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Title: Section 2603  •  Size: 24344

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SECTION 2603 - LIGHT-TRANSMITTING PLASTICS

2603.1 General.

2603.1.1 Scope. The provisions of this section shall govern the quality and methods of application of plastics for use as light-transmitting materials in buildings and structures. For foam plastics, see Sections 601.5.5 and 2602. Light-transmitting plastic materials which meet the other code requirements for walls and roofs may be used in accordance with the other applicable chapters of the code.

2603.1.2 Approval for use. The building official shall require that sufficient technical data be submitted to substantiate the proposed use of any light-transmitting material and, if it is determined that the evidence submitted is satisfactory for the use intended, the building official may approve its use subject to the requirements of this section.

2603.1.3 Identification. Each unit or package of plastic shall be identified with a mark or decal satisfactory to the building official, which includes identification as to the material classification.

2603.1.4 Combination of glazing and exterior wall panels. Combinations of plastic glazing and plastic exterior wall panels shall be subject to the area, height, percentage and separation requirements applicable to the class of plastics as prescribed for wall panel installation.

2603.1.5 Combination of roof panels and skylights. Combinations of plastic roof panels and plastic skylights shall be subject to the area percentage and separation requirements applicable to roof panel installation.

2603.1.6 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. U.B.C. Standard 15-2, Test Method for Determining the Fire Retardancy of Roof-covering Materials

2. U.B.C. Standard 26-5, Chamber Method of Test for Measuring the Density of Smoke from the Burning or Decomposition of Plastic Materials

3. U.B.C. Standard 26-6, Test Method for Ignition Properties of Plastics

4. U.B.C. Standard 26-7, Method of Test for Determining Classification of Approved Light-transmitting Plastics

2603.2 Definitions. For the purpose of this section, certain terms are defined as follows:

EXTERIOR WALL PANELS are materials which are not classified as plastic glazing and which are used as light-transmitting media in exterior walls.

GLASS FIBER REINFORCED PLASTIC is plastic reinforced with glass fiber having not less than 20 percent of glass fibers by weight.

GLAZING is material which has all edges set in frame or sash and is not held by mechanical fasteners which pass through the material.

LIGHT-DIFFUSING SYSTEM is construction consisting in whole or in part of lenses, panels, grids or baffles made with approved plastics positioned below independently mounted electrical light sources. Lenses, panels, grids and baffles which are part of an electrical fixture shall not be considered as a light-diffusing system.

PLASTIC MATERIALS, APPROVED. See Chapter 2.

ROOF PANELS are structural panels other than skylights which are fastened to structural members or structural panels or sheathing and which are used as light-transmitting media in the plane of the roof.

THERMOPLASTIC MATERIAL is a plastic material which is capable of being repeatedly softened by increase of temperature and hardened by decrease of temperature.

THERMOSETTING MATERIAL is a plastic material which is capable of being changed into a substantially nonreformable product when cured.

2603.3 Design and Installation.

2603.3.1 Structural requirements. Plastic materials in their assembly shall be of adequate strength and durability to withstand the design loads as prescribed elsewhere in this code. Technical data shall be submitted to establish stresses, maximum unsupported spans and such other information for the various thicknesses and forms used as may be deemed necessary by the building official.

2603.3.2 Fastening. Fastening shall be adequate to withstand design loads as prescribed elsewhere in this code. Proper allowance shall be made for expansion and contraction of plastic materials in accordance with accepted data on coefficient of expansion of the material and other material in conjunction with which it is employed.

2603.4 Glazing of Unprotected Openings. In Type V-N construction, doors, sash and framed openings not required to be fire protected may be glazed or equipped with approved plastic material.

In types of construction other than Type V-N, openings not required to be fire protected may be glazed or equipped with approved plastic, subject to the following requirements:

1. The aggregate area of plastic glazing shall not exceed 25 percent of the area of any wall face of the story in which it is installed. The area of a single pane of glazing installed above the first story shall not exceed 16 square feet (1.5 ) and the vertical dimension of a single pane shall not exceed 4 feet (1219 mm).

EXCEPTION: When an approved automatic sprinkler system is provided throughout, the area of glazing may be increased to a maximum of 50 percent of the wall face of the story in which it is installed with no limit on the maximum dimension or area of a single pane of glazing.

