, a manufacturer of fire-rated architectural and engineered
duct systems, today announced that New York City, in an April 30, 2018
updated Building Bulletin, mandates testing for fire-rated duct to the
ISO 6944 (1985) standard. The NYC Bulletin further states that
fire-rated HVAC duct assemblies must comply with NYC Construction Codes,
which exactly subscribe to the IBC and use the same section numbering

review of the NYC Building Code, which has the force of
law, makes clear that under IBC Section 703.2.1, testing of fire-rated
HVAC duct assemblies must be A) to either of both sides – inside and
outside – of asymmetrical fire-rated duct assemblies, or, B) if a single
test is conducted, then the fire-rated duct assemblies must be tested
for its weakest “side,” which is invariably the inside of the duct.

As background, today’s fire-rated HVAC duct systems are often
constructed of different materials, and the prevailing practice in NYC
is to use ceramic insulation on the outside of duct assemblies and
unwrapped metal on the inside. When exposed to fire, these different
materials will fail at different times; hence NYC’s requirement that at
least the duct’s weakest side (the inside) be tested for code compliance.

The cause for concern, and the reason NYC has issued a new Bulletin, is
to make certain that the engineering community understands the
importance of symmetry in the design of fire-rated duct systems. Ceramic
wrapped ducts – widely used today – often do not meet the testing
requirements of ISO 6944 because the ducts have not been tested to the
“weak” (unwrapped) side. Accordingly, marketers of fire-rated duct
assemblies that have only been tested to part of the ISO test
standard do not satisfy NYC Construction Code Section 703.2.1. The code
plainly states that ducts not tested on the weak side are not
code-compliant products, and as such they are subject to costly code
enforcement protocols.

“Don’t be fooled,” said John Pattillo, Conquest Firespray Partner.
“Manufacturers’ claims about compliance with ISO 6944 standards under
one duct test (wrapped on the outside) may not be disclosing the
product’s limitations when exposed to for the required second test
limitations (unwrapped inside). Making an error when specifying and
installing fire-rated duct systems is not only costly, it endangers
lives as well.”

About Conquest Firespray

Conquest Firespray manufactures and markets Flamebar® fire-rated
architectural and engineered duct solutions to contractors, engineers,
and architects. Conquest has served HVAC mechanical and sheet-metal
contractors since 1998. Conquest fabricates UL classified and Intertek
listed rectangular and spiral duct, and applies coatings at its Michigan
Headquarters plant and in Miramar, Florida. Contact: 586.722.9200; compliance@conquest-firespray.com.
More info: www.conquest-firespray.com

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