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RE: IBC Fire Walls and Seismic Code

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I think for fire compartments inside a building, the only rational type
of firewall is a double wythe wall, with each wythe connected
structurually to the floor and roof diaphragms, although I have *never*
seen this done before in my area. I agree with the other posters'
comments that more research and clarification is required on this.
WIth respect to Kevin B.'s question on wood framing, the current
standard practice in my neck of the woods is to cast independent strap
ties into the bond beams on each side of the wall and nail the straps to
the floor and roof diaphragms (typically 4ft o.c.) - then cross your
fingers and hope that you have that "fusible link".


From: Paul Feather [mailto:pfeather(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 1:00 PM
To: SEAOC List
Subject: IBC Fire Walls and Seismic Code

Under the IBC, the area separation walls from the UBC are gone, and the
corresponding wall is a Fire Wall.
The primary difference is the ability of one side of the structure to
collapse, without taking down the wall.  The commentary clearly shows
the diaphragm sheathing as discontinuous at the Fire Wall in Type V
Question, how does this square with the seismic code provisions where
all parts of the structure are to be interconnected, or a separation
joint is to be provided?  Are we now supposed to provide 4 to 8 inch
seismic joints at all area separation walls, essentially breaking the
building into multiple buildings?  
Under the UBC Area Separation Walls it was permissible to have the
sheathing extend through at the floor diaphragms, and the only problem
was maintaining the rating through the assembly.
What are other people doing about this condition?  
Paul Feather PE, SE <> 
pfeather(--nospam--at) <mailto:pfeather(--nospam--at)> 

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