How to properly patch a two hour rated wall.

Welcome back. We are still hunkered down in the Halpert Home and still talking about how to properly patch a rated wall. I’m having a great time putting together these videos for you and can’t wait to share them with you.  We are going to stick to the same topic as last week, which is patching rated walls. Now you know how to patch a one hour rated wall but that document didn’t really give you enough specifics to know how to patch a two hour rated wall. We can fix that today though.


If you know me, you know I used to live in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is in Clark County, NV and  the building officials are county officials.   The only reason this matters is because they have this awesome document that relates to the discussion of patching rated walls. They took the Gypsum Association document I shared with you last week and mandated that for repair of rated gypsum walls.


Here is their Field Inspection Guide (FIG). If you have any questions about what to do, this is a great place to start.  The Gypsum Associate document I share last week didn’t really get into specifics about how to patch a two hour rated assembly the way the FIG does, so I wanted to share this with you as well. Of course you can always reach out to your drywall manufacturer to get help finding solutions. US Gyp and National both have stellar people on staff who can help if you need it or you can always call me. I’m happy to help as well.


Terrorism Protection by Design

What if there were a terrorist attack on one of your projects? If you are a builder or a developer or even part of the AEC team you can assume a day in court, but did you know you can protect against the outcome and insulate your firm from the litigation?  This article will help explain how.

If you have other questions you can reach us here.

Thank you to CONSTRUCTION EXECUTIVE for understanding the value of this discussion for both building owners and builders alike.

We will be at the Tri-State AIA conference tomorrow to discuss this very topic.

Tall Timber Construction- tests codes and future projects

If you are looking for more information on tall timber construction check out this slide deck (yes another offering from UL/FDNY/IAFF forum back in January) This presentation shows more information about how the tests were conducted, discusses a handful of projects and then building code information. This presentation was delivered by Cleveland’s former Battalion Chief, Sean DeCrane and you are missing a lot just getting a peek, but even this peek offers a lot of valuable information if you are interested in learning more check it out.


Thank you to UL for allowing me to share this information.

Questions about tall timber construction?

Questions about CLT?

Here is another presentation from the UL/FDNY/IAFF forum  Meeting the Challenges of the Future Built Environment at the New York City Fire Training Academy Randall’s Island, New York City. This presentation was delivered by Raymond O’Brocki and discussed things such as the ICC Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings, their objectives, the tests and their findings. There is some great information in this slide deck and it was even more valuable when it was presented in person.

Thank you to UL for allowing me to share this information.

What the fire services need to know about CLT

Tall Timber buildings are now a code requirement. How is this going to impact your jurisdiction?  There will be a number of variables and one certainly should be the opinion of the men and women who will be responsible for fighting fires in such structures. In honor of these individuals here is a FIREHOUSE article on the topic so you can see what fire fighters think about tall timber construction.

A discussion of Cross Laminate Timber construction at UL Future Built Forum- Jan 2019

Thank you to UL, FDNY & IAFF for hosting the future build forum last winter. Today I would like to share with you a slide deck from a presentation by Susan Jones of AtelierJones Architects. While this is nothing more than the slide deck that she used for the presentation, it is nothing compared to what you would have heard if you were in the audience with me. She is passionate about the use to CLT (Cross Laminate Timber) as a way to build high rise structures and preserve the forests.

In this presentation you will see the home that she built with this material. She shared her passion and her story on this chilly January day earlier in the year and I hope you find value in getting a glimpse of what she share with us that day. You can view the presentation here. You will see photos CLT projects as well as of the fire tests where you will see “cribs” of wood to simulate additional fuel sources and explanations of the codes we will see in the 2021 IBC.

If you have any questions about CLT, I would love to be a resource for you but I am still learning about it myself and I am still on the fence in several ways. I hope to be able to share a stronger stance one way or another with you as things unfold more.

For now however, if you have questions about firestop on a project you are involved with do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am happy to support you if I am able.



