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Garage Fire Separation


Mike Lamb
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It depends on the fire wall assembly and the 1/2 inch drywall. Most 1/2 inch drywall is not rated for fire assemblies. If it was 5/8 it is not much of an issue.

As I recall in some of the old UBC versions from the 60's and 70's there are some assemblies in the tables that might comply. Do not use an older code that pre-dates the original construction date of the house.

One interesting fact to remember when discussing fire walls is that a fire rated assembly has passed the ASTM test once. We do not know how many times it was tested. So the wall you are looking at with ? inch drywall with paneling over it could possibly last 1 hour. But without testing it no one can say.

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Ramon,

What code do you guys work with for residential construction?

Oh, and 5/8" type X is only required on ceilings when there is living space above (IRC)

In California we have the CBC California Building Code (AKA California Title 24 codes). It is based off the IBC which is then modified. The CBC usually is issued 1 year after the IBC is issued. In other words if the IBC is issued by ICC dated 2006 the CBC is issued dated 2007.

I just checked my code adoption dates for several municipalities and none show the IRC (or a CBC equivalent) as a code they have adopted. All the municipalities show UBC until 1998 +-then change to the CBC. I suspect that more rural communities might adopt/accept the IRC code; however based on conversations with the office of the state Architect (CA) I believe the CBC is the only accepted code under (CA) title 24 codes. I mainly deal with multifamily and commercial buildings in my day to day work. Some of the projects were built on the late 60's and through adaptive reuse were converted to condominiums over the last decade.

My experience with Nevada codes is that the IBC and IRC are in play. The counties or cities pass amendments that the building official implements.

It is very interesting dealing with all of the different codes in play at different times. I have two projects in Florida one is under the 2001 Florida building code and the other was designed under the 1994 Standard building code but the municipality only adopted the 1991 SBC then adopted the 1997 SBC. As some will know the SBC code changes between 91, 94, and 97 were major reorganizations.

My understanding from single family residences I built in Utah 5/8 type X was always required in the late 80?s and 90?s for all garage walls with structural framing. Ceilings were also required to be 5/8 type X even if there is no living space above.

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