The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced allowances for larger and taller mass timber buildings in accordance with NFPA 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code® and, where applicable, NFPA 101 Life Safety Code®. NFPA undertook a three-year process to review mass timber where several NFPA Technical Committees, with responsibility for building construction provisions, developed new tall mass timber provisions. Issued in June, the new provisions are intended to eliminate conflicts that can occur when compliance with both the IBC and NFPA 101 is required. The updated NFPA codes are expected to be available later this year. Kenneth Bland P.E., and Vice President of Codes & Regulations for the American Wood Council (the voice of North American wood products manufacturing) said, “The addition of tall mass timber provisions to NFPA 5000 and NFPA 101 ensures compatibility with the International Building Code, thereby furthering the market opportunity for tall mass timber buildings. NFPA’s recognition of tall mass timber furthers the availability of a low-embodied carbon alternative compared to traditional building materials.”
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Fire Safety Challenges of Tall Wood Buildings