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Old 07-29-2011, 03:52 PM   #1
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


Been seeing this topic going round and round with tons of opinions. This is my take on a reasonable retrofit solution. What do you all think?

Gray: Typical existing home structure
Pink: Batt or foam insulation at rim joist
Blue: Rigid Foam
Brown: Studs, base trim, and fire blocking
yellow: GWB or alternative finish material

Note the slight gap at the base trim (1/2" max.) and the gap at the corner of the gwb. This allows for air movement within the cavity space. The gap in the gwb could be done with j-channel terminations (1/2" gap) or a type of vent strip. There is no vapor barrier (drylok, etc.) in this design and the foam would act as a vapor retarder due to its inherent vapor resistance (1.5 perms at 1" [R-5], .75 perms at 2" [R-10]) DOW XPS: http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedL...romPage=GetDoc

If you find a part of this to be against code, please let me know which code and relative section. If you feel there is fault elsewhere in this design, I'm all ears.

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Old 07-30-2011, 12:08 PM   #2
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


No openings in fire-barrier wall or ceiling for wood framed structure; http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par031.htm


You need a full (no holes or slots) thermal barrier (for fire) over the foam board: http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...016_par003.htm

In renovations, wood paneling even has a “flame spread or smoke” rating, follow the blue high-lighted links: http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...008_par002.htm
Interior wall covering minimums; http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par017.htm


Not Code, but good building practice: no fiberglass at rims to let the air inside, needs SPF or rigid w. canned-foam joints; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...-at-rim-joist/
Notice the “sealant, adhesive or gasket” at the ceiling/top plate joint and the drywall/plates joints at bottom and top of wall, inside, fig. #10: http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ts?full_view=1
Notice the foam board on top the concrete stem wall, next to the mud sill for insulation and “draftstop”. ADA approach from BSC, to keep indoor air from reaching concrete walls: http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...wall-approach/


Gary

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Old 07-31-2011, 01:47 AM   #3
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


Fire protection: fire blocking does not actually stop fire; it cuts off airflow (draft), in concealed building cavities. Airflow through concealed cavities could allow a fire to spread more quickly, and fire blocking therefore prevents buildings from being quickly engulfed in fire. Fire blocking gives the occupants more time for escape and gives fire fighters more protection by helping to prevent catastrophic building collapse. In multi-family dwellings, larger open spaces are divided by draft stops to prevent the spread of flame. Building areas with different uses, such as a garage and house, require fire- resistant separation, as do buildings with different occupancies, such as two-family or multi-family dwelling or a dwelling above a commercial building. That from the Code Check of 2003, a 2006 is similar, page #4: http://www.codecheck.com/cc/images/CC5thEdSample.pdf

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Old 07-31-2011, 08:23 PM   #4
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


No openings in fire-barrier wall or ceiling for wood framed structure; http://publicecodes.citation.com/icod/irc/2009/icod_irc_2009_3_sec002_par031.htm
This statement doesn't apply as this wall system is not considered a fire-barrier wall or ceiling. It is a finish system within a basement space.

You need a full (no holes or slots) thermal barrier (for fire) over the foam board: http://publicecodes.citation.com/icod/irc/2009/icod_irc_2009_3_sec016_par003.htm
No where in the attached code section does it say holes, slots, or even full. It states only that it must be protected. I've researched this very code aspect and the code allows for an unprotected amount of foam at the rim joist. There may be a need for a code mode here, but with the allowable foam exposure section i think that two 1/2" gaps may be considered equatable.

In renovations, wood paneling even has a “flame spread or smoke” rating, follow the blue high-lighted links: http://publicecodes.citation.com/icod/irc/2009/icod_irc_2009_appj_sec008_par002.htm
Interior wall covering minimums; http://publicecodes.citation.com/icod/irc/2009/icod_irc_2009_7_sec002_par017.htm
Ok, guess this is relevant if you went with the "alternative finish" I noted.

Not Code, but good building practice: no fiberglass at rims to let the air inside, needs SPF or rigid w. canned-foam joints; http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/information-sheets/critical-seal-spray-foam-at-rim-joist/
Ok. Fiberglass is fine providing you deal with air leakage via either caulk and/or spray foam.

Notice the “sealant, adhesive or gasket” at the ceiling/top plate joint and the drywall/plates joints at bottom and top of wall, inside, fig. #10: http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/digests/bsd-103-understanding-basements?full_view=1
Considering this is a basement space and the insulation layer is inherently air tight because of it's composition, I don't feel this is relevant.

