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Specifying Air Barrier Membranes that Comply with Building Code Fire Safety Provisions

Continuing Education

Learn At Your Own Pace - You can take this course and follow along at your own pace. Speed up, slow down, or stop now and finish later. Click "Take the Course Test" to go straight to the test and earn your credits. You'll know immediately if you have earned credits and you will be able to print out your certificate of completion instantly.

Learning Objectives - At the end of this course you will be able to:

  1. Explain why air barrier membranes and foam insulation are beneficial for use in wall assemblies.
  2. List the 6 basic elements of fire safety in building construction
  3. Explain the material and assembly properties evaluated by ASTM E 119, ASTM E 84 and NFPA 285
  4. Know where IBC requires NFPA 285, and explain the effects of this requirement on material and wall assembly burn performance
  5. Draft specification language for fire resistant air barrier membranes and wall assemblies that comply with fire safety provisions of IBC

AIA logo Credits: 1 AIA LU/HSW
When projects call for an airtight building envelope, designers typically choose 40-mil-thick sheet membranes made from rubberized asphalt or synthetic rubber. The same qualities that make these membranes superior water and vapor barriers also make them highly flammable. Significant changes in the 2012 editions of the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Fire Code (IFC) require new wall assemblies containing plastic foam insulation and combustible weather barriers to pass the key standard NFPA 285. Until now designers faced a dilemma: do they specify wall assemblies containing the most energy-efficient air and vapor barriers, or do they specify wall assemblies that can pass the NFPA fire test? This course focuses on the changes in codes and standards, and on new products that bring to the building envelope the same thermal barrier technology developed by NASA and used by soldiers, firefighters and race care drivers. These highly effective air and vapor barriers combine energy efficiency and state of the art fire resistance to meet stringent new codes and provide increased safety for the life of the building.

Course Outline:

This course is a presentation designed to earn you 1.00 AIA/CES Learning Unit. Use the onscreen controls to pace the presentation to your liking, and then click "Take the Course Test" to take the exam for this course and earn your credit.

This test is no longer available for credit


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