Video: Using NFPA 285 for fire performance tests of exterior wall assemblies

Why fire protection engineers should be paying special attention to exterior walls, specifically exterior walls of tall buildings

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer November 7, 2023

NFPA 285 insights

  • The NFPA 285 test is a two-story test specimen and test apparatus that is designed to simulate exposure of the wall assembly’s interior face, exterior face, and full cross-section to a post-flashover compartment fire.
  • The International Building Code (IBC) contains several prompts where testing a wall assembly to NFPA 285 is required.

As with other large-scale fire tests, the NFPA 285: Standard Fire Test Method for Evaluation of Fire Propagation Characteristics of Exterior Wall Assemblies Containing Combustible Components test method includes detailed descriptions of both the test specimen and the test apparatus. Fire protection engineers should pay special attention to the test specimen configuration and composition, and the window closure.

In this detailed video, hear from Indya Rogers, Associate Director for the North American Modern Building Alliance. In the discussion, she will provide information about whether NFPA 285 testing is needed, and show examples.