hearing process is dynamic. Each committee hears a proposal from an individual or organization for two minutes, testimony in support of the proposal for one minute, testimony in opposition for one minute, then rebuttal and re-rebuttal if needed. After the committee discusses the proposal and shares information with the assembly, a vote is taken to approve or disapprove the proposal.
A floor vote can be called if there is disagreement with the committee’s decision, with all in attendance allowed to vote.
Public comments can be submitted if an individual or group disagrees with a committee action on a particular proposal. Public Comments are due Jan. 24. After being published in manuscripts available at ICC’s website, at http://www.iccsafe.org, the public comments are debated publicly at Final Action Hearings May 19-27 in Rochester, N.Y.
The debate takes place in front of the complete assembly of building officials, fire marshals, and the industry. However, only building officials and fire marshals are allowed to vote.
Successful code change proposals become part of the 2007 supplement. The next code change cycle starts with proposals due Aug. 20.
Code Technology Committee
ICC’s Board of Directors recognized the need to have small groups study topics outside the code development process, in an in depth manner. The ICC Board appointed a “Code Technology Committee” to study several issues. Current issues include Terrorism Resistant Buildings, Climbable Guards, Carbon Monoxide Detectors, Height and Area Tables from Chapter 5 of the International Building Code, Balanced Fire Protection, Fire and Smoke Mitigation and other topics.
Height and Area Table Debate
There were several code change proposals by various groups to change the ICC Height and Area Tables in Chapter 5 of the International Building Code. In a move to try and consolidate the proposals and attempt to develop a single multi-party code change public comment, the proponents agreed to meet separately as a study group under the ICC Code Technology Committee as the Height and Area Study Group. FCIA has participated in the ICC CTC Height and Area Table Study Group meetings participating in Chicago, IL, Phoenix, AZ and Irvine, CA
FCIA and our friends in the effective compartmentation industry have organized well, bringing the story that the safe buildings’ statistics produced over the past 30 years in many occupancies are a result of BOTH Effective Compartmentation and Sprinkler Systems. Other associations that participate in the Effective Compartmentation effort from time to time include the Fire Rated Glazing Industry, Door and Hardware Institute, Door and Access Systems Association, SMACNA, Portland Cement Association, Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment and Control and the International Firestop Council.
FCIA Code Consultant Bill Koffel, Koffel Associates, brought information to the ICC Height and Area discussions in Chicago about the NFPA 5000 Height and Area Study during the NFPA Code Development Process several years ago. NFPA reviewed the option of using Effective Compartmentation as a way to increase height of buildings. This started a discussion about Effective Compartmentation where the term was used time after time during a full day discussion.
Building Officials and Fire Marshals from the National Association of State Fire Marshals and the State of California expressed their concern that Effective Compartmentation in corridors and occupancy separations have been removed, using sprinklers as the only means of fire protection.
Although the fire marshals and building officials believe that sprinklers have an excellent record of success, they were not comfortable removing fire and smoke barriers from buildings.
Balanced Fire Protection
FCIA has participated in the Balanced Fire Protection debates in 2006. When the ICC Height and Area Table Study Group was formed, many members were from the Balanced Fire Protection Group. Therefore, there was not much accomplished in the Balanced Fire Protection debate.
Fire and Smoke Mitigation
During the ICC CTC Height and Area Table Study Group discussions, it was brought to the surface by Greg Keith, Code Consultant, that a review of Chapter 7 of the ICC International Building Code may be needed. Greg Keith, Carl Baldassarra, Schirmer Engineering, Inc., Bill McHugh, FCIA and Vickie Lovell, InterCode, Inc., code consultant are meeting to understand how the chapter can serve fire and life safety better.
