3.1901.1 General Compartmentalization Techniques

Multifamily Compartmentalization Techniques
Desired Outcome: 
Effective air barrier Air barrier The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows air flow to the point that no smoke movement is visible at 50 pascals of pressure difference across the boundary between identified isolated and other conditioned spaces of the building
For supporting material, see Referenced Standards.

Conduct pre-inspection in accordance with SWS 2.0100.4 Work Area Inspection and Stabilization

Gaps, cracks, and holes in fire separations located within the work area will be visually identified and incorporated into air sealing work scope, including those that span two conditioned or unconditioned spaces

Where drawings are available that identify specific fire-resistance ratings (i.e., 1 hour, 2 hour), materials and methods will be employed to preserve or restore such rating

Where drawings are unavailable or do not identify specific fire-resistance ratings, the fire-resistance rating of the assembly may be inferred from the current construction (i.e., single 5/8 sheetrock, concrete masonry unit), and materials and methods employed will be consistent with restoring or preserving such inferred fire-resistance rating

Repairs necessary to stabilize work areas, and protect or preserve integrity of energy improvement will be completed before subject work begins

Provide a safe and stable work environment

Repair or address moisture, structure, and pest-related issues

Ensure that fire separations are preserved

Identification of penetrations

Penetrations will be identified using visual inspections, infrared thermography, smoke, and/or pressure tests ( ASTM ASTM ASTM International, www.astm.org E1186-03 [2009])

Locate air leakage pathways to repair


Health and safety concerns will be addressed for occupants and workers, in relation to repairs and materials, will be addressed in accordance with OSHA OSHA U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, www.osha.gov standards ( OSHA OSHA U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, www.osha.gov 1926, 1910)

The area will be prepared and isolated in accordance with health and safety standards for the application and materials (e.g., extreme temperatures, lead, asbestos)

Work lighting, work platform, and adequate ventilation will be provided

Provide a safe work environment

Provide safe indoor environmental quality (IEQ) work in the work environment

Provide effective repair access

Sealant and materials selection

Sealants and materials will be compatible with their intended surfaces and applied in accordance with manufacturer specifications

Selection will be durable, pest resistant, and have a weather-appropriate seal

Indoor sealants will be low volatile organic compound ( VOC VOC Volatile organic compound ) products that meet independent testing and verification protocols, such as Green Seal GS-36, "GREENGUARD Children and Schools," or comparable certifications

Fire-resistance-rated assemblies will be provided with sealants permitted by the authority having jurisdiction and adopted building code

Prevent intrusion of moisture and pests into the sealed assembly

Prevent exposing workers or occupants to excessive VOC VOC Volatile organic compound levels

Ensure sealant meets or exceeds the performance characteristics of the assembly and is compliant with local fire code requirements


Repairs will be verified by visual inspections, infrared thermography, smoke, and/or pressure tests consistent with the pre-inspection

Ensure quality and effectiveness of air sealing