Understanding the Use of Air and Water-Resistive Barriers in NFPA 285 Compliant Wall Assemblies
Market demand for insulations, dedicated air and waterresistive barriers, and other combustible envelope materials are at an all-time high due to new building performance, facility life, and occupant health and safety requirements. Consequently, the code-required fire test standard called National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 285 has become a subject of focus as its relevance has significantly increased with recent International Building Code (IBC) updates and the use of more combustible components in advanced wall systems.
While NFPA 285 Standard Fire Test Method for Evaluation of Fire Propagation Characteristics of Exterior Non-Load-Bearing Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components has actually been around for over 30 years, it is important for building industry professionals to become familiar with the history, relevance, and applicability of this testing requirement. It is also important to understand how the use of combustible air and water-resistive barriers relates to NFPA 285 code requirements.