In our last post we talked about sleeves and the fact that the field installations need to match the requirements in the submitted firestop assemblies. Let’s look at some examples:
Here is the verbiage from a random UL listed firestop detail.
Steel Sleeve – (Optional, Not Shown) – Nom 16 in. (406 mm) diam (or smaller) Schedule 10 (or heavier) steel sleeve cast or grouted into floor or wall assembly. Sleeve may extend a max of 2 in. (51 mm) above top of floor or beyond either surface of wall. As an alternate, nom 16 in. (406 mm) diam (or smaller) min 0.028 (0.71 mm) thick galvanized sheet steel sleeve cast or grouted into floor or wall assembly flush with floor or wall surfaces.
This detail actually allows for three options. Option One is no sleeve. Option two, you can use a Sch 10 steel sleeve. Option three, allows for a galvanized sheet metal sleeve no less than .028” which I think is 24 gauge. Remember that doesn’t mean its okay to use 26 gauge or to use non-galvanized sheet metal sleeves.
Here is another example that I pulled it from my last project submittal.
Steel Sleeve – (Optional) – Nom 14 in. (356 mm) diam (or smaller) Schedule 10 (or heavier) steel pipe or No. 26 ga (0.022 in. or 0.56 mm thick) sheet steel sleeve with square anchor flange spot welded to the sleeve at approx mid-height. Sleeve cast or grouted in place flush with floor or wall surfaces. Steel pipe sleeve may project a max of 2 in. (51 mm) beyond the floor or wall surfaces.
This detail actually allows for similar options as our first example. It even allows for a lighter gauge sleeve, but please note there are TWO CRITERIA to pay attention to…
1) 26 gauge or heavier (and yes I carry a sheet metal gauge on my field walks and I check this)
2) This detail requires that the sheet steel sleeve must have a square anchor flange spot welded to the sleeve at approx mid-height. Let’s face it, once the concrete is poured no one is going to confirm this short of trying to knock out a few of the sleeves to see if they come out easily.
This is why I should never write contracts for firestop installers, because I would link my contracts to my firestop submittals. If this detail were used I would have a line in the contract stating that contractors must use either Sch 10 sleeves or sheet steel sleeve must have a square anchor flange spot welded to the sleeve at approx mid-height or they bear the liability of being non-compliant. There are little points like this all through a firestop submittal. My contracts would be like reading a really boring encyclopedia, but excellent for insomnia or litigation.
So, let’s say you are on a project right now and the guys used thin gauge sheet metal for the sleeves, or maybe they used 26 ga sheet metal but it did not put the anchor flange on. You can still firestop it right?
NOT if you want to be code compliant! One of my old team mates used to say that the building code offers a minimum standard to which you should build. To build at any standard LESS than the code is criminal, and as a professional who should know the industry it is criminal negligence.
If the sheet metal sleeve is 26ga and you are missing the anchor flange, the only recourse you have to remain code complaint is to:
- remove the sleeve from the opening
- contact your firestop manufacturer to see if they have a detail that will work in this case
- contact your firestop manufacturer requesting they write an Engineering Judgment for the situation you have created that is not going to be code compliant.
Halpert Life Safety pre-construction meetings cover a wide array of common firestop problems in hopes of bringing light to all of them early in the project so the team encounters fewer surprises late in the game. This issue surrounding sleeves is one of the many things we discuss in our pre-construction meetings.
We break into the seemingly little tiny things like this, because my former boss trained his team to think about how it would look if you had to defend your actions or words in court. If you claim to be a professional, then you are also claiming to be aware of these small things. Our job in the pre-construction meetings is to make sure that the liability position is reduced for EVERYONE on the team.
Before we go, let’s look at one more example from a different manufacturer:
Metallic Sleeve — (Optional) Nom 32 in. diam (or smaller) Schedule 40 (or heavier) steel sleeve cast or grouted into floor or wall assembly, flush with floor or wall surfaces or extending a max of 3 in. above floor or beyond both surfaces of wall.
2A. Sheet Metal Sleeve — (Optional) Max 6 in. diam, min 26 ga galv steel provided with a 26 ga galv steel square flange spot welded to the sleeve at approx mid-height, or flush with bottom of sleeve in floors, and sized to be a min of 2 in. larger than the sleeve diam. The sleeve is to be cast in place and may extend a max of 4 in. below the bottom of the deck and a max of 1 in. above the top surface of the concrete floor.
2B. Sheet Metal Sleeve — (Optional) – Max 12 in. diam, min 24 ga galv steel provided with a 24 ga galv steel square flange spot welded to the sleeve at approx mid-height, or flush with bottom of sleeve in floors, and sized to be a min of 2 in. larger than the sleeve diam. The sleeve is to be cast in place and may extend a max of 4 in. below the bottom of the deck and a max of 1 in. above the top surface of the concrete floor.
From this, you can see that the size of the allowable sleeve has a direct correlation to the thickness of the metal sleeve. We might discuss this in more detail in a later post. For now, just make sure your sub-contractors are not creating scenarios that will make it impossible for your firestop contractors to firestop in a compliant way. If you have questions about this, we are happy to join you for a pre-construction meeting and help get your team on the same page and understand how their choices for the project can impact the projects liability for everyone involved. This may mean that the firestop contractor needs to obtain different documentation or it may mean that the MEPS contractors need to make different choices. We can help make sure your team is making the right choice.
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Here is part one of this series, and part two.
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