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Are raw cow hides combustible?

Question asked by Terin Gloor on May 6, 2016

I am an engineer working on a agricultural storage building – coverall membrane type building open on both ends.  The client is a slaughter house and intends to use this building for storage/drying of raw cow hides. I understand this to be an S-2 Occupancy – low hazard storage.  The IBC defines this as “…buildings used for the storage of noncombustible materials…” and it specifically lists meat storage as among the typical, non-combustible, items anticipated for this occupancy.

 

However, the AHJ is siting the NFPA1 definition of combustible that states “A material that, in the form in which it is used and under the conditions anticipated, will ignite and burn”.  His interpretation is that meat can burn, so therefore it is combustible.

 

My question is in two parts.  First, are there lists of common products that have been tested according to ASTM E 136 and determined to be non-combustible?  Second, what is the relationship between building code and the fire code?  Any other info that you can provide to help me understand this better will be greatly appreciated.

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