Talking in Code: Fire protection for columns
Want to know more about roof truss failures? Have a question about fire-rated assemblies? Confused about safety glazing on windows and door? In our monthly column — Talking in Code — International Code Council code experts will address some of the typical questions asked of our technical services team regarding current code issues. This feature is not an ICC code opinion, nor is it a committee interpretation, but it is intended to provide clarification of code text for adopting jurisdictions, design professionals and members of the construction industry.
International Code: 2018 International Building Code
Question: Does Footnote ‘b’ of Table 601 allow the omission of fire protection for columns supporting the roof construction if every part of the roof is greater than 20 feet above the floor below?
Answer: Due to various interpretations of previous editions of the International Building Code in regards to this issue, Footnote ‘b’ to Table 601 was modified in the 2018 International Building Code to state that fire protection of structural members in roof construction shall not be required, including protection of primary structural frame members, roof framing and decking where every part of the roof construction is 20 feet or more above the floor immediately below. The footnote is applicable to all occupancies except Groups F-1, H, M and S-1. By expanding the scope of the footnote to primary structural frame elements, as well as specifically mentioning in the footnote its application to primary structural frame members, it is now clear that all portions of the roof construction are exempt from fire-resistance requirements based on Table 601. Therefore, if a primary structural frame member (e.g., beam, girder) was part of the roof construction, the rating could be exempt; however, a rating would still be required for any columns.
As always, code opinions issued by International Code Council staff are based on published Code Council codes and do not include local, state or federal codes; policies; or amendments. This opinion does not imply approval of an equivalency, specific product, specific design or specific installation and cannot be published in any form implying such approval by the International Code Council. As this opinion is only advisory, the final decision is the responsibility of the designated authority charged with the administration and enforcement of this code. All code citations reference the 2015 and 2018 International Codes unless otherwise specified.