Duct systems used for the movement of air in air-conditioning, heating, ventilating and exhaust systems shall conform to the provisions of this chapter except as otherwise specified in Chapters 5 and 7.
In each case, openings into fire-resistance-rated construction shall be limited to those needed for maintenance and operation and shall be protected by self-closing fire-resistance-rated devices in accordance with the Florida Building Code, Building for enclosure wall opening protectives. Exit enclosure ventilation systems shall be independent of other building ventilation systems.
Restricted return air occurs in buildings when returns are located in central zones and closed interior doors impede air flow to the return grill or when ceiling spaces are used as return plenums and fire walls restrict air movement from one portion of the return plenum to another. Provisions shall be made in both residential and commercial buildings to avoid unbalanced air flows and pressure differentials caused by restricted return air. Pressure differentials across closed doors where returns are centrally located shall be limited to 0.01-inch WC (2.5 pascals) or less. Pressure differentials across fire walls in ceiling space plenums shall be limited to 0.01-inch WC (2.5 pascals) by providing air duct pathways or air transfer pathways from the high pressure zone to the low zone.
Plenum enclosure construction materials that are exposed to the airflow shall comply with the requirements of Section 703.5 of the Florida Building Code, Building or such materials shall have a flame spread index of not more than 25 and a smoke-developed index of not more than 50 when tested in accordance with ASTM E84 or UL 723.
The use of gypsum boards to form plenums shall be limited to systems where the air temperatures do not exceed 125°F (52°C) and the building and mechanical system design conditions are such that the gypsum board surface temperature will be maintained above the airstream dew-point temperature. Air plenums formed by gypsum boards shall not be incorporated in air-handling systems utilizing evaporative coolers.
Except as required by Sections 602.2.1.1 through 602.2.1.7, materials within plenums shall be noncombustible or shall be listed and labeled as having a flame spread index of not more than 25 and a smoke-developed index of not more than 50 when tested in accordance with ASTM E84 or UL 723.
Foam plastic in plenums used as interior wall or ceiling finish or interior trim shall exhibit a flame spread index of 25 or less and a smoke-developed index of 50 or less when tested in accordance with ASTM E84 or UL 723 at the maximum thickness and density intended for use, and shall be tested in accordance with NFPA 286 and meet the acceptance criteria of Section 803.1.2 of the Florida Building Code, Building.
Plastic piping and tubing used in plumbing systems shall be listed and labeled as having a flame spread index of not greater than 25 and a smoke-developed index of not more than 50 when tested in accordance with ASTM E84 or UL 723.
Exception: Plastic water distribution piping and tubing listed and labeled in accordance with UL 2846 as having a peak optical density not greater than 0.50, an average optical density not greater than 0.15 and a flame spread distance not greater than 5 feet (1524 mm), and installed in accordance with its listing.
Stud wall cavities and the spaces between solid floor joists to be utilized as air plenums shall comply with the following conditions:
|ROUND DUCT DIAMETER |
|1/2-inch water gage||1-inch water gage|
|Thickness (inches)||Thickness (inches)|
|15 to 17||0.016||0.023||0.019||0.027|
|19 to 20||0.019||0.027||0.024||0.034|
|RECTANGULAR DUCT DIMENSION |
|1/2-inch water gage||1-inch water gage|
|Thickness (inches)||Thickness (inches)|
|11 to 12||0.016||0.023||0.019||0.027|
|17 to 18||0.019||0.027||0.024||0.034|
|19 to 20||0.024||0.034||0.024||0.034|
For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1-inch water gage = 249 Pa.
Round metallic ducts shall be mechanically fastened by means of not less than three sheet metal screws or rivets spaced equally around the joint.
Exception: Where a duct connection is made that is partially inaccessible, three screws or rivets shall be equally spaced on the exposed portion so as to prevent a hinge effect.
All longitudinal and transverse joints, seams and connections in metallic and nonmetallic ducts shall be constructed as specified in SMACNA HVAC Duct Construction Standards—Metal and Flexible and NAIMA Fibrous Glass Duct Construction Standards. All joints, longitudinal and transverse seams and connections in ductwork shall be securely fastened and sealed with welds, gaskets, mastics (adhesives), mastic-plus-embedded-fabric systems, liquid sealants or tapes. Tapes and mastics used to seal fibrous glass ductwork shall be listed and labeled in accordance with UL 181A and shall be marked "181 A-P" for pressure-sensitive tape, "181 A-M" for mastic or "181 A-H" for heat-sensitive tape. Tapes and mastics used to seal metallic and flexible air ducts and flexible air connectors shall comply with UL 181B and shall be marked "181 B-FX" for pressure-sensitive tape or "181 B-M" for mastic. Duct connections to flanges of air distribution system equipment shall be sealed and mechanically fastened. Mechanical fasteners for use with flexible nonmetallic air ducts shall comply with UL 181B and shall be marked "181 B-C." Closure systems used to seal all ductwork shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Exception: For ducts having a static pressure classification of less than 2 inches of water column (500 Pa), additional closure systems shall not be required for continuously welded joints and seams and locking-type joints and seams of other than the snap-lock and buttonlock types.
