Fire Testing

This research report will focus on manufacturer or trade association deflection requirements for a number of floor topping/covering related products where deflection requirements may impact serviceability.

In a small scale multi-family residential project, I'd like to use a wood truss floor-ceiling assembly to achieve a one hour separation between units. I'd like to directly attach the drywall to the underside of the trusses & use the truss space for ducts & lighting (the floor above will be lightweight concrete on plywood sub-floor). UL assemblies do not seem to address the duct/light penetrations in such an assembly. Can I achieve a one-hour rating in such an assembly and how are penetrations addressed? Can the ducts in the truss space serve both units above and below?

I am trying to develop a guideline for my firefighters regarding initial fire attack in buildings with light-weight trusses. My concern is truss failure, especially when exposed to fire. Is there any information on failure time related to flame impingement? Any information about truss failure – especially in a fire condition would be helpful.

We recently received bids on a school project, which referenced UL P523. This assembly used light-gauge steel trusses. We noted on the drawing that we could accept an alternate design using wood trusses in lieu of light-gauge steel framing, if the alternate design could meet the fire ratings.

We have a local builder wishing to use floor trusses with a 2-hour assembly. I have shown him the 2-hour design on pages 17-27 of the second edition of SBCA’s Metal Plate Connected Wood Truss Handbook. Is this assembly UL approved? If so, what is the design number?

Is it possible to construct an assembly for ceiling between first and second floors using 2x with few layers of gypsum to obtain a 3-hour fire rating?

A question has come up concerning sloped roof trusses and fire assembly ratings. Some are reluctant to rely on test results from flat (parallel chord) trusses applied to sloped roof trusses. Do you have any information regarding the suitability of the fire rated ceiling assemblies for sloped roof trusses? Does the “minimum depth” requirement of the parallel chord assembly apply to the minimum depth of a sloped roof truss (i.e., heel height?)

Our home caught fire last month and burned partly through a tongue and groove ceiling to the trusses. Some are charred. Our contractor did a moisture meter test. An engineer for the insurance company said the trusses were only smoke damaged & the moisture meter test is invalid (it can be set to read anything). I found one article on charred trusses, but it’s pretty vague. We do not feel safe with the insurance engineer’s assessment because some of the trusses are obviously charred. We hired an engineer who agreed with us.

The Gypsum Association “Fire Resistance Design Manual” (GA-600-12) lists file RC2601 with two layers of 5/8 in. gypsum wallboard (GWB) on wood joists.

I am thinking of using wood trusses for the roofing/ceiling structural systems on some houses I shall build. I remember, though, an engineer/volunteer fireman commenting back in 1989 that the connector plates are prone to expand and pop off, early on in a fire, causing catastrophic structural failure. Was this the case, and if so, has this problem been corrected?