Does Smoke Partition Require Fire & Smoke Dampers at Penetration ?

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    Kyle Mastalinski

    710.8 Ducts and air transfer openings. The space around a duct penetrating a smoke partition shall be filled with an approved material to limit the free passage of smoke. Air transfer openings in smoke partitions shall be provided with a smoke damper complying with Section 717.3.2.2.

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    Jin Yang

    Is "Air transfer openings" the same meaning as "Duct penetrations" ? I though smoke partitions usually terminate at the ceiling, which wouldn't be penetrated by ductwork. But if it does, would it still require a smoke damper even though it's not fire rated ? 

    Thank you

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    David Kaplan

    No, an air transfer opening is not the same as a duct penetration.  An air transfer opening is what is known as a "boot duct", and it is nothing more than a hole cut in the drywall that connects the plenum spaces of two rooms.  Sometimes it's lined with actually duct material, but if you look at it, it looks just like a hole.  This is often done when you have a return air plenum design, and there's a large return air duct in the plenum that collects the return air from all rooms on a floor.  If those room walls go up to the deck, including the drywall, there'd be no way for the air to get to the central return air collector from those rooms (the drywall would block air transfer).  Thus the need for an air transfer opening.

    Hope that helps.  

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    Jin Yang

    Much appreciated, thank you.

    Jin

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