NFPA 1: Construction type requirements in accordance with NFPA 220, #FireCodefridays

Blog Post created by kristinbigda Employee on Jun 16, 2017

Hello – Happy Friday!  Today’s post comes to you from Tracy Vecchiarelli, Senior Fire Protection Engineer in the Building Fire Protection and Life Safety Department, at NFPA.  Special thanks to Tracy for her contribution to this blog while I am out on maternity leave, and discussing one of the many subjects addressed in the Fire Code.


NFPA 1 isn’t a document I work with a lot, so when Kristin asked me to write a guest post for her Fire Code Fridays blog, I was a little intimidated. Luckily, NFPA 1 includes literally HUNDREDS of referenced standards, a few of which I know pretty well- like NFPA 220, Standard on Types of Building Construction.


NFPA 220 is referenced in Chapter 12 of the Code. In addition, scattered through NFPA 1 are requirements related to construction type. Many of these are special exemptions depending on the construction type. For example in Chapter 28 (Marinas and Boatyards), if you have Type I or Type II construction (and no combustible contents) you are not required to provide an automatic fire-extinguishing system. NFPA 1 can also point out required construction types, for example in Chapter 21 (Airports and Heliports), airport terminals are required to be Type I, Type II or Type IV.


NFPA 220 is the document that defines these types of construction. NFPA has 5 construction “Types” and 10 variations of those types, depending on the rating of specific construction elements. See below for an explanation and an example of NFPA’s construction types.



There is also a helpful table within NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code (Annex A. that compares the construction type labels used by NFPA, UBC, B/NBC, SBC and the IBC (See below).



Thanks for reading.  Happy Friday, stay safe!


(you can follow both Tracy (@TracyNFPA) and I (@KristinB_NFPA) for additional fire safety information.)