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Forums» Fire Codes» Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition

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Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition
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Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  Paul Sweet

Posts: 0

2/24/2006 9:20:00 AM

A "smoke partition" (very poor choice of words by BOCA) was originally intended to trap heat long enough to activate a sprinkler head in an incidental use area that is protected by sprinklers instead of rated walls.

A "smoke barrier" is defined as "A continuous membrane, either vertical or horizontal, such as a wall, floor, or ceiling assembly, that is designed and constructed to restrict the movement of smoke" and is used to divide floors of hospitals & prisons into 2 or more smoke compartments, so patients or inmates can be moved into another smoke compartment in case of fire.


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  smitch

Posts: 0

2/24/2006 10:37:00 AM

So smoke barriers are only used in hospitals and prisons?


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  Paul Sweet

Posts: 0

2/24/2006 12:39:00 PM

Also some underground buildings. See IBC 405.4, 407.4 & 408.6. These are the only uses I know of, but you never know what the code might have hidden in unexpected places!


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  Dr. J

Posts: 0

2/27/2006 1:11:00 PM

In the IBC, corridor walls in I2 hospitals are required to be constructed as "smoke partitions" (IBC 407.3).

A couple of significant differences are that Smoke Barriers are to be one hour fire resistive construction and Smoke Partitions need not be (IBC 709, 710). Smoke Barriers must continue to the floor/roof deck above, Smoke partitions can stop at a ceiling that limits the transfer of smoke IBC 709, 710). Smoke barriers require smoke (NOT fire/smoke)dampers for ducted and unducted openings, unless the ducted opening only serves one smoke compartment (IBC 716.5.5). Smoke Partitions only require smoke dampers for unducted air transfer openings (IBC 710.7).


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  rjacobs2006

Posts: 0

2/28/2006 12:42:00 PM

So are these definitions the same for "fire barriers" and "fire partitions" per the IBC?

If so, if a "fire partition" only extends just above a non-rated ACT ceiling...that wouldn''t really fly, would it? You''d need to extend that "partition" to the roof deck or floor above?


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  jboren

Posts: 0

2/28/2006 4:50:00 PM

"besides, Carl here is about to bust a spring"


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  smitch

Posts: 0

3/5/2006 7:03:00 AM

Is it required for smoke barrier and smoke partition to be 1 hour rated?


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  Dr. J

Posts: 0

3/5/2006 10:34:00 AM

See previous post: "Smoke Barriers are to be one hour fire resistive construction and Smoke Partitions need not be (IBC 709, 710)."

This does not mean Smoke Barriers need fire dampers, just fire stopping around the penetration (IBC 712.3.3).


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  mcphajo

Posts: 0

3/13/2006 4:37:00 PM

Dr. J,

So if I have an opening in my Smoke Partition (I-2 corridor) that communicates from one smoke compartment to another, that clearly does not limit the transfer of smoke(i.e. elevator doors), then does an elevator lobby need to be provided for protection of the smoke compartment?

(I believe that this does, however, I do have some colleagues that disagree.)


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  georgen

Posts: 0

3/13/2006 6:54:00 PM

Your smoke compartments are created by "smoke barriers", not "smoke partitions". Smoke Barriers extend from outside wall to outside wall.


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  mcphajo

Posts: 0

3/14/2006 4:07:00 AM

Georgen,

Was that an answer to my question? If so, it does not make much sense to me. I-2 Corridor walls are smoke partitions. If I have an opening in a smoke partition, and that opening allows smoke to travel from one to another smoke compartment, then I should be required to protect both of those openings from smoke. In the case of an elevator shaft, shouldn''t both of those openings have lobby protection?


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  Dr. J

Posts: 0

3/14/2006 5:28:00 AM

Georgen answered it perfectly.

Keep your smoke thingies straight.

Smoke Partitions form corridors.

Smoke Barriers form compartments.

Visualize a perfectly rectangular floor (not that any of the architects we work with know what a rectangle is). The corridor is going the long way, and the smoke barrier is going the short way, creating two smoke compartments. Any ducts or transfer openings passing perpendicular to the smoke barrier connect two smoke compartments. But any ducts passing perpendicular to the corridor are all within the same smoke compartment.

in a real world building, it is possible that a corridor wall coincidentally happens to be designated as a Smoke Barrier for part of the run of the corridor as the Smoke Barrier is traversing the floor plate. In that case, a corridor penetration will communicate between two smoke compartments. But most corridor penetrations are within the same smoke compartment.

Elevator lobbies in hospitals are a whole different subject that I am going to pass on for now.


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  georgen

Posts: 0

3/14/2006 9:13:00 AM

Thank you Dr. J.

Kaptivecode, whether you have smoke filling a corridor from an elevator shaft or a patient room door which was left in the open position after evacuating the patient, the smoke "should not" pass beyond the "smoke barrier" if it is constructed properly, provided with proper opening protectives, and properly firestopped at any penetrations. Oh, and lets not forget that the staff don''t have a wheelchair or gurney parked in front of the cross corridor smoke doors.


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  mcphajo

Posts: 0

3/14/2006 10:14:00 AM

Understood. I thank you both for helping me keep my "smoke thingies straight". And you touched on the answer that I am trying to discern...

I understand about smoke traveling horizontally from compartment to compartment. What I want to know is vertical travel of smoke. How do you protect an opening that allows for vertical travel. I don''t buy the line that elevator doors in and of themselves do, or else you would be able to get an "S" label on them in addition to the 90 min rating.

To be plain, are elevator lobbies required in I-2''s, or can we just leave them unprotected? Dr. J didn''t want to answer that at this point. What say you?


   

Re: Smoke Barrier vs. Smoke Partition By  georgen

Posts: 0

3/15/2006 1:43:00 PM

I have been digging into the New York State version of the I Codes. However, I was unable to locate an answer to the question reagrding elevators. So, being that we are looking at an I2, I turned to the NFPAs Life Safety Code. Unfortunately I did not bring the handbook home with me, so I will try to recall what I found in a commentary section.

It looks like the Life Safety Code was concerned about smoke or fire spreading into the elevator shaft or occupied car, not the other way around. There were "suggestions" on how to protect the elevators such as pressurization, detection at landings which cause the elevator to stop on an alternate floor (not the fire floor), and to provide doors to enclose the elevator landing. The statement went on to say that these are suggestions, not requirements.

Can someone help me out with a yey or ney to my interpretation?


   

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