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Firestopping Hollow Core Concrete- Part 1

If you have a Hollow Core Concrete Project- You MUST Read This Blog Series!

 

Hollow core slabs have a number of advantages, but when it comes to firestop they create a number of challenges that must be addressed BEFORE the project starts in order to ensure a successful project. If you are currently on a hollow core project I hope you are getting this information in time.

 

If you wait until the pipes and cables are run and then try to figure out how to firestop everything ya’ might be screwed. You might not be able to firestop the penetrations properly in many cases. Realistically you will have two choices. Honestly, you won’t like either of them.

 

Choice 1: Ignore your problems and do it wrong and create a liability for your company and the people stuck with your building once you leave.

Choice 2: Work backwards, so you can move forward correctly. In some cases this will mean you have to remove the penetrating items first, so you can address the cores in the slab. Another option might be to use a product that you may not have in your budget.

 

I said, neither choice is a good one.  They both suck, right?  One creates a major liability and the other has cost implications. They both have a negative impact on your schedule if you didn’t take this into account before construction started.  There are a few manufacturers with products that can help, but at the moment I can think of three different manufacturers with products that work for one solution but not another, so you would have to deal with three different sales people to find the best solutions.

 

I have been in the industry since 1999. Back then you were only allowed to use firestop details that specifically called out hollow core concrete in item number 1 of a UL listed detail. That is the section of the UL detail that lists the information about the rated assembly being penetrated.

 

That has changed and the details are not so limiting.  Now you can use any CAJ or FA detail PROVIDED THAT YOU COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING.

  • The thickness of the hollow core floor is the same or greater than the requirements of the firestop system
  • The opening is not greater than 7” dia or 7”x7”
  • Any cores breached by the opening need to be filled with min 4” depth of
    1. Min 4pcf mineral wool
    2. Ceramic fiber blanket
    3. Concrete
    4. Grout
    5. mortar

For more on these specifics please visit the UL website,  right here on UL’s XHEZ.

 

The only time you do not have to adhere to the requirements noted above is when the listed detail calls out specifically Hollow Core concrete floors AND it doesn’t note these same requirements (see above). One example of this would be with pre-fabricated or semi-fabricated devices such as drop in devices that are similar to cast in place devices or sleeves. We will give you a few examples of these in our final Firestopping Hollow Core Concrete blog post.

 

In our next blog post I will explain why I hope that you are getting this information in time.

Firestop Nomenclature you might be getting Wrong

Thanks for joining us again for another video about firestop submittals. Today we are going to touch on a few more things that people often get wrong when pairing the field conditions with the paperwork.  Check out the video here and as always if you have any questions please reach out to us here.

Identifying the IMPORTANT information in your Firestop Submittal

We have another video for you today. I gave it a bad title because the reality is, all the information is important, it’s just that most people scan through and miss a lot of valuable information.

If you followed the series on shaft walls you may see where I am coming from.  You will have a better idea of what I mean once you see this new video. If you want more information on point contact and annular space you can check out this blog, or point contact, or defining a bead of sealant required at point contact.

Really, it is just the tip of the ice berg but we all have to start somewhere.  Check out the video here and let us know what you think or how we can help you here.

Clarifying some Nomenclature Questions

After a field walk with a firestop contractor a few months ago I realized that I need to share some information with you about some common mistakes people make when looking at the firestop nomenclature. This video is just the start, we will have a follow up to it as this series progresses. The video today can be seen here. Please let us know what you think of it or how we can help you on your project here.

Challenge #2

Welcome back to our firestop submittal video series. Our goal with this is to change the way people on construction projects look at firestop. If you took us up on the last challenge please let us know how it turned out. Today we have a second challenge for you. We got some interesting responses from the last challenge and we look forward to hearing what you think of this one and what the results are. Check out the challenge here and contact us here.

Challenge #1

Welcome back. Now that you have a better understanding of how to work your way around a firestop submittal, I want to issue a challenge to you. Check it out in this video here.

Let us know what you think of this series here.

Fall Classes for DCA

Hi everyone. If you are interested in our fall class schedule I have a few dates for you. Please join us. We usually have a bit of fun and learn a whole lot along the way.

I will be teaching the Firestop Special Inspection Class (IBC 1705.17) on September 27th in Lyndhurst NJ. We go over which projects require firestop special inspection and what you have to look for to ensure the inspector is conforming to the codes and standards.

The other class currently scheduled, will be on October 2nd in Hasbrouck Heights. This class goes over the installation and inspection of commercial kitchen grease duct insulation. We even do a hands on session so you can have a little fun.

We hope to see you there!

Do you Know your Firestop Nomenclature?

We are at the start of what might be a 9 part video series that is designed to help you use your firestop submittals to get better quality firestop installations on your projects. The last two videos went over the ABC’s and 123’s. This one is a simple review to see if you can put it to use.  Check out the video here and let us know what you think of it here.