NFPA Code Change Cycle Starts
FCIA Lifetime Member Kathy Taraba, attended the NFPA Fire Protection Features Meeting to participate in the NFPA “Report on Proposals” process in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Nov. 1-3. Taraba supported proposals by the FCIA Members who are part of the International Firestop Council to add requirements for ASTM E 2174, ASTM E 2393, Standards for Inspection of Penetrations and Joint Firestop Systems, to the NFPA 5000 and 101 Annex Chapter. ASTM E 2307 was added to the Annex as well. Another proposal to bring smoke-resistance-rated construction a quantifiable “L” Rating of <5cfm/sf opening area was disapproved by the committee.
NFPA Report on Comments (ROC) Process
Public comments on these proposals also take place in a unique process. After the NFPA ROP has received the necessary approvals, there is a 60-day comment period, during which time anyone may submit a comment on the proposed changes in the ROP. The committee then reconvenes at the end of the 60-day period and decides how to act on all comments. Once again, the meeting is open to anyone who wishes to address the committee on a particular public comment. A two-thirds approval vote by letter ballot of the members of the committee eligible to vote is again required for approval of actions on the comment, and the committee must again publish reasons for revising or rejecting any public comments in a new report. This report is called the Report on Comments (ROC) and is available to anyone for review for a seven-week period. Visit NFPA’s website http://www.nfpa.org to learn more about the process.
FCIA Goals for 2007
International Code Council –
Code Development –
- ICC 2006/2007 Code Cycle - Prepare, present public comments on code changes submitted but disapproved at the ICC Code Development Hearings in September, 2006.
- ICC 2007/2008 Code Development Cycle – Develop code change proposals for the August submission.
*Committees and Councils
*Height and Area – Participate in this important activity to protect introduce effective compartmentation into the discussion.
*Fire and Smoke Mitigation – FCIA was appointed to the committee to participate to help build a better ICC IBC Chapter 7.
*Balanced Fire Protection – Continue participation in this important discussion.
*NFPA 5000 / 101 – Monitor the code development process, participate where it makes sense. Introduce the contractor qualification programs to the NFPA Codes.
- Fire Protection Features Committee – Introduce the firestop contractor qualification programs to this group.
- Canada – Learn how FCIA can affect the code development process in Canada.
- Education – Work with the FCIA Education Committee to develop tools that the code committee can use to present to building officials & fire marshals throughout North America.
*Compartmentation Symposium - Continue to present this important piece wherever we can present it, with building officials, fire marshals and specifiers, designers as key audiences.
*Firestopping Quality Process - Use this program to educate inspectors about standards developed for our effective compartmentation and firestopping industry.
FCIA Code Committee 2005 Results - Bob LeClair, FCIA 2005 Code Committe Chair
FCIA Code Committee Visable
FCIA’s Code Committee continues to be very visible at the International Code Council, International Building Code & Code Technology Committee and International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Committee Meetings and Final Action Hearings.
Industry Coalition Victorious
A significant victory in 2005 was that FCIA defeated, with an industry coalition including the International Firestop Council (IFC),3M Fire Protection Products, Minnesota & Illinois Building Officials, the National Roofing Contractors Association and FCIA Code Consultant, Bill Koffel a pipe fitters union proposal to require a journeyman plumber to install firestopping around piping penetrations. This would have limited the labor force a firestopping contractor could use to journeymen plumbers. See below for more specifics...
Report on ICC's 2005 Final Action Hearings
– The International Code Council conducted its Final Action Hearings, September 28 – Oct. 2, 2005 in Detroit’s (MI) Cobo Hall. FCIA supported several code change proposals for Firestopping and Effective Compartmentation. Working with a coalition including the International Firestop Council (IFC), Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment and Control, (AFSCC) and National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) and others, FCIA testified on several code change proposals moved in the code development process.
The changes proposed ASTM E 2174 & ASTM E 2393 Inspection becoming a requirement in codes, labeling of fire resistance rated walls, and language to restore compartmentation. These code proposals were heard at final action hearings because public comment was submitted by IFC attempting to overturn the Code Committee Hearings denial of the code proposal previously in February, 2005. For results of committee hearings, see report below.
