How do I meet the new requirement for membrane protection in the 2012 International Residential Code?
The 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) has the following membrane protection requirement:
R501.3 Fire protection of floors. Floor assemblies, not required elsewhere in this code to be fire resistance rated, shall be provided with a ½ inch gypsum wallboard membrane, 5/8 inch wood structural panel membrane, or equivalent on the underside of the floor framing member.
Floor assemblies located directly over a space protected by an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section P2904, NFPA13D, or other approved equivalent sprinkler system.
Floor assemblies located directly over a crawl space not intended for storage or fuel-fired appliances.
Portions of floor assemblies can be unprotected when complying with the following:
The aggregate area of the unprotected portions shall not exceed 80 square feet per story
Fire blocking in accordance with Section R302.11.1 shall be installed along the perimeter of the unprotected portion to separate the unprotected portion from the remainder of the floor assembly.
- Wood floor assemblies using dimension lumber or structural composite lumber equal to or greater than 2-inch by 10-inch nominal dimension, or other approved floor assemblies demonstrating equivalent fire performance.