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Rated walls and ceilings! #197666 12/13/10 03:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,216
HotLine1 Offline OP
Member
Gentlemen:
Lets start a discussion on Rated Walls and Ceilings in this thread.

Rated assemblies (UL) rated walls and ceilings in resi (garage to adjacent or above habitable spaces)

I'll move some over from the hood thread time permitting!


John
Building Codes & Related References
Re: Rated walls and ceilings! [Re: HotLine1] #197671 12/13/10 05:38 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member
OK, here's what I know,to get this chat started off ...

UL, FM, and others publish various directories of fire resistant construction assemblies. These are -generally- descriptions of assemblies that have actually been tested.

Strictly speaking, the ratings are only for the assembly AS TESTED. The directories leave you in the dark should there be any variation from the test sample. For example, what if the wall is 23 ft. tall, rather than the 8 ft.(IIRC) sample?

(My personal favorite: ALL the test samples have the drywall going 'up and down,' rather than laying on its' side. Yet, everyone lays it horizontally. Strictly speaking, this is no longer a rated assembly!)

To address this, manufacturers have their own design recommendations, and trades have their practices.

In theory, the construction details are spelled out in the plans, and the architect or engineer has used his "Professional judgement" to say that the rating is maintained if the plans are followed.

The "counterpoint" to the 'strict interpretation' is that, after looking over a couple thousand rated designs, you begin to see some patterns developing. For example: drywall is drywall, regardless of make, and only thickness counts. Or, that there is no difference in ratings whether you use wood studs or steel studs.

What DOES matter is whether the design assumes the fire will be on one particular side of the wall. The garage wall is one such example. On such a wall it does matter which side of the wall has the requisite drywall thickness. Building a 'box' around your inset panel can only work if the sides of the studs are also protected - both at the panel and where the wires penetrate them. This is also a concern if the wall is also used as a shear wall.

Another bugaboo regards those putty pads. Here the building code varies somewhat from the test data. The test data said 'no problem with 4-S's, yes problem with 4-11's, one per stud bay please.' The code folks re-wrote this to say '4-S's need the pads too - and the boxes need to be 2-ft. apart.' The code makes no distinctions between an opening with a metal box a plastic box, and no box at all.

Finally, it is common for local rules to specify construction methods, and these descriptions often have no relationship to any particular rated assembly.

Last edited by renosteinke; 12/13/10 05:38 PM.
Re: Rated walls and ceilings! [Re: renosteinke] #197678 12/13/10 09:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,216
HotLine1 Offline OP
Member
Reno:

Regarding the boxes, plastic device boxes have a UL rating molded inside of the box, on the 'rear' wall. The rating is for wall and ceiling. That rating is for that particular box only, and in the 'tested' orientation. All of the details are within the UL White book, to be read with the patience of a saint.

Yes, there are many, many rated assemblies of walls and ceilings, bless the architects. The approved plans have the details for said assemblies, and that is how it should be fabricated. The designs are reviewed at plan review and must be built to plan, or have any modifications approved by the Arch/Engineer in writing.

Hopefully....the comments will pour in here!!!



John
Re: Rated walls and ceilings! [Re: HotLine1] #197699 12/15/10 10:32 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
harold endean Offline
Member
John,


Did you get a chance to check out that FTO in the UCC?

Re: Rated walls and ceilings! [Re: harold endean] #197714 12/15/10 07:37 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,216
HotLine1 Offline OP
Member
Harold:
I pulled it out this AM, and quickly read it. I saw the part about the electric panels being allowed, and the maximum gaps. I'll read it thoroughly Thurs., as I have a seminar day.

Thanks for pointing it out.



John

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