ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Building Code 2021 (IBC 2021)

Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.

User note:

About this chapter: Chapter 6 establishes five types of construction in which each building must be categorized. This chapter looks at the materials used in the building (combustible or noncombustible) and the extent to which building elements such as the building frame, roof, wall and floor can resist fire. Depending on the type of construction and the specific building elementfire resistance of 1 to 3 hours is specified.

Section 601 General

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.

TABLE 601

FIRE-RESISTANCE RATING REQUIREMENTS FOR BUILDING ELEMENTS (HOURS)

BUILDING ELEMENT TYPE I TYPE II TYPE III TYPE IV TYPE V
A B A B A B A B C HT A B
Primary structural framef (see Section 202) 3a, b 2a, b, c 1b, c 0c 1b, c 0 3a 2a 2a HT 1b, c 0
Bearing walls  
Exteriore, f
3 2 1 0 2 2 3 2 2 2 1 0
Interior
3a 2a 1 0 1 0 3 2 2 1/HTg 1 0
Nonbearing walls and partitions
Exterior


See Table 705.5
Nonbearing walls and partitions
Interiord


0


0


0


0


0


0


0


0


0


See
Section 2304.11.2


0


0
Floor construction and associated secondary structural members (see Section 202) 2 2 1 0 1 0 2 2 2 HT 1 0
Roof construction and associated secondary structural members (see Section 202) 11/2b 1b,c 1b,c 0c 1b,c 0 11/2 1 1 HT 1b,c 0

For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm.

  1. Roof supports: Fire-resistance ratings of primary structural frame and bearing walls are permitted to be reduced by 1 hour where supporting a roof only.
  2. Except in Group F-1, H, M and S-1 occupancies, 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 any floor immediately below. Fire-retardant-treated wood members shall be allowed to be used for such unprotected members.
  3. In all occupancies, heavy timber complying with Section 2304.11 shall be allowed for roof construction, including primary structural frame members, where a 1-hour or less fire-resistance rating is required.
  4. Not less than the fire-resistance rating required by other sections of this code.
  5. Not less than the fire-resistance rating based on fire separation distance (see Table 705.5).
  6. Not less than the fire-resistance rating as referenced in Section 704.10.
  7. Heavy timber bearing walls supporting more than two floors or more than a floor and a roof shall have a fire resistance rating of not less than 1 hour.
The provisions of this chapter shall control the classification of buildings as to type of construction.
Buildings and structures erected or to be erected, altered or extended in height or area shall be classified in one of the five construction types defined in Sections 602.2 through 602.5. The building elements shall have a fire-resistance rating not less than that specified in Table 601 and exterior walls shall have a fire-resistance rating not less than that specified in Table 705.5. Where required to have a fire-resistance rating by Table 601, building elements shall comply with the applicable provisions of Section 703.2. The protection of openings, ducts and air transfer openings in building elements shall not be required unless required by other provisions of this code.
A building or portion thereof shall not be required to conform to the details of a type of construction higher than that type which meets the minimum requirements based on occupancy even though certain features of such a building actually conform to a higher type of construction.
Types I and II construction are those types of construction in which the building elements specified in Table 601 are of noncombustible materials, except as permitted in Section 603 and elsewhere in this code.
Type III construction is that type of construction in which the exterior walls are of noncombustible materials and the interior building elements are of any material permitted by this code. Fire-retardant-treated wood framing and sheathing complying with Section 2303.2 shall be permitted within exterior wall assemblies of a 2-hour rating or less.

Type IV construction is that type of construction in which the building elements are mass timber or noncombustible materials and have fire-resistance ratings in accordance with Table 601. Mass timber elements shall meet the fire-resistance-rating requirements of this section based on either the fire-resistance rating of the noncombustible protection, the mass timber, or a combination of both and shall be determined in accordance with Section 703.2. The minimum dimensions and permitted materials for building elements shall comply with the provisions of this section and Section 2304.11. Mass timber elements of Types IV-A, IV-B and IV-C construction shall be protected with noncombustible protection applied directly to the mass timber in accordance with Sections 602.4.1 through 602.4.3. The time assigned to the noncombustible protection shall be determined in accordance with Section 703.6 and comply with Section 722.7.

