I have a customer who wants me to install a material conveying duct (air conveyed) up and over a fire wall instead of penetrating the wall and installing a fire damper. Where in the codes does it discuss this ?
I am not aware that the Life Safety Code regulates fire wall in the context of separating buildings. However, one should consult with Section 706 Fire Walls of the 2015 IBC.
Consult with 706.6 Vertical Continuity concerning roof openings within 4 feet of the fire wall. The fire wall it self must comply with the vertical requirements and/or the exceptions of this section. If you were able to meet the opening clearances with the roof penetrations and not penetrate the fire wall and the fire rated roof assembly mentioned in the Code section with the ducts, there would be no prohibition by the Codes for your intended installation.
In addition, consult Chapter 5 if the 2015 IMC for the installation of your material conveying duct.
I would like to see how others have deal with the codes for this installation. In the past I have approved similar installations for rooftop HVAC ducts in my jurisdiction.
You didn't state the type of materials being conveyed. For combustible particulate solids a possible reference is NFPA 650, 2-5 Penetration of Fire Barriers. In general, such pneumatic material conveyors are prohibited from penetrating a rated fire barrier. That may be why they think going up and over the wall is a workable go around as opposed to going thru it. I do not know enough from your description of the facility and processes to determine if the roof assembly itself may also be a rated assembly. If it is then penetrating the roof itself would be an additional concern.
Obviously, without any kind of a damper or if the conveyor goes up and over the fire wall a fire within the conveyor system would potentially spread the fire to the other side of the fire barrier.
Thanks Lawrence you given us more to think about. I haven't found any code requirements of roof top material conveying duct installation restrictions adjacent or over a fire wall where the lot line and fire wall doesn't coincide. I was not clear in the response that we are discussing "fire walls" or "fire barriers". Greg please clarify for us.
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