Walls & Ceilings August 2011 by Mark Fowler

By Mark Fowler

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Various types of products— fluid applied, polymer based sheet wraps and asphaltic self-adhered membranes—are being used to provide air leakage resistance in wall assemblies. Sometimes, these products are used without consideration of their potential impact on fire performance of the wall assembly. Building codes are established to provide physical safety to the building occupants and fire protection is a significant component of the codes. Building construction is classified into types based on the use and occupancy of the building.

In this instance joints are to be separated a minimum of 24 inches from each other: 1) on the same side of the partition, and 2) on opposite faces of the partition. While the language is applicable to WP 1072 it is also referenced in numerous other systems. It’s important to understand— and this is occasionally m isu nder s to o d — t h at t he appl ic at ion la ng u age appl ie s to joi nt s t h at run in the same direction on the same or opposite faces of the partition. It does not say that horiz ont a l a nd ver t ic a l joi nt s c a nnot i nter s e c t .

In this instance the horizontal joints, but not the vertical joints, on opposite faces of the partition are able to be installed in close proximity. The basic application requirements and the specific fire test define how the panels in a rated assembly are to be laid out and installed. While a correct interpretation of the relevant fire test is of paramount importance when constructing a fire-resistive assembly, the application requirements that are applicable to any installation of gypsum panels cannot be ignored during the application process.

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