The results of the hearings were that none of the above changes passed the full assembly in Detroit. Firestopping Inspection, Labeling, and also the "T" Rating proposals were defeated by the full code assembly.
Proposals that made it into the 2006 International Building Code include:
- Firestop Systems "L" Ratings now required by code - <5cfm/sf opening area is not a requirement.
- Perimeter Fire Containment - ASTM E 2307 & ASTM E 119 Testing for Perimeter Fire Containment was added.
- Firestop Systems can now be used in 'less than one (1) hour fire resistance rated assemblies. This includes code requirements for 1/2 hour rated assemblies.
- UL 2221 and ASTM E2336 Standards accepted for Grease Duct usage
Compartmentation Code Changes
There were several code change proposals by AFSCC and NASFM that were heard again at the ICC Final Action Hearings in Detroit, September 2005, due to the public comment process. At these hearings, the NASFM Group, including several State Fire Marshals and the Ruben Grijalva - State Fire Marshal from California, testified strongly that compartmentation is needed in addition to other fire protection features. Since California has earthquakes which can render electrical and water services usesless, compartmentation is needed to be the primary fire protection feature in buildings, according to NASFM testimony.
The only change of significance for compartmentation of the several submitted was the creation of a safe haven in high rise buildings for handicapped individuals. The National Institute for Standards & Technology, (NIST) estimates this handicapped population to be about 6% of occupants.
With only one change for Compartmentation, the fire protection change in ICC’s 2006 International Building Code seemed to be focused on structural steel hourly ratings in high rise buildings. Fire resistance ratings on higher floors have been increased from one hour to three, providing more protection for structural steel in high rise construction.
FCIA supports code changes where effective compartmentation is a vital part of total fire protection in buildings.
FCIA at ICC Committee Hearings - February, 2005
- FCIA Testified with FCIA Code Consultant, Bill Koffel, Koffel Associates, IFC and other industry leaders and consultants at the ICC International Building Code Committee Hearings in Cincinnati, OH from Feb. 23 - 27, 2005. Together, FCIA and industry partners defeated the proposal that would have required a journeyman plumber to install firestopping around piping.
There were several other positive accomplishments for Fire and Life Safety through Firestopping at the committee hearings. Here's a brief summary:
- "L" / Air Leakage Ratings - Following FCIA's try 2 years ago, Richard Licht's (IFC) code change for "L" Rating of <5cfm/sf opening area in smoke barriers, passed the committee vote. This "L Rating requirement will become part of the International Building Code's 2006 edition as there were no objections at the Final Action Hearings, September, 2005.
- ASTM E 2174 & ASTM E 2393 Inspection - Also following FCIA's move from a few years ago, IFC's proposal to add inspection as a code requirement was not successful. Cost to implement was cited as a reason by the committee. FCIA believes that the Quality Process is tested and listed firestopping systems installed by FCIA Member, Approved Contractors, inspected to ASTM E 2174 & ASTM E 2393 Protocol, and maintained.Look for FCIA to submit a code proposal in the next cycle to promote this "Firestopping Quality Process" concept.
-"T" Ratings - Achieving equal "F" and "T" Ratings has been a 'hot issue' in our industry. HILTI's code change for limiting “T” Rating requirements only to where penetrating items come in contact with non-combustibles on the cold side of the assembly was accepted by the committee, but rejected at the Final Action Hearings. The code proposal as written asked for no "T" Rating where the penetrating item did not come in contact with combustibles on the cold side of the assembly...a very difficult situation to enforce as it's hard to control when paper, boxes, or other combustibles are stored close to a penetrating item.
An exception still exists allowing the use of grout full thickness of the assembly around the penetrating item through a concrete or concrete masonry wall, where no “T” Rating is required.
