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Ask the expert: Para-slides cannot be stored in the stairwell

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July 18, 2020

Plastic pergola

Q: I have a pergola that is made out of PVC. The materials are basically plastic. It is attached to the building, and it has to be sprinkled or torn down according to the surveyor. They said the materials for the pergola should have been either non-combustible or limited combustible. What is the code for this? Also, what is the definition of non-combustible and limited combustible according to the code? 

A: The code reference for that would be the 2012 Life Safety Code® (LSC), section 19.1.6.1, which is the construction type requirement. Depending on your building, you probably have Type I or Type II construction, which requires non-combustible or limited combustible materials. Plastic is neither, so according to section 8.2.1.3 of the 2012 LSC, you need a two-hour fire-rated barrier between the hospital and the plastic pergola, or you need to have 10 feet of free space between the two. Just installing sprinklers in the pergola is not enough.

Q: I have a pergola that is made out of PVC. The materials are basically plastic. It is attached to the building, and it has to be sprinkled or torn down according to the surveyor. They said the materials for the pergola should have been either non-combustible or limited combustible. What is the code for this? Also, what is the definition of non-combustible and limited combustible according to the code?



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