IBC Code Change Alert
IBC, Chapter 4, Section 403.2.4 Sprayed fire-resistant materials (SFRM). The bond strength of the SFRM installed throughout the building shall be in accordance with Table 403.2.4.
For buildings other than high-rise buildings, the minimum bond strength for SFRM required by the code is 150 psf when tested in accordance with ASTM E736. For many years, the minimum bond strength for SFRM in ALL buildings was 150 psf regardless of the height or size of the building. Recommendation 6 of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report on the World Trade Center (WTC) Disaster called for improvement for the in-place performance of SFRM. For high-rise buildings with a building height in the 75’ to 420’ range, SFRM must have a minimum bond strength of 430 psf wherever applied in the building. For high-rise buildings over 420’, the bond strength must be at least 1,000 psf wherever applied in the building. High-rise buildings are defined in Chapter 2 of IBC as buildings with occupied floors located more than 75’ above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.
While the NIST report was based on the specific events of the WTC fire and collapse, events far less dramatic can dislodge SFRM, such as elevator movement, building sway or even maintenance activities. Using higher bond strengths will increase the probability that the SFRM protection will stay in place; thereby, providing a longer time of occupancy safety.
High-Rise Buildings, IBC Section 403.1 Applicability. High-rise buildings shall comply with IBC sections 403.2 through 403.6. Section 403.2.4 Sprayed fire-resistant materials (SFRM). The bond strength of the SFRM installed throughout the building shall be in accordance with Table 403.2.4. The International Code Council (ICC) has made dramatic and comprehensive code changes to the IBC code based on recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the wake of the World Trade Center collapse.
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