External duct insulation, except spray polyurethane foam, and factory-insulated flexible duct shall be legibly printed or identified at intervals not greater than 36 inches (914 mm) with the name of the manufacturer, the thermal resistance R-value at the specified installed thickness and the flame spread and smoke-developed indexes of the composite materials. Duct insulation product R-values shall be based on insulation only, excluding air films, vapor retarders or other duct components, and shall be based on tested C-values at 75°F (24°C) mean temperature at the installed thickness, in accordance with recognized industry procedures. The installed thickness of duct insulation used to determine its R-value shall be determined as follows:
Where ducts used for cooling are externally insulated, the insulation shall be covered with a vapor retarder having a maximum permeance of 0.05 perm [2.87 ng/(Pa • s • m2)] or aluminum foil having a minimum thickness of 2 mils (0.051 mm). Insulations having a permeance of 0.05 perm [2.87 ng/(Pa • s • m2 )] or less shall not be required to be covered. All joints and seams shall be sealed to maintain the continuity of the vapor retarder.
Exception: A vapor retarder is not required for spray polyurethane foam insulation having a water vapor permeance of not greater than of 3 perm per inch [1722 ng/(s • m2 • Pa)] at the installed thickness.
To prevent the recirculation of dangerous quantities of smoke, a detector approved for air duct use shall be installed on the supply side of air-handling systems as required by NFPA 90A, Standard for the Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilating Systems. Smoke detectors listed for use in air distribution systems shall be located downstream of the air filters and ahead of any branch connections in air supply systems having the capacity greater than 2000 cubic feet per minute.
Exception: Smoke detectors are not required in the supply air system where all portions of the building served by the air distribution system are protected by area smoke detectors connected to a fire alarm system in accordance with the Florida Fire Prevention Code. The area smoke detection system shall comply with Section 606.4.
Where multiple air-handling systems share common supply with a combined design capacity greater than 2,000 cfm (0.9 m3/s), each supply air system shall be provided with smoke detectors in accordance with Section 606.2.1.
Exception: Individual smoke detectors shall not be required for each fan-powered terminal unit, provided that such units do not have an individual design capacity greater than 2,000 cfm (0.9 m3/s) and will be shut down by activation of one of the following:
The duct smoke detectors shall be connected to a fire alarm system where a fire alarm system is required by the Florida Fire Prevention Code. The actuation of a duct smoke detector shall activate a visible and audible supervisory signal at a constantly attended location. In facilities that are required to be monitored by a supervising station, duct smoke detectors shall report only as a supervisory signal, not as a fire alarm.
Fire dampers shall have the minimum fire protection rating specified in Table 607.3.2.1 for the type of penetration.
The fire damper actuation device shall meet one of the following requirements:
Ducts and air transfer openings that penetrate fire barriers shall be protected with listed fire dampers installed in accordance with their listing. Ducts and air transfer openings shall not penetrate enclosures for interior exit stairways and ramps and exit passageways except as permitted by Sections 1023.5 and 1024.6, respectively, of the Florida Building Code, Building.
Exception: Fire dampers are not required at penetrations of fire barriers where any of the following apply:
A listed smoke damper designed to resist the passage of smoke shall be provided at each point a duct or air transfer opening penetrates a smoke barrier wall or a corridor enclosure required to have smoke and draft control doors in accordance with the Florida Building Code, Building.
A corridor damper shall be provided where corridor ceilings, constructed as required for the corridor walls as permitted in Section 708.4, Exception 3, of the Florida Building Code, Building, are penetrated.
A ceiling radiation damper shall be provided where the ceiling membrane of a fire-resistance-rated floor/ceiling or roof/ceiling assembly, constructed as permitted in Section 708.4, Exception 2, of the Florida Building Code, Building, is penetrated.
A listed smoke damper designed to resist the passage of smoke shall be provided at each point where an air transfer opening penetrates a smoke partition. Smoke dampers and smoke damper actuation methods shall comply with Section 607.3.3.2.
In occupancies other than Groups I-2 and I-3, a duct constructed of approved materials in accordance with Section 603 that penetrates a fire-resistance-rated floor/ceiling assembly that connects not more than two stories is permitted without shaft enclosure protection provided that a listed fire damper is installed at the floor line or the duct is protected in accordance with Section 714.5 of the Florida Building Code, Building. For air transfer openings, see Item 6, Section 712.1.9 of the Florida Building Code, Building.
Ceiling radiation dampers shall be tested in accordance with Section 607.3.1. Ceiling radiation dampers shall be installed in accordance with the details listed in the fire-resistance-rated assembly and the manufacturer's installation instructions and the listing. Ceiling radiation dampers are not required where any of the following apply: