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Firewall

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Posted by: from Roseneath
1/17/2021 at 5:03:41 PM

Hello, Have purchased a commercial building with shop in the back and apartment in the front. I must bring the building up to code by making dividing wall a fire rated wall, Do I need that wall engineered designed or is that something the building inspector should know about ?

thanks

REPLIES (3)
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Anthony from Estia Group in Hamilton
Date/Time1/17/2021 at 8:22:40 PM

If I am understanding correctly,you do not necessarily need an engineered design. As you have mentioned, there are fire codes to consider - dimension, fire rated finish material, fire detection system etc. Your by-law officer or building inspector will be able to tell you exactly what is needed.

Good Luck!

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Mayyar from Reno Building in Newmarket
Date/Time1/17/2021 at 9:19:52 PM

Hi,

If I understand correctly,

According the part 3 of building code,

3.1.10. Firewalls 3.1.10.1. Prevention of Firewall Collapses

1. Except as permitted in Sentence (2) , where structural framing members

are connected to or supported on a firewall and such members have fire resistance ratings less than that required for the firewall, the connections

and supports for such members shall be designed so that the collapse of

the framing members during a fire will not cause the collapse of the

firewall.

2. Sentence (1) does not apply when a firewall consists of two separate wall

assemblies each tied to its respective building frame but not to each other

provided each wall assembly is constructed as a fire separation having

one half of the fire-resistance rating retried for the firewall in Sentences

3.1.10.2.(1) and (2) and designed so that the collapse of one wall

assembly will not cause collapse of the other.

3. A firewall may be supported on the structural frame of the building in

buildings of noncombustible construction provided such supporting frame

has a fire-resistance rating not less than that required for the firewall.

I recommend have an engineer take a look before installation.

Good luck

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Richard in Edmonton
Date/Time1/18/2021 at 10:27:54 AM

After looking at the Building Code it seems that you do require a firewall as opposed to a fire separation.

A firewall is much more substantial than a fire separation and is used to separate buildings so that each side would be considered as a separate building (firewalls are concrete or concrete block construction).

A firewall is required as per Code article 9.10.9.12. if the shop is considered an F-2 occupancy (medium hazard industrial) and there is more than 1 residential suite. You also require an effective gas barrier if the shop is a repair garage. The previous respondent quoted applicable Part 3 requirements regarding the details of construction of a firewall which is correct and you are directed to Part 3 by article 9.10.11.3. You will need to make application for a building permit complete with drawings and details of construction.

In Alberta the permit application would not require an architect or engineer (can be done by anyone) however the Ontario system is a little different where you have a designation for designers who are trained in Code to prepare the permit application (forgot the name). You also need to find a contractor who has a good understanding of the Code as this may be a fairly complex endeavor.

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