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Title: Section 601  •  Size: 17203

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601.1 General. The requirements of this chapter are for the various types of construction and represent varying degrees of public safety and resistance to fire. Every building shall be classified by the building official into one of the types of construction set forth in Table 6-A. Any building which does not entirely conform to a type of construction set forth in Table 6-A shall be classified by the building official into a type having an equal or lesser degree of fire resistance.

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 building actually conform to a higher type of construction.

When specific materials, types of construction or fire-resistive protection are required, such requirements shall be the minimum requirements, and any materials, types of construction or fire-resistive protection which will afford equal or greater public safety or resistance to fire, as specified in this code, may be used.


For additional limitations or allowances for special uses or occupancies, see the following:

402 Atria
403 High-rise office buildings and Group R,
Division 1 Occupancies
404 Malls
405 Open parking structures
307.11 Group H, Division 6 Occupancies
411 Aviation control structures
413 Agricultural buildings
3111 Membrane structures

601.2 Mixed Types of Construction. When a building contains more than one distinct type of construction, the area of the entire building shall not exceed the least area permitted for the types of construction involved.

EXCEPTION: Each portion of a building separated by one or more area separation walls as specified in Section 504.6 may be considered a separate building for the purpose of classification of types of construction. The fire-resistive time period for such type of construction separation shall not be less than the most restrictive requirement in Section 504.6.2 based on the types of construction involved.

601.3 Standards of Quality. The standards listed below labeled a "U.B.C. standard" are also listed in Chapter 35, Part II, and are part of this code. The other standards listed below are recognized standards. (See Sections 3502 and 3503.)

1. Building paper.

1.1 U.B.C. Standard 14-1, Kraft Waterproof Building Paper

1.2 Asphalt-saturated Rag Felt, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Standard Specification 55A, Materials for Construction of Built-up Roof Coverings

2. Potential heat of building materials.

U.B.C. Standard 26-1, Test Method to Determine Potential Heat of Building Materials

3. Foam plastic tests.

3.1 U.B.C. Standard 26-2, Test Method for the Evaluation of Thermal Barriers, Standard of the International Conference of Building Officials

3.2 Factory Mutual Standard Fire Test Standard for Insulated Roof Deck Construction

3.3 Underwriters Laboratories Inc. 1256, Fire Test Standard for Insulated Roof Deck Construction

3.4 U.B.C. Standard 26-3, Room Fire Test Standard for Interior Foam Plastic Systems, Standard of the International Conference of Building Officials

3.5 U.B.C. Standard 26-4, Method of Test for the Evaluation of Flammability Characteristics of Exterior, Nonload-bearing Wall Panel Assemblies Using Foam Plastic Insulation, Test Standard of the International Conference of Building Officials

4. Roof coverings.

4.1 Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Standard Specification 55A, Materials for Use in Construction of Built-up Roof Coverings

4.2 U.B.C. Standard 15-2, Test Standard for Determining the Fire Retardancy of Roof Covering Material

5. Surface-burning characteristics and fire resistance of building materials and assemblies.

5.1 U.B.C. Standard 8-1, Test Method for Surface-burning Characteristics of Building Materials

5.2 U.B.C. Standard 7-1, Fire Test of Building Construction and Materials

6. Self-ignition properties of plastics.

ASTM D 1929, Ignition Properties of Plastics

7. Fire dampers.

UL 555, Fire Dampers

601.4 Structural Frame. The structural frame shall be considered to be the columns and the girders, beams, trusses and spandrels having direct connections to the columns and all other members which are essential to the stability of the building as a whole. The members of floor or roof panels which have no connection to the columns shall be considered secondary members and not a part of the structural frame.

601.5 Exceptions to Table 6-A.

601.5.1 General. The provisions of this section are exceptions to the construction requirements of Table 6-A, Chapter 3 and Sections 602 through 606.

601.5.2 Fixed partitions.

601.5.2.1 Stores and offices. Interior nonload-bearing partitions dividing portions of stores, offices or similar places occupied by one tenant only and which do not establish a corridor serving an occupant load that would require it to be of fire-resistive construction under the provisions of Section 1005.7 may be constructed of:

1. Noncombustible materials.

2. Fire-retardant-treated wood.

3. One-hour fire-resistive construction.

4. Wood panels or similar light construction up to three fourths the height of the room in which placed; when more than three fourths the height of the room, such partitions shall not have less than the upper one fourth of the partition constructed of glass.

601.5.2.2 Hotels and apartments. Interior nonload-bearing partitions within individual dwelling units in apartment houses and guest rooms or suites in hotels when such dwelling units, guest rooms or suites are separated from each other and from corridors by not less than one-hour fire-resistive construction may be constructed of:

1. Noncombustible materials or fire-retardant-treated wood in buildings of any type of construction; or

2. Combustible framing with noncombustible materials applied to the framing in buildings of Type III or V construction.

Openings to such corridors shall be equipped with doors conforming to Section 1005.8 regardless of the occupant load served.

For use of plastics in partitions, see Section 2603.10.

601.5.3 Folding, portable or movable partitions. Approved folding, portable or movable partitions need not have a fire-resistive rating, provided:

1. They do not block required exits (without providing alternative conforming exits) and they do not establish an exit corridor.

2. Their location is restricted by means of permanent tracks, guides or other approved methods.

3. Flammability shall be limited to materials having a flame-spread classification as set forth in Table 8-B for rooms or areas.

601.5.4 Walls fronting on streets or yards. Regardless of fire-resistive requirements for exterior walls, certain elements of the walls fronting on streets or yards having a width of 40 feet (12 192 mm) may be constructed as follows:

1. Bulkheads below show windows, show-window frames, aprons and showcases may be of combustible materials, provided the height of such construction does not exceed 15 feet (4572 mm) above grade.

2. Wood veneer of boards not less than 1-inch (25 mm) nominal thickness or exterior-type panels not less than 3/8-inch (9.5 mm) nominal thickness may be applied to walls, provided the veneer does not exceed 15 feet (4572 mm) above grade, and further provided such veneer shall be placed either directly against noncombustible surfaces or furred out from such surfaces not to exceed 15/8 inches (41 mm) with all concealed spaces fire-blocked as provided in Section 708. Where boards, panels and furring as described above comply with Section 207 as fire-retardant-treated wood suitable for exterior exposure, the height above grade may be increased to 35 feet (10 668 mm).

601.5.5 Trim. Trim, picture molds, chair rails, baseboards, handrails and show-window backing may be of wood. Unprotected wood doors and windows may be used except where openings are required to be fire protected.

Foam plastic trim covering not more than 10 percent of the wall or ceiling area may be used, provided such trim (1) has a density of no less than 20 pounds per cubic foot (320.4 kg/m³), (2) has a maximum thickness of 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) and a maximum width of 4 inches (102 mm) and (3) has a flame-spread rating no greater than 75.

Materials used for interior finish of walls and ceilings, including wainscoting, shall be as specified in Chapter 8.

601.5.6 Loading platforms. Exterior loading platforms may be of noncombustible construction or heavy-timber construction with wood floors not less than 2-inch (51 mm) nominal thickness. Such wood construction shall not be carried through the exterior walls.

601.5.7 Insulating boards. Combustible insulating boards may be used under finished flooring.

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