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Weather Resistive Barriers used in Exterior Wall Construction – Focus on Fire Testing to NFPA 285

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Weather Resistive Barriers used in Exterior Wall Construction – Focus on Fire Testing to NFPA 285

September 5 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

The role of weather resistant barriers (WRBs) in exterior wall construction is more prevalent than ever. However there are specific building code requirements and rigorous testing standards for the evaluation of WRBs when they are used in many exterior wall assemblies. NFPA 285, the prominent intermediate scale test used in the US for evaluating exterior wall construction, was recently modified to provide better guidance on the use of data for NFPA 285 tests – including weather resistant barriers. This session will be provide information on compliance of exterior wall constructions employing WRBs to NFPA 285. This session will provide an overview of the testing of NFPA 285 and the code requirements, cover the recent changes to NFPA 285 related to WRBs, explore the guidelines surrounding engineering evaluations, and what to look for in an engineering evaluation. There will be an overview of when NFPA 285 is required for WRBs, how NFPA 285 is invoked for Type III building construction, and important recent changes to the New York City building code. Lastly, there will be a discussion on how ABAA can help to provide clarity and support for the use of WRBs in NFPA 285 assemblies.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Better understanding of the fire testing to NFPA 285
  2. Recognize when NFPA 285 is required by Codes for WRBs air barriers in exterior wall construction
  3. Understand the newest requirements and guidelines for air barriers when used in these assemblies
  4. Understand what to look for in a report, an engineering evaluation
  5. Understand UL Solutions’ third part certification approach for exterior wall construction

Dwayne Sloan          

Dwayne Sloan is the Technical Director for Built Environment at UL Solutions where he leads a team of Principal Engineers. During his 36 years at UL, Dwayne’s focus has been in the area of Reaction to Fire – including Building Materials, Building Contents, Roofing, and Air Ventilation. In these areas, he provides technical leadership for certification services, special programs, Evaluation Reports, Code development, and Standards development. Dwayne serves on several UL, NFPA and ASTM technical committees. He is currently the 1st Vice President of ASTM E05 – Committee on Fire Standards, Chair of NFPA 90A – Air Ventilation, Chair of UL’s Fire Council, and a member of the NFPA Standards Council. One of Dwayne’s focus areas is Exterior Wall Flammability where he serves on the NFPA Fire Test Committee responsible for NFPA 285. He has written several articles and presented on this topic around the world. Dwayne is a UL Corporate Fellow within the William Henry Merrill Society, named in honor of UL’s founder.

Andrea Wagner Watts                       

Andrea Wagner Watts is the Building Science Education manager for GAF, engaging with industry professionals to provide guidance, technical support and education for roof and wall assemblies. Andrea has more than 15 years of experience in the construction industry, successfully developing multiple sealants and air/water barrier system solutions and doing building science research. She is always working to improve the overall performance of the building enclosures through application innovation, research and industry knowledge sharing. Andrea has published on building science, assembly interfaces, durability and resilience and is the holder of multiple patents. She serves as an executive board member of ABAA, is the co-chair of their Technical Committee and chairs the ASTM E06 Task Group on air barriers.


September 5
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
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