Protection of windows within a rated assembly is a surprisingly complex and perhaps often misinterpreted topic within the construction industry.
Windows create openings in walls, and when the wall is part of a fire-resistance-rated assembly, the windows could compromise the integrity of that assembly.
Back in 2019 I wrote an article on this topic which led to a cheatsheet on the three pathways for making a window (or glazing in general) work when it is part of a fire-resistance-rated wall assembly.
CHANGES IN THIS SPACE
Well, a lot has changed since then.
The testing criteria hasn't necessarily changed, but we now have four-times the options for available sprinklers on the market, even just since 2019.
The ever-evolving latest editions of NFPA 13, specifically the 2022 Edition, has continued to refine how protection of windows needs to be addressed.
AN UPDATED PDF REFERENCE
Below is an updated PDF cheatsheet that introduces the changes that have happened just in the last few years. I've now clarified some of the questioning, so it's less vague, but I've also included links to the now-four ICC ESR reports and all the models provided by manufacturers.
Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments here below.
Thanks for reading!
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Joe Meyer, PE, is a Fire Protection Engineer out of St. Louis, Missouri who writes & develops resources for Fire Protection Professionals. See bio here: About