Laboratory Suites

Section 305.2.4 of the 1994 UBC requires laboratories “containing hazardous materials” to be separated from each other and other portions of the building by a minimum of 1-hour fire resistive rated construction. The 1994 UBC, however, does not specify a maximum floor area for each 1-hour fire resistive rated laboratory space.

Table 508.4 of the 2012 IBC requires a 1-hour fire resistive rated separation between laboratory suites and adjacent areas. Section 508.4.4.1 further requires the rated separation between individual occupancies to be fire barrier construction in accordance with Section 711.

Section 443.4.1.2 requires laboratory suites to be separated from other laboratory suites by not less than 1-hour fire barrier construction.

The laboratories at the Acme Company Anytown facility appear to have been separated from each other and other portions of the building by 1-hour fire resistive rated construction in the form of fire barriers.


Ducts and Air Transfer Openings

Where ducts and air transfer openings penetrate fire barrier construction at the Acme Company Anytown facility, fire-smoke dampers have been installed. Fire-smoke detectors activate to closed position upon sensing smoke in the duct or air transfer openings through the use of duct smoke detectors.

Section 717.5.2, Exception #3 of the 2012 IBC requires the installation of smoke and fire dampers at duct and air transfer openings located at fire barriers for Group L occupancies. The smoke portion of the fire and smoke damper is required to activate closed through use of a duct smoke detector or as required by Section of the 2009 edition of NFPA 90A.

Duct smoke detectors mounted in the air ducts of HVAC systems are required to initiate a supervisory signal by the fire alarm system in accordance with Section 21.7.4 of the 2013 edition of NFPA 72. Section 907.3.1 of the 2012 IBC further requires duct smoke detectors to activate a supervisory signal at a constantly attended location.