Cross-laminated timber shall be labeled as conforming to ANSI/APA PRG 320 as referenced in Section 2303.1.4.

Exterior load-bearing walls and nonload-bearing walls shall be mass timber construction, or shall be of noncombustible construction. 

Exception: Exterior load-bearing walls and nonload-bearing walls of Type IV-HT Construction in accordance with Section 602.4.4.

The interior building elements, including nonload-bearing walls and partitions, shall be of mass timber construction or of noncombustible construction.

Exception: Interior building elements and nonload-bearing walls and partitions of Type IV-HT construction in accordance with Section 602.4.4.

Combustible concealed spaces are not permitted except as otherwise indicated in Sections 602.4.1 through 602.4.4. Combustible stud spaces within light frame walls of Type IV-HT construction shall not be considered concealed spaces, but shall comply with Section 718.

In buildings of Type IV-A, IV-B, and IV-C construction with an occupied floor located more than 75 feet (22 860 mm) above the lowest level of fire department access, up to and including 12 stories or 180 feet (54 864 mm) above grade plane, mass timber interior exit and elevator hoistway enclosures shall be protected in accordance with Section 602.4.1.2. In buildings greater than 12 stories or 180 feet (54 864 mm) above grade plane, interior exit and elevator hoistway enclosures shall be constructed of noncombustible materials.

Building elements in Type IV-A construction shall be protected in accordance with Sections 602.4.1.1 through 602.4.1.6. The required fire-resistance rating of noncombustible elements and protected mass timber elements shall be determined in accordance with Section 703.2.
The outside face of exterior walls of mass timber construction shall be protected with noncombustible protection with a minimum assigned time of 40 minutes, as specified in Table 722.7.1(1). Components of the exterior wall covering shall be of noncombustible material except water-resistive barriers having a peak heat release rate of less than 150kW/m2, a total heat release of less than 20 MJ/mand an effective heat of combustion of less than 18MJ/kg as determined in accordance with ASTM E1354 and having a flame spread index of 25 or less and a smoke-developed index of 450 or less as determined in accordance with ASTM E84 or UL 723. The ASTM E1354 test shall be conducted on specimens at the thickness intended for use, in the horizontal orientation and at an incident radiant heat flux of 50 kW/m2.
Interior faces of all mass timber elements, including the inside faces of exterior mass timber walls and mass timber roofs, shall be protected with materials complying with Section 703.3.
Noncombustible protection shall contribute a time equal to or greater than times assigned in Table 722.7.1(1), but not less than 80 minutes. The use of materials and their respective protection contributions specified in Table 722.7.1(2) shall be permitted to be used for compliance with Section 722.7.1.
The floor assembly shall contain a noncombustible material not less than 1 inch (25 mm) in thickness above the mass timber. Floor finishes in accordance with Section 804 shall be permitted on top of the noncombustible material. The underside of floor assemblies shall be protected in accordance with Section 602.4.1.2.
The interior surfaces of roof assemblies shall be protected in accordance with Section 602.4.1.2. Roof coverings in accordance with Chapter 15 shall be permitted on the outside surface of the roof assembly.
Concealed spaces shall not contain combustibles other than electrical, mechanical, fire protection, or plumbing materials and equipment permitted in plenums in accordance with Section 602 of the International Mechanical Code, and shall comply with all applicable provisions of Section 718. Combustible construction forming concealed spaces shall be protected in accordance with Section 602.4.1.2.
Shafts shall be permitted in accordance with Sections 713 and 718. Both the shaft side and room side of mass timber elements shall be protected in accordance with Section 602.4.1.2.
Building elements in Type IV-B construction shall be protected in accordance with Sections 602.4.2.1 through 602.4.2.6. The required fire-resistance rating of noncombustible elements or mass timber elements shall be determined in accordance with Section 703.2.
The outside face of exterior walls of mass timber construction shall be protected with noncombustible protection with a minimum assigned time of 40 minutes, as specified in Table 722.7.1(1). Components of the exterior wall covering shall be of noncombustible material except water-resistive barriers having a peak heat release rate of less than 150kW/m2, a total heat release of less than 20 MJ/m2 and an effective heat of combustion of less than 18MJ/kg as determined in accordance with ASTM E1354, and having a flame spread index of 25 or less and a smoke-developed index of 450 or less as determined in accordance with ASTM E84 or UL 723. The ASTM E1354 test shall be conducted on specimens at the thickness intended for use, in the horizontal orientation and at an incident radiant heat flux of 50 kW/m2.
Interior faces of all mass timber elements, including the inside face of exterior mass timber walls and mass timber roofs, shall be protected, as required by this section, with materials complying with Section 707.3.
Noncombustible protection shall contribute a time equal to or greater than times assigned in Table 722.7.1(1), but not less than 80 minutes. The use of materials and their respective protection contributions specified in Table 722.7.1(2) shall be permitted to be used for compliance with Section 722.7.1.
Interior faces of mass timber elements, including the inside face of exterior mass timber walls and mass timber roofs, shall be protected in accordance with Section 602.4.2.2.1.