- Standard for Plumbing Installers for Firestopping - FCIA Code Consultant Bill Koffel, FCIA, IFC, 3M, Minnesota Building Officials, the National Roofing Contractors Association, and others in supported FCIA's objections to this standard that required 4 years plumbing experience to install firestopping around plumbing pipe penetrations. The standard, although ANSI Approved, promoted one trade in code and does not recognize the true driver of Fire and Life Safety....the Specialty Firestop Contractor Firm who is qualified to educate employees, has insurance, has trained personnel and accepts the business risk for the firestopping performed by the Firm on the project.
Other Code Proposals - The Committees accepted the addition of both ASTM E 119 and ASTM E 2307 for Perimeter Fire Protection Systems, UL 2221 and ASTM E2336 for Grease Ducts, and the use of firestop systems products in less than one hour rated assemblies. This protects those 1/2 hour assemblies that are now part of codes in certain occupancies.
For Effective Compartmentation to work, Firestopping must be part of the fire resistance rated assembly regardless of whether the rating is 4 hours or 15 minutes. FCIA Code Consultant Bill Koffel led FCIA, IFC and others, as we were also able to keep the floor fire rating 'continuous'to the outside edge of a building perimeter, as required by current codes. The committee did not accept a program to add labeling requirements for fire resistance rated assemblies at this time.
Code proposals for more compartmentation and structural protection through reinsertion of Height and Area Tables from the UBC Codes were not accepted by committees.
Report from IAPMO Hearing on ASME A-112.01 Standard for Firestop Installers
FCIA Executive Director Bill McHugh attended International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) Hearings in Denver, CO, May, 2005. FCIA testified against a motion by the United Association Pipe Fitting Union (UA) and Cavanaugh Consulting to have all pipes that are firestopped in buildings be installed only by journeymen plumbers required by code mandate. The UA used an ANSI standard from ASME, which FCIA objected to during its development. IFC’s code consultant Tony Crimi made a public comment against this proposal as well, objecting to the UA’s move. At the IAPMO Final Hearings in New Mexico, Sept. 27, 2005, the vote by the complete IAPMO Conference was about 224 to 3 or 4, in favor IFC’s public comment and FCIA’s testimony that the code is not to determine who does what work in the field. Speaking against the UA motion was Arnie Rodio, a California plumbing contractor who stated that others perform firestop services, not necessarily plumbers. He was also concerned about the liability that this code would add to plumbing contractors since they would be forced into the firestopping business. The California Pipe Trades (union) representative also testified in support of FCIA Contractors and Manufacturers. Another person, from Oregon, mentioned that the qualification of workers is a licensing issue, not a code issue. This same move was attempted by the UA at the ICC Hearings in Cincinnati, OH last February, and failed there too. FCIA, IFC, 3M, the National Roofing Contractors Association, Building Officials from Minnesota and Illinois, plus Bill Koffel, Koffel Assoc. testified and won a vote against the move at ICC, successfully.
FCIA at ICC Code Technology Committee (CTC) Meetings
– FCIA attended the International Code Council CTC Hearings in Detroit September 22 & 23, 2005, along with the Door & Hardware Insititute, & AFSCC.
The CTC Committee debated the method that will be used to evaluate the passive fire protection and active suppression (sprinkler) trade offs in codes. There will be several more hearings in 2006 to discuss the issue about compartmentation, structural protection. Of particular interest is the debate about 'trade offs' reducing compartmetantation to finance sprinkler installation.
The Committee Chair is Paul Heilstedt, former President of BOCA, with co-chair, Carl Baldasarra, President, Schirmer Engineering. FCIA visited with Carl & Paul, plus Marsha Mazz, Disability person, US Govt., Shariar Amiri, Building Dept. Chief, Montgomery Cy., MD, and many others.