2. Approved flame barriers extending 30 inches (762 mm) beyond the exterior wall in the plane of the floor, or vertical panels not less than 4 feet (1219 mm) in height, shall be installed between glazed units located in adjacent stories.

3. Plastics shall not be installed more than 65 feet (19 812 mm) above grade level.

2603.5 Light-transmitting Exterior Wall Panels. In Type V-N construction, approved plastics may be installed in exterior walls provided the walls are not required to have a fire-resistive rating.

In types of construction other than Type V-N, approved plastics may be installed in exterior walls, provided the walls are not required to have a fire-resistive rating, subject to the following requirements:

1. Approved exterior wall panels shall not be installed more than 40 feet (12 192 mm) above grade level.

2. Approved exterior wall panels shall not be installed in exterior walls located less than 10 feet (3048 mm) from the property line determined in accordance with Section 504.

3. The area and size shall be limited to that set forth in Table 26-A.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. In structures which are provided with approved flame barriers extending 30 inches (762 mm) beyond the exterior wall in the plane of the floor, there need be no vertical separation at the floor except that provided by the vertical thickness of the flame-barrier projection.

2. When an approved automatic sprinkler system is provided throughout the building, the maximum percentage area of plastic panels in the exterior wall and the maximum square feet of any individual panel may be increased 50 percent above that set forth in Table 26-A, and the separation requirements, both vertical and horizontal, as set forth in Table 26-A may be reduced by 50 percent.

2603.6 Roof Panels. Approved plastic roof panels may be installed in roofs of buildings not required to have a fire-resistive rating, subject to the following limitations:

1. Individual roof panels or units shall be separated from each other by distances of not less than 4 feet (1219 mm) measured in a horizontal plane.

2. Roof panels or units shall not be installed within that portion of a roof located within a distance to property line or public way where openings in exterior walls are prohibited or required to be protected, whichever is most restrictive.

3. Roof panels of Class CC1 plastics shall be limited to a maximum individual panel area of 150 square feet (13.9 ), and the total maximum aggregate area of all panels shall not exceed 33 1/3 percent of the floor area of the room or space sheltered. Roof panels of Class CC2 plastics shall be limited to a maximum individual panel area of 100 square feet (9.3 ), and the total maximum aggregate area of all panels shall not exceed 25 percent of the floor area of the room or space sheltered.

EXCEPTION: Swimming pool shelters are exempt from the area limitations of Section 2603.6, provided such shelters do not exceed 5,000 square feet (464.5 ) in area and are not closer than 10 feet (3048 mm) to the property line or adjacent building.

2603.7 Skylights.

2603.7.1 General. Skylight assemblies may be glazed with approved plastic materials in accordance with the following provisions:

1. The plastics shall be mounted at least 4 inches (102 mm) above the plane of the roof by a curb constructed consistent with the requirements for the type of construction classification.

EXCEPTION: Curbs may be omitted on roofs of Group R, Division 3 Occupancies with a minimum slope of 3 units vertical in 12 units horizontal (25% slope) when self-flashing skylights are used.

2. Flat or corrugated plastic skylights shall slope at least 4 units vertical in 12 units horizontal (33.3% slope). Dome-shaped skylights shall rise above the mounting flange a minimum distance equal to 10 percent of the maximum span of the dome but not less than 5 inches (127 mm).

EXCEPTION: Skylights which pass the Class B Burning Brand Test specified in U.B.C. Standard 15-2.

3. The edges of the plastic lights or domes shall be protected by metal or other noncombustible materials or shall be tested to show that equivalent fire protection is provided.

EXCEPTION: The metal or noncombustible edge is not required where non-rated roof coverings are permitted.

4. Each skylight unit may have a maximum area within the curb of 100 square feet (9.3 ) for CC2 material and 200 square feet (18.6 ) for CC1 material.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. The maximum area within the curb need not be limited if the building on which the skylights are located is not more than one story in height, the building has an exterior separation from other buildings of at least 30 feet (9144 mm), and the room or space sheltered by the roof is not classified in a Group I, Division 1.1, 1.2 or 3 Occupancy or as a required means of egress.

2. Except for Groups A, Divisions 1 and 2; I and H, Divisions 1.1, 1.2 and 2 Occupancies, the maximum area within the curb need not be limited where skylights are:

2.1 Serving as a fire venting system complying with this code; or

2.2 Used in a building completely equipped with an approved automatic sprinkler system complying with U.B.C. Standard 9-1 or 9-3.

