Balanced Fire Safety Design and Resilient Masonry Fire Walls

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This course reviews US fire statistics, the Balanced Fire Safety Design concept and the role that passive masonry firewalls play in it. Examples of how today’s building codes have eroded the Balanced Design Concept are shared to provide a better understanding of the crucial role fail-safe, passive masonry fire walls play in today’s fire safety designs. To gain insight into wall assembly and material performance the ASTM E-119 fire test method that is used to qualify and quantify fire walls is reviewed along with the ACI/TMS 216 code requirements for concrete and masonry wall assembly fire resistance ratings.

Learning Objectives:

  • To become familiar with US fire statistics and trends.
  • To learn what Balanced Fire Safety Design concept is and the role that masonry firewalls play in it.
  • To realize that building codes have eroded the Balanced Design Concept and reduced Design Resiliency by relying more and more upon its active fire safety features.
  • To understand the background of, and gain insight into the loopholes in, the ASTM E-119 Fire Test and that that TWO wall specimens are normally used to pass the test.

Presenter: Kevin Cavanaugh
Date Presented: September 8, 2021
Credit 1 AIA LU / 1 PDH / 0.10 CEU
AIA Course Number: TMSFSD2107


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