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RE: Firewalls

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The National Concrete Masonry Association published a brochure entitled "Details for Concrete Masonry Fire Walls" identifed as NCMA TEK 5-8A.  You should be able to get a copy from your state association, if not, NCMA telephone number is (703) 713-1900.  The brochure discusses the options available.  If you think you want to go with columns each side of the wall, it Refers you to Commentary "M" of the Supplement to the National Building Code of Canada for how to design the anchors between steel and masonry to allow for failure of the steel on one side.
 
Your question was also answered on page 9 of Modern Steel Construction / January 1996.  The writer listed two articles by NFPA and one by Factory Mutual.  He said that none of the articles appeared enthusiastic about tied walls.  He stated that free standing walls were generally more easily built and can be more reliable in a fire situation.
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Chic Gilligan [mailto:littlebuddy(--nospam--at)bytheshore.com]
Sent: Sunday, August 29, 1999 10:40 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Firewalls

I am working on a firewall construction for a school separating an existing structure from the new addition.  The fire wall was planned to be masonry and braced at vertical points no more than 9' on center vertically by the new structure. Reviewer has said that the firewall cannot be provided lateral stability from the new or old structure which now means it must be a 20' vertically cantilevered masonry structure and a large footing for stability.  Seems the logical choice would be to incorporate masonry buttresses (incorporate into intersecting wall) to attain stability to this wall.  However, before I make this expensive decision, does anyone have any other suggestions and is the reviewer's interpretation of the code (BOCA) correct.  For example, could I brace the structure on the old side of the fire wall and on the new side of the firewall, that way, provided the fire separation works, the wall still has it's stability provided by the remaining structure. Seems to me firewalls are routinely stabilized by the floor and/or roof structure and the construction of a freestanding masonry wall seems excessive.  Thanks for your comments.