Notice the foam board on top the concrete stem wall, next to the mud sill for insulation and “draftstop”. ADA approach from BSC, to keep indoor air from reaching concrete walls: http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/information-sheets/air-barriers-airtight-drywall-approach/
Sounds like a good idea with the horizontal board at the top of the wall. Please don't use ADA in this application. It is the industry standard for "Americans with Disabilities Act" and pertains to handicapped accessibility.

p.s. The abundance of links are a little annoying (someone else said it too!). Just answer the questions in your own words, and if you're challenged on it, then bust out the link as back-up and verification.

Gary
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:27 PM   #5
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
Fire protection: fire blocking does not actually stop fire; it cuts off airflow (draft), in concealed building cavities. Airflow through concealed cavities could allow a fire to spread more quickly, and fire blocking therefore prevents buildings from being quickly engulfed in fire. Fire blocking gives the occupants more time for escape and gives fire fighters more protection by helping to prevent catastrophic building collapse. In multi-family dwellings, larger open spaces are divided by draft stops to prevent the spread of flame. Building areas with different uses, such as a garage and house, require fire- resistant separation, as do buildings with different occupancies, such as two-family or multi-family dwelling or a dwelling above a commercial building. That from the Code Check of 2003, a 2006 is similar, page #4: http://www.codecheck.com/cc/images/CC5thEdSample.pdf

Gary
Not sure how the second half of this pertains to the OP, but kudos for being well said. I feel that the OP detail does comply with fireblocking requirements. The blocking within the joist bays provides horizontal cut-off and the floor deck itself provides the vertical cut-off between floors. Could you please explain exactly where you feel the defficiency is?
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:35 AM   #6
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


Gary worked very hard to put together a response that gives you a lot of food for thought, and you did your best to cut it to ribbons and challenge his statements. That'll really encourage people to keep the thoughts, opinions and code sections that you requested to themselves.

Nothing wrong with recognizing someone's effort to assist you and just say thanks if you don't agree.
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:05 PM   #7
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


Non-bearing interior walls require fire-blocking with ½” drywall or an approved substitute material to prevent a room fire from reaching any concealed space behind the wall or ceiling. Typically drywall is used because of its low flame/smoke spread index rating, following the manufacturer’s application guidelines. Gaps as small as 1/8” would compromise a fire-resistive material, so they must be filled.
4.6.8. When gaps occur at gypsum panel product joints, they shall not be greater than 1/4 inch and shall be prefilled with joint compound as specified.

4.6.8. Gaps not greater than 1/8 inch shall be prefilled with either drying type or setting type joint compound.

4.6.8.2 Gaps greater than 1/8 inch shall be prefilled with setting type joint compound.

Foam plastic has a high smoke rating requiring a thermal barrier. To open a wall or ceiling plane to allow a room fire access would allow smoke to spread in to the room and possibly the house.

13.1 Gypsum panel products shall be applied over rigid plastic foam insulation installed on wood or steel wall framing or on the interior side of exterior masonry and concrete walls to provide a wall finish and protect the installation from early exposure to fire from within the building

13.1.1 The entire insulated wall surface shall be protected with gypsum panel products, including walls above ceilings and in unoccupied spaces.

13.4.5 In a single-layer systems, all joints between gypsum panel products shall be finished to a minimum Level 2 as described in recommended levels of gypsum board finish, GA-214.

http://gypsum.org/pdf/GA-216-2010.html


“I feel that the OP detail does comply with fireblocking requirements. The blocking within the joist bays provides horizontal cut-off and the floor deck itself provides the vertical cut-off between floors. Could you please explain exactly where you feel the defficiency is?”------ Read only my bold:
Fireblocking shall be provided in wood-frame construction in the following locations:
“1. In concealed spaces of stud walls and partitions, including furred spaces and parallel rows of studs or staggered studs, as follows:
1.1. Vertically at the ceiling and floor levels.
1.2. Horizontally at intervals not exceeding 10 feet (3048 mm).
2. At all interconnections between concealed vertical and horizontal spaces such as occur at soffits, drop ceilings and cove ceilings.”

You need to separate the ceiling space from the wall space with fire-blocking. The wall air-space cannot connect to the ceiling air-space. No inter-connections of vertical/horizontal spaces as #2 shows.
Notice the under-lined “and” above? NOT "OR". This shows all ceilings (AND FLOORS) need fire-stopping. Not just at the floor above, as you think, or they wouldn’t have listed them both.

