Code Corner: Rating of Walls at Fire Pump Rooms
Sometimes, a building code requirement may not be found directly in the code, but may show up in the reference standards that are in the Appendix of the code. These type of requirements are the most difficult to catch, because without doing additional code research, they are not apparent.
If you go to the Ohio Building Code, you will not find any language or code section that indicates any rating protection around rooms for fire pumps. However, back in the “Referenced Standards” of the Building Code, it does indicate that fire pumps are to meet the requirements of NPFA 20. When you go the NFPA 20, it has a section which indicates that there is a 2 hour fire rating enclosure for fire pump rooms when the building is not suppressed, and 1 hour rating when suppressed. Since the Building Code does reference NFPA 20 for fire pumps, the requirements of this section are applicable.
So beware of this building code requirement in future buildings that are designed with a fire pump!
A similar case to this exists where you will not find fire ratings for elevator machine rooms in the Building Code, but they show up in the Elevator Code instead. Basically, the machine room fire ratings must equal the fire rating of the elevator shaft enclosure.
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.