Code Corner: HVAC Penetrations in a Smoke Partition in a Sprinklered Building
In Section 508.2 of the Ohio Building Code, there is a Table 508.2 which deals with specific areas that fall into the Incidental Use classification. Of these conditions, storage areas having an area of 100 SF or greater need to be suppressed, or separated by 1 hour ﬁre separation barriers. When the entire building is sprinklered, the ﬁre rating requirement drops out, but per Section 508.2, the incidental area still needs separated from the remainder of the building by construction capable of resisting of passage of smoke. The question that then stems from this is “Do HVAC ducts and grilles that pass through these partitions need smoke dampers or ﬁre dampers?
ICC has issued a formal code interpretation regarding this, and has responded that the incidental use area does not need to have HVAC openings provided with smoke dampers or fire dampers. The partition must simply be capable of resisting the passage of smoke. The wall construction described is not required to be either a smoke barrier conforming to the requirements of Section 709 or a smoke partition conforming to the requirements of Section 710.
For more information and support of this case, the formal code interpretation may be found at http://www2.iccsafe.org/cs/codes_list.cfm?Committees_Id=1&chap_num=05 to assist you in your response.
by Jim Mitchell
Principal, Executive Vice President, Director - Civic/Community Studio
Jim has been with M+A since 1981 and currently serves as the executive vice president of the company. Jim's favorite place to eat is Polaris Grille, and his favorite movie is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.