NFPA 285 and Insulated Metal Wall Panels (IMPs)

As required by the International Building Code (IBC), the 30-minute NFPA 285 test predicts how an assembly will perform in a real-world multi-story application and, most critically, whether or not building occupants will have enough time to safely exit a building in a fire event.

Soon, NFPA 285 will be revised to make the test an even more accurate predictor of fire performance. The revised test will mandate the use of both horizontal and vertical wall panel joints (an area of greater fire vulnerability), and will specify the precise joint locations on the test specimen.

NFPA 285 Pass/Fail Test ParametersMaysMaune-NFPZ article




Know that certain IMP manufacturers go above and beyond NFPA 285 requirements by including both horizontal and vertical joints

IMPs with halogen-free insulating foam cores easily pass the proposed updated NFPA 285 fire test. More importantly, these panels pass the new standard – regardless of panel thickness, orientation, depth of reveal, finish, vertical joint type, or profile shape – with both steel tube and steel stud construction.

Equally impressive, IMPs with halogen-free foam pass without the aid of fire-resistant interior gypsum. For architects and owners, this means you can specify these particular products for buildings of any height, while remaining NFPA 285 compliant and ultimately enhancing the life safety of building occupants.

 Information provided by Andy Mays (Mays Maune McWard) and Centria Engineering Department.