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David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 423
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 05:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Currently my office specifies firestopping with a performance spec. We do not list acceptable products, but do list acceptable manufacturers and require UL tests.

How do you specify firestopping? Do you list acceptable products?
John McGrann
Senior Member
Username: jmcgrann

Post Number: 46
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 05:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Our local code officials and plan reviewers require specific details with UL Design Numbers on the drawings. The field inspectors then require the installer to show them that the materials and assembly being installed in the field actually corresponds to the specific number. We specify that the basis of design is indicated by reference to the UL Design Numbers indicated on the drawings. If they want to use a comparable product thatís fine, but they have to do some legwork to amend the permit application.

Tobin Oruch, CDT
Senior Member
Username: oruch

Post Number: 18
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 05:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We're like you, David. You can access our spec at http://engstandards.lanl.gov/conspec/docs/07840-R0.doc
Ronald L. Geren, RA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: specman

Post Number: 111
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 05:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'm with you. I do more of a performance spec since it's almost impossible to determine every conceivable penetration in a project, especially on a large complex project.

And, since many of the UL assemblies are proprietary, it is difficult on public projects to research all the assemblies to get three acceptable installations.

I list the acceptable manufacturers and types of systems, but not a specific assembly. The contractor has to submit evaluation reports on their proposed systems.

If a building official requires it on the drawings, then we'll comply. But, personally, I think this is a gray area where the building official oversteps their authority by dictating what goes on the drawings.

The UBC use to state "Plans and specifications shall be DRAWN to scale..." Even though it states specifications, it lumps it with the drawings. The IBC, on the other hand, has made improvements in this area by referring to them as "construction documents," but still hangs on to the DRAWN bit by stating they "shall be dimensioned and DRAWN upon suitable material."

If we can get most building officials to consider the specifications as part of the required work, then much of the "stuff" added to the drawings for the benefit of the building department may go away. I'll wake up now...
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 45
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 12:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have used "Basis of Design" type of specifications for such items, including language such as, "Design of ____ systems is based on the indicated UL design numbers and product manufactured by XYZ, Inc. Subject to compliance with requirements, comparable systems with the same UL performance and approved by the Architects may be used. Manufacturers offering such systems include:" I will, when pressed for time, omit a listing of manufacturers (they do know who they are, and will push to be included). This opens the specification while still making it clear that we do have something specific in mind.

At the risk of slightly digression...

There are building code departments that do not accept specifications for review. Our office has had to put copies of UL assemblies (and I mean copy from the UL directory and pasted on the Drawings) on the Drawings. We have also had one case where those checking the Drawings requested specific Product Data when the General Contractor had not yet been selected, and, no, they wouldn't look at the specifications. It does seem to put the building code officials in a risky position since they are not checking a significant portion of the construction documents. However, fighting this procedure/attitude seems to be a losing proposition since I would suspect it would make your projects subject to closer scruntity in the future.

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