UL Future Built Forum Intro

January 2019 in the middle of a “Polar Vortex” I attended an event that was worth braving the cold for.

I wish I could take you back to the event so you could sit in the room and hear the presentations. The speakers were fantastic and the presentations were PACKED with information. I want to thank Underwriters Laboratories, Fire Department City of New York  and International Association of Fire Fighters for sponsoring such a great event and I hope to be able to attend the next one. I learned not only from the presentations but from conversations with others in attendance who were all eager to learn and share. Can you tell I was in fire geek heaven for two days?

I can’t wait to share all of this with you. UL has generously allowed me to share the slides. Here is what they covered int he two days

There were several discussions about Tall Timber construction. they were presented by architects and fire officials. You likely know that the 2021 code will allow Tall Timber, or cross laminate timber up to 18 stories. Many people think, “WOOD BURNS that is a horrible idea!”  Well, wood does burn, that is a fact. Lets look at a few there facts.

  • ICC has reviewed extensive fire test data provided by the industry and approved it.
  • These buildings are going up all over the world. A quick google search will give you an idea of where and how tall.
  • Steel is strong, but according to this article in Fire Engineers it will lose its structural stability at 1100F. The time temperature curve used by US fire tests will require the temperature to be 1000F at the five minute mark and 1300F at the ten minute mark. Without properly applied protection, steel is very weak in a fire.
  • Wood burns, yes. As it burns that char that is created insulates the inner layer of wood and the structural stability of wood is lost in stages rather than all together upon hitting a critical temperature.

Before you dismiss this  idea of tall timber buildings as crazy,  I encourage you to learn more about it. If you are curious about my personal opinion (or even if you aren’t, you are about to get it) I like what I have seen in the fire data that has been presented. It is impressive, but not yet extensive. I am still on the fence, but I am eager to be involved with a CLT project so I can learn more. One thing I have learned is that QA/QC will be CRITICAL. Not that it is unimportant in concrete buildings or wood framed buildings, but it could prove a greater liability to those contractors who are not completely educated or worse willing to cut corners. If you work on a CLT project you can NOT have someone with the “we have always done it this way” mentality, because this is all new.  If you are working on a CLT project and want help with the QA/QC please call me.

The second discussion was on battery storage inside buildings. I did not attend this segment because of other obligations. I was able to return in time for the discussions on exterior facades and high rise fire fighting challenges.

I will share all the slides and I may share some of my thoughts along the way.

I want to again thank all of those involved in this event, the sponsors, the speakers, the organizers and the attendees. I was honored to be among you all and grateful for all you shared with everyone.  I hope to be able to attend any future events you have.



New Building Codes

Get ready NJ! The 2018 IBC will be adopted Sept 3rd.  That is just next week!  You can find a link to the IBC here  the copy with the changes for NJ are not yet available. If you are not in NJ you can always check out the ICC code adoption map at this link.

When an area adopts the 2021 we will see Cross Laminate Timber allowed up to 18 stories. It will be interesting to see where that takes us. If any of you are working a CLT project and want a consultant, I cant wait to be invited to support a CLT project.

In the meantime however, if you have any questions about firestop however please let me know. I am happy to help if I am able.

In closing I want to welcome a whole new crew from Utah to our blog posts. I was invited to do a class this past weekend. It was a great crew of guys and I had a lot of fun. I hope they learned a lot since they gave up their Saturday to hang out with me.  Welcome Utah crew!


All the best,

Hospital Fire- One Death

I just returned from Utah doing firestop training for a great group of guys. Installers, hospital facilities guys, GC’s, electricians and special inspectors. It was a long day, but I hope they learned a lot. Then I get home and hear about a hospital fire resulting in loss of life.


If any of you need help to ensure the life safety is done right on your projects, don’t hesitate to give me a call. Many of you know I don’t charge for simple calls to help get you on the right track. I always support those of you who want to do it right.


Let’s look at the ONE listed detail for microduct in wood floors