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Monthly Program

Demystifying NFPA 285

Steven Lawrey, Pecora Corporation


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Racquet Club at 511 Sanderlin

5:30p social, 6:00 dinner, 7:00 program


With the introduction of exterior wall assembly continuous insulation and air barrier requirements in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ASHRAE 90.1 there has been a growing concern for fire safety in multistory buildings.  Devastating fires involving the building envelope of high-rise buildings have gained much attention.  To prevent loss of life and large-scale property damage the International Building Code (IBC) prescribes that the proposed wall assemblies indicated in construction documents be tested to, and comply with the acceptance criteria in NFPA 285.  This presentation will focus on understanding the test method and how it applies to the design of exterior wall systems; compliance via engineering judgements and how ensure compliance through specifications.


Steve’s presentation will include an overview of NFPA 285 with respect to its development in enhancing life safety with respect to fire protection in building wall systems. This presentation will explore the necessity of testing a particular air barrier system within a specific NFPA 285 approved wall system to meet building code requirements. We will also explore how to specify and seek and gain approvals on air barriers when an NFPA 285 design does not include the air barrier specified.


About the Presenter


Building Science Engineer, Pecora Corporation

Steve Lawrey joined Pecora Corporation in 2014 to lead the company’s architectural initiatives and address building enclosure performance and sustainability questions posed to the Technical Services Group of which he is a member.  His expertise includes architectural design and detailing, specification writing, and standards development.  He is also experienced in building material testing and compliance.  Lawrey is a Registered Architect in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and specializes in developing resources to aid architects, engineers and designers to select and specify the perfect products for their projects.  Currently he serves as Secretary of the CSI Middle Atlantic Region and in FY 2010 and 2011, served as President of the Philadelphia chapter.  Last month he attained CSI’s “triple crown” by earning his CCPR certification.