Nortech Systems (Nortech) provided engineering services to determine the need of a fire wall at Amesbury Chevrolet. It was determined that the dealership’s proposed addition would require a fire wall, as the proposed area was greater than that which is allowed in the International Building Code (IBC). As a result, a fire wall was located to divide the dealership into two separate buildings. Each building complies with allowable area requirements.
Nortech provided documentation to detail the construction of the fire wall. There are three basic styles of fire walls: cantilevered (freestanding), tied and double. A freestanding fire wall was most appropriate for the dealership’s addition and therefore Nortech designed one in accordance with IBC. Although not enforced by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), the wall was also designed to comply with the Standard for High Challenge Fire Walls, Fire Walls, and Fire Barrier Walls (NFPA 221). NFPA 221 contains construction details that are not supplied in IBC.