Modern building codes made firestop more important, but no one noticed.
The International Building Code(IBC) is the model building code for all codes in the US and possibly in international jurisdictions as well. There are some regional changes based on unique needs of certain areas such as weather, seismic, wind and various other regional concerns, but other than this, the requirements are generally universal. Before this, the US had at a minimum 4 different codes that any construction team or architect needed to know in order to work in any specific jurisdiction. The IBC made it easier for designers and builders to cross boarders with the same set of skills being required across the US. One of the most recent changes in this new code had to do with the “compartments”. This is the concept of building walls and floors specifically to contain fire. This is one of the means of life safety, and how fires are prevented from impacting large sections of the building unfettered. The IBC allowed compartmentation to be larger than before. This means that there is a heavier reliance on fire sprinklers. This also means that the areas that create the boarders on these various compartments suddenly are that much more important because if anything interferes with the sprinkler systems, the passive fire protection is the last line of defense. This article does an excellent job of outlining the importance, so rather than try to recreate it, I will just share it with you here.
If you would like help on your project, ensuring that your compartmentation will work as expected contact us for a complimentary review.