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RE: Firewall Connection

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We’ve run into this same issue with long span steel frame buildings. Even if the fire is far from the actual fire wall it could pull the wall down by melting the beams of the frame, or even the column on the other side of the frame. We usually recommend that people try to avoid this type of building when the side walls need to be rated.  The only solution we can come up with is to rate the entire frame, either by wrapping the members or with spray on fireproofing. Has anyone else run into this problem and figured out a better solution?


-----Original Message-----
From: Derek [mailto:derekh(--nospam--at)]
Wednesday, July 14, 2004 9:40 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Firewall Connection


Hi Folks,


I had a brief search of the archives for this topic but had no luck in finding any assistance.


I have a situation where I need to design a firewall (not fire separation) between an existing freezer building (steel frame clad with insulation panels) and a new processing facility. the firewall will be constructed in between the insulation panels of the existing building and the steel framing of the new building.


The building is in Vancouver BC which most of you know is a high seismic zone. The dilemma is how to connect the fire wall to the new steel frame such that collapse of the building doesn't cause collapse of the firewall and yet still support the wall by the frame and roof diaphragm under seismic loads. Any magical connection out there that can achieve this? My brief search of the archives returned some mention of melt-away anchors, however, the possibility remains that the fire is remote from the wall (say on the next row of columns parallel to the wall). This could still cause the building to collapse without the opportunity for these melt-away anchors to weaken.


My other question relates to the existing building. For those familiar with the NBCC or BCBC. Does the existing building need to be tied to the firewall? My understanding is that the intent of the code is simply to supply a wall that remains standing in the event that either building collapses. In essence, for the pure purpose of a firewall, it does not have to be tied to either building, it can be free standing.


any assistance is greatly appreciated.