BCAB #1433 - Foamed plastic insulation on pipes in vertical fire separations 184.108.40.206.(1), 220.127.116.11.(2), 18.104.22.168.(2)(a)
February 19, 1997
Re: Foamed plastic insulation on pipes in vertical fire separations 22.214.171.124.(1), 126.96.36.199.(2), 188.8.131.52.(2)(a)
The project in question is a multi-building residential/commercial complex with two high-rise residential towers, two-storey townhouses, commercial retail units and a three-storey parkade. The buildings are designed under Articles 184.108.40.206., 220.127.116.11. and 18.104.22.168. and are required to be of noncombustible construction. Foamed plastic insulation with a flame spread rating of less than 25 and smoke developed rating less than 500 has been installed around rainwater leaders inside vertical fire separations required to have a 1 hour fire-resistance rating.
Reason for Appeal
Sentence 22.214.171.124.(2) permits foamed plastic insulation with a flame spread rating of less than 25 in buildings of noncombustible construction provided it is separated from adjacent space in the building by a thermal barrier such as 12.7 mm gypsum board. Where a material or assembly of materials is required to have a fire-resistance rating, such as the vertical fire separations in this project, Article 126.96.36.199. applies. The fire resistance rating must be:
determined on the basis of the results of tests conducted in conformance with CAN4-S101-M, "Standard Methods of Fire Endurance Tests of Building Construction and Materials" or
assigned a fire-resistance rating on the basis of Chapter 2, "Fire Performance Ratings" of the Supplement to the NBC 1990 or with A-188.8.131.52. in Appendix A."
The appellant contends that foamed plastic pipe insulation is permitted provided it is installed in compliance with Sentence 184.108.40.206.(2). This sentence permits foamed plastic insulation with a flame spread rating less than 25 to be used in noncombustible buildings provided it is protected from the adjacent rooms and spaces by one of several thermal barriers. One of the thermal barriers is 12.7 mm gypsum board and the insulated pipes in this case are contained within walls which are clad with at least 12.7 mm thick gypsum board.
Article 220.127.116.11. states that assemblies required to have a fire-resistance rating shall have the rating determined on either the results of testing conducted in conformance with CAN/ULC-S101-M, on the basis of Chapter 2, Fire Performance Ratings, of the Supplement to the NBC or A-18.104.22.168. in Appendix A of the code. The wall assemblies in this case meet these requirements.
Building Official's Position
The building official acknowledges that foamed plastic insulation is permitted to be used in a building required to be of noncombustible construction, provided that the insulation and its installation complies with the requirements of Sentence 22.214.171.124.(2). The building official's opinion is that foamed plastic insulation conforming to the requirements of Sentence 126.96.36.199.(2). must also comply to the requirements of either Sentence 188.8.131.52.(1) or (2) when used in a fire separation required to have a fire-resistance rating. These sentences require all fire separations to either be tested under CAN/ULC-S101-M or be assigned a fire-resistance rating using either Chapter 2 of the Supplement to the NBC, or A-184.108.40.206. in Appendix A of the 1992 B.C. Building Code.
To date, the appellant has not provided proof that their product has been tested and certified under CAN/ULC-S101-M, nor have they demonstrated that their product is an acceptable material component when using either the Supplement to the NBC, or Appendix A of the 1992 B.C. Building Code to determine a fire-resistance rating of the assembly.
Appeal Board Decision #1433
It is the determination of the Board that Article 220.127.116.11. is not applicable to the foam plastic pipe insulation. The insulation is acceptable within the fire rated wall provided it conforms to Sentence 18.104.22.168.(2).
There is no requirement in the code for the pipe insulation to have a fire resistance rating, it is not a structural member and the Board does not consider it to be part of the wall assembly. The pipe insulation is a component of a system that is contained within walls in the building but is not part of those wall assemblies. Therefore, the insulation does not have to be tested in conformance with CAN/ULC-S101-M.
George R. Humphrey, Chair