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Smokin’ NFPA 285: History, Triggers, and Solutions

Installer Training:
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Smokin’ NFPA 285: History, Triggers, and Solutions

June 16, 2022 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

When considering the building enclosure, fire safety is an important design factor and needs to be considered hand-in-hand with energy code requirements. The NFPA 285 “Standard Fire Test Method for Evaluation of Fire Propagation Characteristics of Exterior Non-Load-Bearing Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components” is a common consideration with modern building assemblies that use combustible materials. This presentation will review the history and scope of the NFPA 285 test standard, and its adoption within the International Building Code (IBC). It will outline the criteria for compliance, as well as identify triggers and contributors under the standard. The presentation will review how the selection building components such as insulation, air/water resistive barriers and claddings, can affect the fire performance of an assembly, and identify solutions and common paths for compliance.

HSW Justification:
This presentation discusses and clarifies fire safety in building design through understanding the model building code triggers and compliance options to mitigate vertical and lateral flame propagation on the buildings exterior, as demonstrated in the Grenfeld tragedy in London.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Upon Completion of the course participants will be able to discuss history and development of the NFPA 285 test and its predecessors.
  2. Upon Completion of the course participants will be able to discuss the current scope, process, and compliance requirements of NFPA 285 compliant assemblies.
  3. Upon Completion of the course participants will be able to describe the current IBC requirements for NFPA 285 compliance for foam plastics and WRB’s.
  4. Upon Completion of the course participants will be able to identify paths for NFPA 285 compliance within the Building Code.

Keith Nelson, Principal & Building Envelope Manager at ECS Limited

Keith Nelson brings over 20 years of professional experience to technical and complex building enclosure design and failure investigations. He is a Licensed Architect in the District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, Texas, and Virginia. He is also an ASHRAE Certified Building Commissioning Professional. Mr. Nelson earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design and Bachelor of Architecture from Ball State University. Keith is a consultant to the ASHRAE 90.1 Building Envelope Subcommittee and a current member of ASHRAE 160 Hygrothermal Analysis Technical Committee. He participates in ASTM E06.55 Performance of Buildings and ASTM E06.41 Air Barriers. Mr. Nelson provides training nationally on the topics of Building Science & Building Enclosures, coauthored the Building Enclosure Commissioning chapter of The Building Commissioning Handbook (3rd Ed.) from the BCxA, and was co-chair and co-editor of ASTM STP 1615 “Whole Building Air Leakage: Testing and Building Performance Impacts.” He is the father of three amazing girls, a fan of Star Wars, and husband to a wife he does not deserve.


June 16, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
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