Specific Resources



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    Scott Barber

    Hi Joseph,

    1. Architectural Graphics Standards addresses wall assembly fire ratings, though apparently some versions don't have the same chart that makes it more clear. This post has a few images of the charts from an edition of AGS that may help. I also referenced a USG document for fire ratings, I just googled and it was the first link that popped up.

    2. You may benefit from Building Codes Illustrated if you can't get a handle on the charts in the IBC, or there may be videos or other resources that explain it more clearly. We've spent the last 4 weekly office meetings discussing topics along those lines, it can get complicated and there's a lot involved. It also could be helpful to sit down with someone in your office you can help walk you through the charts in the code book.

    3. Architectural Graphics Standards is probably your best bet for this, too. In general, I feel like AGS has all the details needed for PDD and is an essential resource, especially for people without extensive detailing experience. 

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    David Kaplan (Edited )


     Regarding #2 above, here’s how it works:

     You have to go to Chapter 3 of the Building Code to determine what the Use Groups are of the two spaces under consideration.  Let’s go ahead and take your example: an apartment unit next to a retail store.  Under Chapter 3 of IBC 2012, these would fall under the following classifications:

     Apartment – Group R-2 (note: you’ll see in a minute that knowing simply that it’s “R” is good enough by the way).

    Retail Store – Group M

    Now, assuming that you are in fact a separated mixed-use design, meaning that you are required to in fact separate these two uses in the building, you then go to Table 508.4 Required Separation of Occupancies.  Looking at the Table, select “R” from the left column and “M” from the other column (which is included with B, F-1, and S-1 too).  Connect those two columns together and you’ll see that if the building is sprinkled (S), the required separation is 1 HR.  If it’s unsprinkled (NS), the required separation is 2 HRs. 

     A quick note: if you had chosen “M” from the left column and “R” from the other column and connected them, you’ll see that you end up at a square marked “—“.  You should ignore that.  That means do it the other way, as I’ve described above.  It’s kind of an odd thing, the table is not great.

     That’s really it.  The information given to you on the test should tell you if the building is sprinkled or not, since you obviously need to know that to use the table. 

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    Joseph Alexander


    Scott - I will check out architectural graphic standards and building codes illustrated as you suggest. 

    David - the "quick note" that you had is exactly what confused me - this adds clarity. 

    Thank you!

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