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RE: Firewall construction

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You definition of firewall is correct.

IMHO the double wall is the best bet for the reasons you stated.  Trying
to detail "breakaway clips" so only the fire side collapses without
taking down the firewall seems iffy, especially if the fire is not right
at the clips to melt them, but is a bay or two away, but has caused a
collapse of the structure adjacent to the fire wall.

Once on a one story building, we built an independent free standing
cantilevered CMU wall as a fire wall.  But on higher structures, that
would be prohibitively expensive.

Charles F. Espenlaub, III, P.E.
Martin-Espenlaub Engineering

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott E Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2000 9:44 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Firewall construction

I have a building which may require a firewall (as opposed to a fire
seperation wall).  Just to make sure that we are talking apples to
my understanding of the "definition" for a firewall is that it is rated
wall that must remain standing if the building to either side falls down

All my experience with firewalls has been to actually construct two
each one attached to one of the structures.  Thus, if one structure
collapses , there will still be a wall in place and the other structure
will not collapse due to the one side collapsing.

My question is :  Has anyone done a firewall that consists of one wall?

In the building that I am working on, the structure on one side is a
bay with a truss and purlin roof and WF columns.  The other side is a
two story office building with composite steel floor beams,
roof beams and steel columns.

Any thoughts or comments?


Scott Maxwell, PE, SE