Exceptions: Unprotected portions of mass timber ceilings and walls complying with Section 602.4.2.2.4 and the following:

  1. Unprotected portions of mass timber ceilings and walls complying with one of the following:

    1.1. Unprotected portions of mass timber ceilings, including attached beams, shall be permitted and shall be limited to an area equal to 20 percent of the floor area in any dwelling unit orfire area.

    1.2. Unprotected portions of mass timber walls, including attached columns, shall be permitted and shall be limited to an area equal to 40 percent of the floor area in any dwelling unit or fire area.

    1.3. Unprotected portions of both walls and ceilings of mass timber, including attached columns and beams, in any dwelling unit or fire area shall be permitted in accordance with Section 602.4.2.2.3.

  2. Mass timber columns and beams that are not an integral portion of walls or ceilings, respectively, shall be permitted to be unprotected without restriction of either aggregate area or separation from one another.
In each dwelling unit or fire area, where both portions of ceilings and portions of walls are unprotected, the total allowable unprotected area shall be determined in accordance with Equation 6-1.
 
Equation 6-1
where:
Utc = Total unprotected mass timber ceiling areas.
Uac = Allowable unprotected mass timber ceiling area conforming to Exception 1.1 of Section 602.4.2.2.2.
Utw = Total unprotected mass timber wall areas.
Uaw = Allowable unprotected mass timber wall area conforming to Exception 1.2 of Section 602.4.2.2.2.
In each dwelling unit or fire area, unprotected portions of mass timber walls and ceilings shall be not less than 15 feet (4572 mm) from unprotected portions of other walls and ceilings, measured horizontally along the ceiling and from other unprotected portions of walls measured horizontally along the floor.
The floor assembly shall contain a noncombustible material not less than 1 inch (25 mm) in thickness above the mass timber. Floor finishes in accordance with Section 804 shall be permitted on top of the noncombustible material. The underside of floor assemblies shall be protected in accordance with Section 602.4.1.2.
The interior surfaces of roof assemblies shall be protected in accordance with Section 602.4.2.2 except, in nonoccupiable spaces, they shall be treated as a concealed space with no portion left unprotected. Roof coverings in accordance with Chapter 15 shall be permitted on the outside surface of the roof assembly.
Concealed spaces shall not contain combustibles other than electrical, mechanical, fire protection, or plumbing materials and equipment permitted in plenums in accordance with Section 602 of the International Mechanical Code, and shall comply with all applicable provisions of Section 718. Combustible construction forming concealed spaces shall be protected in accordance with Section 602.4.1.2.
Shafts shall be permitted in accordance with Sections 713 and 718. Both the shaft side and room side of mass timber elements shall be protected in accordance with Section 602.4.1.2.
Building elements in Type IV-C construction shall be protected in accordance with Sections 602.4.3.1 through 602.4.3.6. The required fire-resistance rating of building elements shall be determined in accordance with Section 703.2.
The exterior side of walls of combustible construction shall be protected with noncombustible protection with a minimum assigned time of 40 minutes, as determined in Table 722.7.1(1). Components of the exterior wall covering shall be of noncombustible material except water-resistive barriers having a peak heat release rate of less than 150 kW/m2, a total heat release of less than 20 MJ/m2and an effective heat of combustion of less than 18 MJ/kg as determined in accordance with ASTM E1354 and having a flame spread index of 25 or less and a smoke-developed index of 450 or less as determined in accordance with ASTM E84 or UL 723. The ASTM E1354 test shall be conducted on specimens at the thickness intended for use, in the horizontal orientation and at an incident radiant heat flux of 50 kW/m2.
Mass timber elements are permitted to be unprotected.
Floor finishes in accordance with Section 804 shall be permitted on top of the floor construction.
