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Memorandum

Inquiry:

03-4

Subject:

Fire partition continuity

Code:

2000 IBC section 708.4

Submitted by:

Centex Homes

Approved by:

Thomas R. Joachim
State Building Official

Issue date:

August 21, 2003

Question:

Can subfloor materials extend into the fire partitions separating dwelling units in an R-2 occupancy of Type V-B and maintain continuity per IBC 708.4 for?

Answer:

Yes. The IBC contains provisions for "fire walls" in section 705, "fire barriers" in section 706 and "fire partitions" in section 708. Fire partitions are specifically required for this project per section 708.1 item #1 "walls separating dwelling units" and should not be confused with fire walls regulated in section 705. Fire wall construction requires walls to be of sufficient structural stability under fire conditions to allow collapse of construction on either side without collapse of the wall. This requirement does not apply to the construction of "fire partitions". Fire partitions per IBC section 708.4 shall extend from the top the floor assembly below to the underside of the floor/roof slab or deck above ... In other words, a fire partition may be framed from the top of an 8 inch concrete floor slab to the underside of an 8 inch concrete slab above or a fire partition may be framed from the top of a wood framed floor deck to the underside of the wood framed floor or deck above. In wood frame construction, we interpret the "deck" to mean the sub-floor or finished floor in the case of one-piece floor systems.

In our opinion, the code specifically permits the deck to interrupt the continuity of the fire partitions.

Approved by the Building Codes and Standards Interpretation Committee

IBC 708.4 diagrams

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