Flame Spread and Code Conformance Guides for Wood Updated

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Issue #11241 - August 2019 | Page #82
By Robert Glowinski

The work the American Wood Council (AWC) carries out makes it easier for code officials, engineers, designers, and builders to ensure that wood products are used in accordance with the most up-to-date consensus-based building codes. Two AWC publications that support the code and design community have been updated to reflect provisions in the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) and are now available for free use on the AWC website.

Design for Code Acceptance (DCA) 1 – Flame Spread Performance of Wood Products Used for Interior Finish

Under the building code, interior finish must meet certain requirements that demonstrate its resistance to fire moving across the surface of the material and amount of smoke produced when burning. DCA 1 provides this information for many wood products, giving the flame spread index for a variety of wood species that are normally used as interior finishes for walls and ceilings. Importantly, all wood species and wood panel products listed in DCA 1 are either Class B or Class C, and all have smoked-developed indices less than the limit found in the IBC.

Although a bit technical, DCA 1 has also been updated to reflect 2018 International Building Code (IBC) provisions, which require that interior wall and ceiling finish materials be classified based on fire spread and smoke develop indices from testing under the ATSM E84 or UL723 fire tests, and adds references to new ASTM E2579 and E2404 fire test mounting standards as well as Black Spruce 3-ply cross-laminated timber.

2018 Code Conforming Wood Design (CCWD)

Additionally, to provide designers and building officials with a concise summary of how the building code addresses wood product use, the 2018 Code Conforming Wood Design (CCWD) has also been made available for download on the AWC website. The CCWD is a joint publication of AWC and the International Code Council (ICC) that summarizes provisions related to wood products as they appear in the 2018 IBC.

It can be difficult for designers to know about all of the code provisions for wood products that are in the IBC. The CCWD consolidates all of the updated provisions in one place, making it easier for designers to build to code with wood products.

Updates to the 2018 CCWD include the addition of new IBC Section 3314, an important provision in eliminating construction site fires by requiring a fire watch during non-working hours when construction exceeds 40’ in height or as required by the fire code official. Other updates to the 2018 CCWD include special provisions for the protection of attics in wood-frame special occupancy stacked buildings and updated references to the 2018 National Design Specification® for Wood Construction (NDS) and 2018 Wood Frame Construction Manual (WFCM).

Adhering to the most up-to-date building codes is essential for ensuring construction and building safety. Both DCA 1 and CCWD provide key information to designers and the building officials that must approve wood-based projects, helping to ensure that the products of our industry are well understood, can be quickly and easily recognized as code compliant, and thereby get used in accordance with the most up-to-date consensus-based codes.

You're reading an article from the August 2019 issue.

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