Roof coverings in accordance with Chapter 15 shall be permitted on the outside surface of the roof assembly.
Concealed spaces shall not contain combustibles other than electrical, mechanical, fire protection, or plumbing materials and equipment permitted in plenums in accordance with Section 602 of the International Mechanical Code, and shall comply with all applicable provisions of Section 718. Combustible construction forming concealed spaces shall be protected with noncombustible protection with a minimum assigned time of 40 minutes, as specified in Table 722.7.1(1).
Shafts shall be permitted in accordance with Sections 713 and 718 Shafts and elevator hoistway and interior exit stairway enclosures shall be protected with noncombustible protection with a minimum assigned time of 40 minutes, as specified in Table 722.7.1(1), on both the inside of the shaft and the outside of the shaft.
Type IV-HT (Heavy Timber) construction is that type of construction in which the exterior walls are of noncombustible materials and the interior building elements are of solid wood, laminated heavy timber or structural composite lumber (SCL), without concealed spaces or with concealed spaces complying with Section 602.4.4.3. The minimum dimensions for permitted materials including solid timber, glued-laminated timber, SCL and cross-laminated timber (CLT) and the details of Type IV construction shall comply with the provisions of this section and Section 2304.11. Exterior walls complying with Section 602.4.4.1 or 602.4.4.2 shall be permitted. Interior walls and partitions not less than 1-hour fire-resistance rated or heavy timber conforming with Section 2304.11.2.2 shall be permitted.
Fire-retardant-treated wood framing and sheathing complying with Section 2303.2 shall be permitted within exterior wall assemblies with a 2-hour rating or less.

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) not less than 4 inches (102 mm) in thickness complying with Section 2303.1.4 shall be permitted within exterior wall assemblies with a 2-hour rating or less. Heavy timber structural members appurtenant to the CLT exterior wall shall meet the requirements of Table 2304.11 and be fire-resistance rated as required for the exterior wall. The exterior surface of the cross-laminated timber and heavy timber elements shall be protected by one the following:

  1. Fire-retardant-treated wood sheathing complying with Section 2303.2 and not less than 15/32 inch (12 mm) thick.
  2. Gypsum board not less than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) thick.
  3. A noncombustible material.
Concealed spaces shall not contain combustible materials other than building elements and electrical, mechanical, fire protection, or plumbing materials and equipment permitted in plenums in accordance with Section 602 of the International Mechanical Code. Concealed spaces shall comply with applicable provisions of Section 718. Concealed spaces shall be protected in accordance with one or more of the following:
  1. The building shall be sprinklered throughout in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 and automatic sprinklers shall also be provided in the concealed space.
  2. The concealed space shall be completely filled with noncombustible insulation.
  3. Surfaces within the concealed space shall be fully sheathed with not less than 5/8-inch Type X gypsum board.

Exception: Concealed spaces within interior walls and partitions with a 1-hour or greater fire-resistance rating complying with Section 2304.11.2.2 shall not require additional protection.

Where a horizontal separation of 20 feet (6096 mm) or more is provided, wood columns and arches conforming to heavy timber sizes complying with Section 2304.11 shall be permitted to be used externally.
Type V construction is that type of construction in which the structural elements, exterior walls and interior walls are of any materials permitted by this code.

Combustible materials shall be permitted in buildings of Type I or II construction in the following applications and in accordance with Sections 603.1.1 through 603.1.3:

  1. Fire-retardant-treated wood shall be permitted in:

    1.1.  Nonbearing partitions where the required fire-resistance rating is 2 hours or less except in shaft enclosures within Group I-2 occupancies and ambulatory care facilities.

