Author Archives: eyetee

Specifying NFPA 285 Testing

By Joseph Berchenko AIA, CSI, CCS

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Flames can blast through windows to climb along exterior walls—a fact replicated by a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) test.
Photo © BigStockPhoto/Anne-Louise Quarfoth

For testing certain wall assemblies, the 2012 International Building Code (IBC) requires National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 285, Standard Fire Test Method for Evaluation of Fire Propagation Characteristics of Exterior Non-load-bearing Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components. (That standard’s title notwithstanding, the test is performed on both load-bearing and non-load-bearing wall assemblies.) Its successful completion demonstrates the ability of an exterior wall mockup to contain vertical and horizontal flame spread across the face and through the wall’s core. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes: Another Look at a Terra Cotta Failure

Whenever we do readership surveys, the Failures column consistently ranks as one of the most popular parts of The Construction Specifier. Over the years, Deborah Slaton and David S. Patterson (along with many guest authors) have used the magazine’s final page to delve into what went wrong with a building, and explore how it could have been prevented. Continue reading

Duct specifications app developed

In addition to the HVAC Duct Construction Standard—Metal and Flexible manual, Sheet Metal and Air-conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) has developed an app for designing ducts. It includes information regarding options for rectangular ducts with dimensions up to 3048 mm (120 in.) for applications from negative to positive 254-mm (10-in.) water gage as described in the print manual. The most common installation options are included as part of the app, but it is intented to be used in combination with the manual, an American National Standard (ANSI). The app is available for purchase for both Android and iOS. For more information, visit www.smacna.org.

Historical document collection available

Additional historical documents have been added to American Institute of Steel Construction’s (AISC’s) online collection. Dating back to 1885, the newly added collections are of shape producer catalogs, which are the basis for much of the information found in AISC Design Guide 15, Rehabilitation and Retrofit Guide. Information includes data for discontinued wrought iron and steel shapes, a review of ASTM material standards since 1990, and information on enhancing structural systems. The historical ePubs collections available to AISC members and are part of the organization’s preservation of unique industry documents. For more information, visit www.aisc.org/epubs.