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American Wood Council

DES602 – Tall Wood Structures: Fire Resistance Design Primer for Mass Timber Construction


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This presentation examines how fire resistance ratings in the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) apply to mass timber and heavy timber construction. Topics include how the IBC incorporates fire testing and calculation methods to quantify fire resistance as well as how various materials, including wood, behave when exposed to high temperatures in fires. Discussion will include code compliant calculation methods for fire resistance ratings of wood frame assemblies and for wood members exposed to fire per the 2015 National Design Specification® (NDS®) for Wood Construction Chapter 16. Mass timber fire resistance ratings when fully exposed or provided with some degree of noncombustible protection is addressed based on current and proposed future code provisions. Also included is information on fire testing, practical considerations for navigating 2015 IBC Chapter 7 on fire and smoke protection features, and an introduction to cross laminated timber (CLT).

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  1. Visualize how mass timber and heavy timber building elements behave when subjected to fire.
  2. Understand basic methods to achieve fire resistance ratings in the 2015 IBC.
  3. Learn how fire resistance ratings of wood assemblies and mass timber are calculated.
  4. Utilize an introduction to CLT as incorporated in the 2015 IBC along with future code change concepts to form a basis of understanding about taller and larger timber structures.

1 Hour of education credits will be awarded.

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