    1.2.  Nonbearing exterior walls where fire-resistance-rated construction is not required.

    1.3.  Roof construction, including girders, trusses, framing and decking.

    Exceptions:

    1. In buildings of Type IA construction exceeding two stories above grade plane, fire-retardant-treated wood is not permitted in roof construction where the vertical distance from the upper floor to the roof is less than 20 feet (6096 mm).
    2. Group I-2, roof construction containing fire-retardant-treated wood shall be covered by not less than a Class A roof covering or roof assembly, and the roof assembly shall have a fire-resistance rating  where required by the construction type.

    1.4.  Balconies, porches, decks and exterior stairways not used as required exits on buildings three stories or less above grade plane.

  2. Thermal and acoustical insulation, other than foam plastics, having a flame spread index of not more than 25.

    Exceptions:

    1. Insulation placed between two layers of noncombustible materials without an intervening airspace shall be allowed to have a flame spread index of not more than 100.
    2. Insulation installed between a finished floor and solid decking without intervening airspace shall be allowed to have a flame spread index of not more than 200.
  3. Foam plastics in accordance with Chapter 26.
  4. Roof coverings that have an A, B or C classification.
  5. Interior floor finish and floor covering materials installed in accordance with Section 804.
  6. Millwork such as doors, door frames, window sashes and frames.
  7. Interior wall and ceiling finishes installed in accordance with Section 803.
  8. Trim installed in accordance with Section 806.
  9. Where not installed greater than 15 feet (4572 mm) above grade, show windows, nailing or furring strips and wooden bulkheads below show windows, including their frames, aprons and show cases.
  10. Finish flooring installed in accordance with Section 805.
  11. Partitions dividing portions of stores, offices or similar places occupied by one tenant only and that do not establish a corridor serving an occupant load of 30 or more shall be permitted to be constructed of fire-retardant-treated wood, 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction or of wood panels or similar light construction up to 6 feet (1829 mm) in height.
  12. Stages and platforms constructed in accordance with Sections 410.2 and 410.3, respectively.
  13. Combustible exterior wall coverings, balconies and similar projections and bay or oriel windows in accordance with Chapter 14 and Section 705.2.3.1.
  14. Blocking such as for handrails, millwork, cabinets and window and door frames.
  15. Light-transmitting plastics as permitted by Chapter 26.
  16. Mastics and caulking materials applied to provide flexible seals between components of exterior wall construction.
  17. Exterior plastic veneer installed in accordance with Section 2605.2.
  18. Nailing or furring strips as permitted by Section 803.15.
  19. Heavy timber as permitted by Note c to Table 601 and Sections 602.4.4.4 and 705.2.3.1.
  20. Aggregates, component materials and admixtures as permitted by Section 703.2.1.2.
  21. Sprayed fire-resistant materials and intumescent and mastic fire-resistant coatings, determined on the basis of fire resistance tests in accordance with Section 703.2 and installed in accordance with Sections 1705.15 and 1705.16, respectively.
  22. Materials used to protect penetrations in fire-resistance-rated assemblies in accordance with Section 714.
  23. Materials used to protect joints in fire-resistance-rated assemblies in accordance with Section 715.
  24. Materials allowed in the concealed spaces of buildings of Types I and II construction in accordance with Section 718.5.
  25. Materials exposed within plenums complying with Section 602 of the International Mechanical Code.
  26. Wall construction of freezers and coolers of less than 1,000 square feet (92.9 m2), in size, lined on both sides with noncombustible materials and the building is protected throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
  27. Wood nailers for parapet flashing and roof cants.
The use of nonmetallic ducts shall be permitted where installed in accordance with the limitations of the International Mechanical Code.
The use of combustible piping materials shall be permitted where installed in accordance with the limitations of the International Mechanical Code and the International Plumbing Code.
The use of electrical wiring methods with combustible insulation, tubing, raceways and related components shall be permitted where installed in accordance with the limitations of this code.
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