Changes to New Plumbing, Building, Fire Protection Codes

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff June 21, 2006

From Building Design and Construction

The 2006 editions of the International Code Council (ICC) plumbing (IPC) and building (IBC) codes, and the National Fire Protection Assn. (NFPA) NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, are now available. As model codes, ICC and NFPA codes are not enforceable until an authority having jurisdiction (state, county, city, school district) adopts one of them into law or as a building code.

1. IPC – Urinal partitions or walls will be required in all building restrooms using urinals to provide privacy.

2. IBC and NFPA 101 – The 2006 editions of both the International Building Code (IBC) and NFPA 101 Life Safety Code now clarify that the definition of interior wall finish includes toilet partitions and therefore require compliance with provisions for such. This will require either ASTM E84 (tunnel test) or NFPA 286 (full scale room-corner test) testing.


1. International Code Council

a. 2006 IBC

i.Chapter 8 Interior Finishes, Section 802, Interior Wall and Ceiling Finish definition, which applies to all occupancies, now includes “toilet room privacy partitions.”

b. 2006 IPC

i.Section 310 Washroom and Toilet Room Requirements, Paragraph 310.5, Urinal Partitions now states:

1.Each urinal shall occupy a separate area with walls or partitions to provide privacy.

2.Walls or partitions shall begin not more than 12 in. from and extend not less than 60 in. above the finished floor surface.

3.Walls or partitions shall extend from the wall surface at each side of the urinal a minimum of 18 in. or not less than 6 in. beyond the front lip of the urinal, whichever is greater.

4.Urinal partitions are not required in single occupant or unisex toilet rooms with lockable door… or in day-care facilities containing two or more urinals, one urinal can be installed without partitions.

2. NFPA 101, Life Safety Code

a.Chapter 10 covers Interior Finish, Contents, and Furnishings for all occupancies. A new paragraph has been added,, to clarify that fixed or movable partitions are included as interior wall finish. An annex note to that paragraph, A., specifically states, “Such partitions are intended to include washroom water closet partitions.”

b.Additionally, Chapter 14, which applies to new work in educational occupancies, has a new annex note. Paragraph A. of this new note clarifies, “The definition of interior wall finish is meant to include washroom water closet partitions.”


1. 2006 IBC

a.Section 803, Wall and Ceiling Finishes, Paragraph 803.1, General states, “Interior wall and ceiling finishes shall be classified in accordance with ASTM E- 84. Such interior finish materials shall be grouped in the following classes in accordance with their flame spread and smoke-developed indexes.

i.Class A: Flame Spread 0-25; smoke-developed 0-450

ii.Class B: Flame Spread 26-75; smoke-developed 0-450

iii.Class C: Flame Spread 76-200; smoke-developed 0-450”

2. NFPA 101, Life Safety Code

a. Chapter 10 Interior Finish, Contents, and Furnishings, Paragraph 10.2.3, Interior Wall or Ceiling Finish Testing and Classification states, “Interior wall or ceiling finish that is required elsewhere in this Code to be Class A, Class B or Class C shall be classified based on test results from NFPA 255, ASTM E-84 or UL 723.”