Air Barriers That Meet IBC NFPA 285

If you are looking for air barriers that meet IBC NFPA 285 requirements, then Henry Company is a good place to start. The complete portfolio of Henry air barriers offer a wide variety of NFPA 285 compliant wall assemblies.

What is NFPA 285?

NFPA 285 – established by the National Fire Protection Association – is a test method for evaluating fire propagation characteristics of an exterior wall assembly. This includes fire spread on the exterior wall and fires originating from the interior of the building on walls containing combustible components within non-combustible construction types, multi-story buildings and one-story buildings greater than 40 feet. The NFPA 285 test was developed to help builders and owners reduce the potential for fire spread, should disaster strike.

NFPA 285 evaluates combustible components in exterior wall assemblies, limiting fire spread to adjacent areas. Testing emphasis is placed on the following:

  • fires originating from the interior of a building
  • fire spread to adjacent interior areas
  • fire spread to stories above/below fire origination
  • exterior wall assembly flammability
  • vertical and lateral fire spread to adjacent compartment or spaces

NFPA 285 compliant wall assemblies

The increased demand for energy efficient buildings has made NFPA 285 compliant wall assemblies increasingly necessary. Insulation and weather barriers have proven to reduce building energy consumption and lifecycle costs, but the potential combustibility of these two building components can lead to increased fire risk. These components within exterior wall assemblies allow air to move freely through wall cavities, presenting specific fire risks for non-load-bearing exterior walls in multistory buildings.

Therefore, when designing a wall with combustible components, such as cladding materials, insulation and weather barriers, it is likely that the wall assembly will be required to comply with NFPA 285. This is especially true for foam plastic insulation as Chapter 26 the International Building Code requires NFPA 285 compliance for all construction types (I-V).

2018 IBC Section 1402.5 – Exception #2

When the water resistive barrier (WRB) is the only combustible component in your wall assembly, the code states that if the WRB has a peak heat release rate of less than 150 kW/m2, a total heat release of less than 20 MJ/m2 and an effective heat of combustion of less than 18 MJ/kg as determined in accordance with ASTM E1354 and has a flame spread index of 25 or less and a smoke developed index of 450 or less as determined in accordance with ASTM E84 or UL 73, then the WRB is not a trigger for NFPA 285 compliance.

Henry offers three commercial air barriers that meet the minimum requirements for exception #2 as defined in the 2018 IBC Section 1402.5. Those air barriers include:

Henry Company offers one of the industry’s broadest lines of commercial air barrier products for use in various NFPA 285 compliant wall assemblies. Whether you’re designing the next skyscraper or multifamily structure, a Henry air barrier can help you design an NFPA 285 compliant wall assembly, while providing an effective and reliable building envelope.

When you’re working on your next project and you need air barriers that meet IBC NFPA 285, reach out to a trusted Henry advisor by using the form below.

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