We have an existing gymnasium in town that needs new wall padding. I am unsure what classification (A, B or C) the new pads are required to meet and could not find it in the code. Any help would be appreciated.
I would be happy to answer your question if you could answer some of my questions.
Please answer and I will done the fire code research.
Hello Mr. Werner,
The gym is housed in a former elementary school. The building is now being used as our Town Offices (Business Occupancy). It is not protected by a sprinkler system. The Gym is now called the "Multi Purpose Room" and is used for assembly purposes (Town Meetings, Dances, Dinners, Elections , Recreation activities, etc.). Definitely more than 50 people at certain events. The padding they are looking to purchase will be partial height (6 feet off the floor).
I thank you for your assistance,
In terms of the life safety provisions of the 2009 NFPA 101, the assembly areas in your facility must comply with the basic provisions of the renovation requirements of Section 43.4. New interior finish materials must meet the requirements for new construction in Chapter 12 New Assembly Occupancies.
According to Section 126.96.36.199 of NFPA 188.8.131.52 Assembly Areas, interior wall and ceiling finish materials complying with Section 10.2 shall be Class A or Class B in general assembly areas having occupant loads of more than 300 and shall be Class A, Class B, or Class C in assembly areas having occupant loads of 300 or fewer.
Based on the multiple use of the space, the occupant load of the net area of the gym will predict the wall finish materials classification. With no fixed seating, the occupant factor to calculate the occupant load must be 7 sf per person. Therefore if the space is greater than 2100 sf, the prevailing requirement is Class A or B for occupant loads over 300.
A common material to cover the foam plastic padding is vinyl.
Some interior finish materials present unusually high fire spread potential and are specifically regulated in the Code . These materials present high flame spread, high smoke development, or both. Included are textile materials, expanded vinyl wall or ceiling coverings, and foamed plastics. The use of any of these materials should raise special concerns for the product evaluation. The use of these materials requires special attention for compliance with the specific code requirements. The Life Safety Code includes special requirements for these materials as follows:• Textile materials—10.2.4.1• Expanded vinyl wall and ceiling coverings—10.2.4.2• Cellular or foamed plastic—10.2.4.3
Excerpt from the 2009 NFPA 101 Handbook:
The product evaluation must ensure the wall panels pass all the tests in the above chart. To pass an inspection by the AHJ, the actual fire test reports will need to be submitted to the inspector for verification.
The requirements of the Life Safety Code are typically followed by the ICC codes, or they typically could be used as a basis for equivalencies to the ICC codes per the AHJ approvals.
I recommend you get current copy of NFPA 101 and review it for your application, and consult your local codes on the issue.
NFPA 101 is available to review online for free. Head over to List of NFPA Codes and Standards and click on “FREE ACCESS.”
Thank you Mr. Werner! Much appreciated!
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