5. The aggregate area of skylights installed in the roof shall not exceed 33 1/3 percent of the floor area of the room or space sheltered by the roof when CC1 materials are used and 25 percent when CC2 materials are used.

6. Skylight units shall be separated from each other by a distance of not less than 4 feet (1219 mm) measured in a horizontal plane.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. Except for Groups A, Divisions 1 and 2; I and H, Divisions 1.1, 1.2 and 2 Occupancies, the separation is not required where the skylights are:

1.1 Serving as a fire venting system complying with this code; or

1.2 Used in a building completely equipped with an approved automatic sprinkler system complying with U.B.C. Standard 9-1 or 9-3.

2. Multiple skylights located above the same room or space with a combined area not exceeding the limits set forth in Section 2603.7.1, Item 4.

7. Skylights shall not be installed within that portion of a roof located within a distance to property line or public way where openings in exterior walls are prohibited or required to be protected, whichever is most restrictive.

2603.7.2 Plastics over stair shafts. Approved plastic materials which will not automatically vent but which are able to be vented may be used over stairways and shafts, provided the installation conforms to the requirements of Section 2603.7.1.

2603.8 Light-diffusing Systems.

2603.8.1 General. Plastic diffusers in light-diffusing systems shall be supported directly or indirectly by the use of noncombustible hangers.

Light-transmitting plastic materials in light-diffusing systems shall comply with Chapter 8 unless the approved plastic used in the light-diffusing system meets the following requirements:

1. Diffusers shall fall from their mounting at an ambient temperature of at least 200°F. (93°C.) below the ignition temperature of the plastic material.

2. Diffusers shall remain in place at an ambient room temperature of 175°F. (79°C.) for a period of not less than 15 minutes.

3. The maximum length of any single plastic panel shall not exceed 10 feet (3048 mm), and the maximum area of any single plastic panel shall not exceed 30 square feet (2.8 ).

4. The area of approved plastic materials when used in required exits as defined in Chapter 10 shall not exceed 30 percent of the aggregate area of the ceiling in which they are installed.

EXCEPTION: The aggregate area need not be limited in a building equipped with an approved automatic sprinkler system complying with U.B.C. Standard 9-1 or 9-3.

2603.8.2 Plastic light-diffusing system shall not be installed in the areas to be equipped with automatic sprinklers unless appropriate tests have shown that the system does not prevent effective operation of the sprinklers or unless sprinklers are located both above and below the light-diffusing system to give effective sprinkler protection.

2603.9 Diffusers in Electrical Fixtures. Use of approved plastics as light-diffuser panels installed in approved electrical lighting fixtures in or on walls or ceilings shall comply with Chapter 8 unless the plastic panels meet the requirements of Section 2603.8.1.

2603.10 Partitions. Approved light-transmitting plastics may be used in or as partitions, in accordance with the requirements of this code.

2603.11 Awnings and Patio Covers. Approved plastics may be used in awnings and patio covers. All such awnings shall be constructed in accordance with provisions specified in Section 3206 for projections and appendages. For patio covers, see Appendix Chapter 31.

2603.12 Greenhouses. Approved plastics may be used in lieu of plain glass in greenhouses.

2603.13 Canopies. Approved plastic panels may be installed in canopies erected over motor vehicle service station pumps, provided the panels are located at least 10 feet (3048 mm) from any building on the same property and face yards or streets not less than 40 feet (12 192 mm) in width on the other sides. The aggregate area of plastics shall not exceed 1,000 square feet (92.9 ). The maximum area of any individual panel shall not exceed 100 square feet (9.3 ).

2603.14 Solar Collectors. Solar collectors having noncombustible sides and bottoms may be equipped with plastic covers on buildings not over three stories in height or 9,000 square feet (836.1 ) in total floor area, provided the plastic cover when exceeding a thickness of 0.010 inch (0.3 mm) shall be of approved plastic and the total area shall not exceed 33 1/3 percent of the roof area for CC1 materials or 25 percent of the roof area for CC2 materials.

EXCEPTION: Plastic covers having a thickness of 0.010 inch (0.3 mm) or less may be of any plastic, provided the total area of the collectors does not exceed 33 1/3 percent of the roof area.

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