New NYC Code Bulletin Concurs with Conquest Firespray on Required Duct Testing and IBC Code Compliance
Warren, MI – May 16, 2018 – Conquest Firespray, a manufacturer of fire-rated architectural and engineered duct systems, today announced that New York City, in an April 30, 2018 updated Building Bulletin, mandates testing for fire-rated duct to the ISO 6944 (1985) standard. The NYC Bulletin further states that fire-rated HVAC duct assemblies must comply with NYC Construction Codes, which exactly subscribe to the IBC and use the same section numbering system.
Conquest Firespray’s review of the NYC Building Code, which has the force of law, makes clear that under IBC Section 703.2.1, testing of fire-rated HVAC duct assemblies must be A) to either of both sides – inside and outside – of asymmetrical fire-rated duct assemblies, or, B) if a single test is conducted, then the fire-rated duct assemblies must be tested for its weakest “side,” which is invariably the inside of the duct.
As background, today’s fire-rated HVAC duct systems are often constructed of different materials, and the prevailing practice in NYC is to use ceramic insulation on the outside of duct assemblies and unwrapped metal on the inside. When exposed to fire, these different materials will fail at different times; hence NYC’s requirement that at least the duct’s weakest side (the inside) be tested for code compliance.
The cause for concern, and the reason NYC has issued a new Bulletin, is to make certain that the engineering community understands the importance of symmetry in the design of fire-rated duct systems. Ceramic wrapped ducts – widely used today – often do not meet the testing requirements of ISO 6944 because the ducts have not been tested to the “weak” (unwrapped) side. Accordingly, marketers of fire-rated duct assemblies that have only been tested to part of the ISO test standard do not satisfy NYC Construction Code Section 703.2.1. The code plainly states that ducts not tested on the weak side are not code-compliant products, and as such they are subject to costly code enforcement protocols.
“Don’t be fooled,” said John Pattillo, Conquest Firespray Partner. “Manufacturers’ claims about compliance with ISO 6944 standards under one duct test (wrapped on the outside) may not be disclosing the product’s limitations when exposed to for the required second test limitations (unwrapped inside). Making an error when specifying and installing fire-rated duct systems is not only costly, it endangers lives as well.”
About Conquest Firespray
Conquest Firespray manufactures and markets Flamebar® fire-rated architectural and engineered duct solutions to contractors, engineers, and architects. Conquest has served HVAC mechanical and sheet-metal contractors since 1998. Conquest fabricates UL classified and Intertek listed rectangular and spiral duct, and applies coatings at its Michigan Headquarters plant and in Miramar, Florida. Contact: 586.722.9200; email@example.com. More info: www.conquest-firespray.com
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John D. Wagner