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.

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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.

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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.

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How Fast will a Building Burn Loaded with Modern Furniture?

Not long ago I shared a video with you that showed how much faster a fire burns with todays modern furnishings. This video shows the impact not on just a single room, but rather the entire structure.

Watch the video here

Both videos are a horrifying reminder of the importance of practicing fire drills at home and at work. If you are in the construction industry this should be a stark reminder of how important it is to get your life safety scope right, every time.

If you are not completely sure that your firestop is right, give us a call and we can help you identify if you have a liability or if you are on the right track.  If your teem needs a gentle nudge in the right direction or a whole new map of where to go, we can cater our service to suit your needs and your budget. Give us a call and lets see what how we can work together. 201-250-4193

Happy to help those who want to do it right!

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L ratings- Is your project code compliant?

Firestop has enough things to get technical about from annual space, various types of penetrations, solutions and what not. You may know about the 4 ratings firestop can have- F, T, W and L. This blog post will be focusing on the L ratings. have a read and let me know what you think. If you have questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or your favorite firestop company for answers.   Check out this blog post here.

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