NFPA 285 Performance Requirements

When you are designing a wall assembly for your next project, you need to consider the NFPA 285 performance requirements. NFPA 285 is a standard test method for evaluating fire propagation characteristics of exterior noncombustible wall assemblies containing combustible components. NFPA 285 compliance is identified through assembly analysis by accredited testing facilities and Fire Protection Engineers.

NFPA 285 compliant wall assembly minimum requirements include:

  • Fire must stay within predetermined temperatures of typically 750 ⁰F (417 ⁰C) within interior wall and stud cavity space
  • Flames must remain within the first floor interior space and cannot exceed side walls of testing structure or extend into the second floor
  • Vertical and horizontal flame spread must be less than 10’-0” above window opening and less than 5’-0” from center of window opening
  • Fire must stay within predetermined temperatures of 1000 ⁰F (538 ⁰C) for exterior face of wall assembly

Some wall assemblies may have special conditions for construction. We recommend you contact a trusted Henry advisor to discuss your project’s details.

When is NFPA 285 required?

According to the 2015 IBC “1403.5 Vertical and lateral frame propagation”:

Exterior walls on buildings of Types I, II, III or IV construction that are greater than 40 feet (12192mm) in height above grade plane and contain a combustible water-resistive barrier shall be tested in accordance with and comply with the acceptance criteria of NFPA 285.

Note that air barrier flashings for window, doors and other exterior wall penetrations are not considered part of an air barrier assembly for the purpose of NFPA 285 compliance.

Air barriers are usually a requirement for new construction, and you should consider the IBC code and compliance with NFPA 285 when choosing the right air barrier system.

Need to meet 2018 IBC Section 1402.5 – Exception #2?

Henry has three commercial air barrier membranes that are rated to meet the minimum requirements for exception #2 as defined in the 2018 IBC Section 1402.5:

A complete portfolio of air barriers that meet NFPA 285 compliance

Air barrier membranes from Henry are available in two main types: self-adhered sheet and fluid applied. All Henry air barrier membranes comply with NFPA 285 in various wall assemblies.

Henry also offers a complete portfolio of compatible primers, flashings and sealants to create an effective building envelope system to meet your building performance requirements. When you’re working on your next commercial building or multifamily project and you need a wall assembly that complies with NFPA 285 performance requirements, contact a trusted Henry advisor using the form below.

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