BCAB #1683 - Protection of Foamed Plastic on the Exposing Building Face,

December 16, 2010

BCAB #1683

Re:Protection of Foamed Plastic on the Exposing Building Face,

Project Description
The project in question is a sprinklered building with office and medium hazard industrial occupancies. The limiting distances from all four exposing building faces are such as to permit 100% unprotected openings.

Reason for Appeal
Article 3.2.3.8. requires, in addition to the construction requirements of Sentences 3.2.3.7.(2), (3), (5) and (6), that foamed plastic insulation be protected on its exterior side by concrete or masonry or a noncombustible material that provides 15 minutes of protection in conformance with Sentence 3.2.3.8.(2).

Appellant’s Position
The appellant contends that Article 3.2.3.8. does not apply to an exposing building face permitted to have 100% unprotected openings. By virtue of the phrase “in addition to”  Article 3.2.3.8. is linked to Sentences 3.2.3.7.(2), (3), (5) and (6) which all deal with exposing building faces with less than 100% unprotected openings. None of these Sentences apply to the building in question so neither does Article 3.2.3.8.

Building Official's Position
The building official maintains Article 3.2.3.8. does apply to an exposing building face permitted to have 100% unprotected openings. The phrase “in addition to the requirements of Sentences 3.2.3.7.(2), (3), (5) and (6)” does not imply that one only has to comply with Article 3.2.3.8. if any of the requirements of the preceding Sentences also apply. Filling permitted unprotected openings with fuel in the form of foamed plastic insulation changes the dynamic of the Code methodology and Article 3.2.3.8. accounts for this.

Appeal Board Decision #1683
It is the determination of the Board that even where an exposing building face is permitted to have 100% unprotected openings the provisions of Article 3.2.3.8. still apply.

George Humphrey, Chair