Perimeter Fire Containment and Engineering Judgments

Ensuring system integrity to provide escape time for building occupants
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Sponsored by Owens Corning®
By Rebecca A. Pinkus
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Conclusion and Assessment

As high-rise design and development become increasingly complex with curtain walls being a standard feature, architects, building professionals, and fire-prevention specialists are paying closer attention to ensure the safety of building occupants in the event of a fire. A balanced fire-protection system that detects, actively suppresses (e.g., with sprinklers), and compartmentalizes a fire is absolutely critical to the safety of building occupants. Given the diversity of building and curtain wall designs, the passive element of this system—perimeter fire containment—is often project specific. It can take a team effort to ensure that the firestop system is appropriate.

Architects and building professionals can benefit from working closely with the technical specialists who are authorized to issue EJs, whether they are from a testing laboratory, third-party engineering firm, or firestop manufacturer. The key is to ensure that the judgment is of high quality and appropriate for the specific project considerations. Issuing organizations should have extensive fire-testing experience, highly trained individuals, and deep knowledge of how the components work together. All the major players of a project team from the architects and specifiers to the contractors, installers, and inspectors should be on the same page when it comes to designing and installing perimeter fire-containment systems.

Rebecca A. Pinkus is an independent communication consultant, writer, and editor focusing on the intersection of technology, environment, and human health. She has contributed to more than 40 continuing education courses and publications through Confluence Communications.


1Grenfell Tower: What happened.” BBC News. 18 June 2018. Web. 7 Nov. 2018.


3Owens Corning. “Steel Stud Perimeter Fire Containment System – ASTM E2307.” Enclosure Solutions: Technical Bulletin SS-04. May 2016. Web. 7 Nov. 2018.

4James C. Shriver. “High-rise perimeter protection systems reviewed.” Web. 7 Nov. 2018.

5Tony Crimi. “Perimeter Fire Barrier Systems: Taking a team approach to fire-safe construction.” The Construction Specifier. September 2017. Web. 7 Nov. 2018.


7Owens Corning. “Aluminum-Framed Curtain Wall Perimeter Fire-Containment System: ASTM E2307.” Enclosure Solutions: Technical Bulletin CW-01. Web. 7 Nov. 2018.

8Recommended IFC Guidelines for Evaluating Firestop Systems in Engineering Judgments (EJs).” International Firestop Council.

Owens Corning<sup>®</sup> Owens Corning develops, manufactures, and markets insulation, roofing, and composites. The company’s businesses use their deep expertise in materials, manufacturing, and building science to develop products and systems that save energy and improve comfort in commercial and residential buildings.


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Originally published in Architectural Record
Originally published in December 2018