Code Committee Active in 2004
The FCIA Codes Committee was active in both the NFPA and ICC Code Process in 2004. Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director attended the ICC Code hearings in May, 2004. Testimony was offerred by FCIA, IFC and the AFSCC, supporting the National Association of State Fire Marshals code change proposal for the Maintenance of Effective Compartmentation and Fireproofing. Coordination between FCIA's Marketing and Code Committee solidified relationships with NASFM, resulting in the Program Committee having NASFM speak at the FCIA Education and Committee Action Conferfence in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Bill McHugh represented FCIA's Code Committee at the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Protection Features Committee in San Deigo, CA during October of 2004. As a result of coordinated efforts by FCIA, IFC and AFSCC, several important code initiatives were advance through the committee, awaiting vote by the full NFPA Membership in mid 2005.
FCIA will expand it's code efforts working with the Canadian Membership in 2005 to understand how FCIA can join together with members to further code development in Canada.
News as of April 12, 2002
The FCIA Code Committee met on April 4th, 2002 in Denver, Colorado. Following are highlights of the discussions:
Jesse Beitel of Hughes Associates, representing the Metal Construction Association, has submitted a proposal (FS41-02) to reduce the void created at the slab edge to the greater of 30 minutes or the rating of the curtain wall. The Code Consultant, Bill Koffel, will speak against this at the hearings and will try to determine if this is a concern of the industry or only a small faction.
The Code Committee agreed with the AWCI's Fire Safety Task Group that a public relations firm could help to influence the codes. The Committee believes that developing a joint strategy with these and other like organizations will make us all more successful. Look for more on this in the future.
It was agreed that the Alliance for Smoke Control and Containment (AFSCC) is better positioned to propose a smoke leakage standard than is the FCIA. The Code Committee will work together with industry to identify their concerns or objections to a smoke leakage proposal and lend support to the AFSCC's code committee.
Lastly, we discussed Chad Landry's legislation for the requirement of licensed firestop contractors in the state Louisiana. The bill is scheduled to be heard at the beginning of May. Plans are in place to propose this legislation in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
At the hearings during the week of April 8th, Bill Koffel verified that the interest to reduce the void at the perimeter was not representative of the curtain wall industry, but rather came from a small sect. We compromised with the following language -- Such "materials or systems" shall be securely installed and capable of preventing the passage of flame?. -- This served two purposes:
The insertion of the word "systems" provides specialty firestop contractors the leverage they need when the architect does not specify the use of a "system".
- Secondly, leaving the word "materials" in tact was a compromise to gain the support of objectors.
The term "interior" was added to the language -- ? system to prevent the "interior" spread?. This terminology clarified that the purpose of the code is not to prevent "leapfrog". It also removes any implied liability to firestop and curtain wall contractors.
On Wednesday, April 10th, FS39-02 was approved!!
Proposal FS-110 requested the use of the new ASTM E 2174 Standard Practice for On-Site Inspection of Installed Fire Stops. The committee responded that the standard was not needed. One version of the document was (rightfully) criticized because it contained inappropriate language. (It utilized "should" versus "shall".) Secondly, the committee believes that inspectors should perform the inspection themselves. Even though this proposal allowed the code official to override this provision when not needed, the proposal was rejected on Thursday, April 11th.
Both Colorado and Utah Code Development supported the proposal at the microphone.
News as of November, 2001
CODE COMMITTEE CHAIR, Kathy Taraba has been present at NFPA 5000 and International Building Code hearings. She is also part of the NFPA Committee on Fire Protection Features. Her volunteer efforts have made FCIA a recognized name in the code circles.
News as of November, 2001
After the New Orleans Meeting, many FCIA Members wrote letters to their fire/code officials regarding a proposal to reduce the fire resistance rating of the "perimeter fire barrier" to 30 minutes when the curtain wall was not rated "for the time period at least equal to the fire-resistance rating of the floor assembly" in the ROC process of the developing NFPA 5000 Code. Through your efforts, the proposal was shot down. FCIA and it's committees are an effective voice in the fire protection industry protecting life safety in buildings.