1 hour party wall seperation


The IRC requires a one-hour rated fire separation between the dwelling units of a duplex in R302.3. Likewise, it requires a two-hour rated fire separation between each dwelling unit in a townhouse in R302.2.

However, one complaint that I've heard about these party walls (multiple times even, both on this Stack and in reality, is that odors (most notably, cigarette smoke) easily penetrate the party wall. This concerns me, as if a smoldering fire occurs when the attached neighbors aren't home, it could easily develop enough smoke to penetrate such a permeable party wall and severely injure or kill the residents on the non-burning side.

Are there any Code requirements that say rated fire separations also need to limit or prohibit the passage of smoke? Or are party separations not required to limit smoke passage across the separation boundary? Is the passage of odorants across a party wall boundary not correlated with its performance at stopping bulk...

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Passive fre protection has been a significant component of building codes since the publication of the first Building Code recommended by the National Board of Fire Underwriters (NBFU) in 1905—even Nero established some form of passive fire protection in Rome after it burned in 64 A.D. Passive fire protection is the use of building materials to limit the effects of fire on a building or to contain the spread of fire within a building or between separate buildings. In the 1905 edition of the NBFU Building Code, passive fire protection, which came in the form of “Fireproof Buildings,” was determined through prescriptive requirements based solely on the use of materials such as brick, stone, concrete, iron, and steel, without consideration of how well the materials performed under actual fire conditions.

However, over the past 100 years, building codes have continually been improved to reflect new technologies and unfortunately, to respond to tragic events such as the...

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