An informative read to keep you safe from fire by “Termite”, Post # 21 and 22: How to fireblock framing
Thank you for the kind words, Termite.

If you have further difficulty understanding the drywall fire-retarder concept, I suggest you contact your local Fire Marshall or Building Official for guidance.

ADA ---- as I tied it to BSC (Building Science Corporation) would be totally different than ADA, which I have built to their recommended minimum standards for about 10 years now. Air drywall approach from BSC came about in 1986 and many have used those initials for drywall: http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/ibp/ir...lications.html

This one again as you didn’t open it previously; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...wall-approach/

http://www.energysavers.gov/your_hom.../mytopic=11310

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...ywall-approach

Correction! 1984; http://oikos.com/library/airsealing/...pproaches.html

And a few hundred more….. http://www.google.com/search?client=...iw=836&bih=472


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Old 08-07-2011, 05:25 PM   #8
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Termite View Post
Gary worked very hard to put together a response that gives you a lot of food for thought, and you did your best to cut it to ribbons and challenge his statements. That'll really encourage people to keep the thoughts, opinions and code sections that you requested to themselves.

Nothing wrong with recognizing someone's effort to assist you and just say thanks if you don't agree.
Sorry? I disagreed with him and challenged him to explain further. Didn't think debating the science behind a topic that has taken up dozens of post pages to be discouraging. I've thanked gary's response in recognition of my gratitude to his time spent. Good day termite...
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:09 PM   #9
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


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Originally Posted by AGWhitehouse View Post
Sorry? I disagreed with him and challenged him to explain further. Didn't think debating the science behind a topic that has taken up dozens of post pages to be discouraging. I've thanked gary's response in recognition of my gratitude to his time spent. Good day termite...
AG you post to prompt response and when you received this response you push back on every point made, I suggest that if you want to debate you should temper your words as such, especially your closing statement related to ADA.

And just to note or as a point of design critique, who would ever want a 1/2" gap at the ceiling to wall connection, personnally if you presented that to me as a client I would probably laugh you out of the office and find a competent designer.

You ask am I bias, darn right, Gary has contributed his wisdom freely for years, with great professionism I might add, does he debate darn right he does, does he know the facts I would put that as an unequivocal YES.

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Old 08-07-2011, 08:42 PM   #10
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


My appologies to all...GBR knows alot and where to find it, only my blood pressure raises when I see 200 page responses via links without any kind of "index" for the onslaught of facts. So I'm learning to wait a day before responding to anything he's apart of so as to keep it courteous.

Yes, the 1/2" gap may not be great but I'm trying to think outside the box on the subject as the current "norm" doesn't have a great track record against mold and mildew.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:18 AM   #11
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


Sorry about that one site I linked, after you said something in the original post, I changed it right after your complaint. You are correct in that it led to numerous other links, I have since removed it from my library. With 80+ links on basements and 150+ on siding and foam board, I try to open the relevant ones in each answer, but they do change or "Page error" as everyone doing research has seen.

The idea of admitting basement air to the cavities is against the BSC way of insulating basements, hence air-tight drywall. (Reason to tape the seams of foam board).

IRC 2009 requires a finished ceiling of drywall or other approved fire-resistant material in a habitable space. Here are the pertinent codes so you don't have to look them up:


SECTION R305 CEILING HEIGHT

R305.1 Minimum height. Habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms, laundry rooms and portions of basements containing these spaces shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet (2134 mm).

Definition:
HABITABLE SPACE. A space in a building for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces.
CEILING HEIGHT. The clear vertical distance from the finished floor to the finished ceiling.


R305.1.1 Basements. Portions of basements that do not contain habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms and laundry rooms shall have a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm).
Exception: Beams, girders, ducts or other obstructions may project to within 6 feet 4 inches (1931 mm) of the finished floor.

R702.1 General. Interior coverings or wall finishes shall be installed in accordance with this chapter and Table R702.1(1), Table R702.1(2), Table R702.1(3) and Table R702.3.5. Interior masonry veneer shall comply with the requirements of Section R703.7.1 for support and Section R703.7.4 for anchorage, except an air space is not required. Interior finishes and materials shall conform to the flame spread and smoke-development requirements of Section R302.9.

R302.9 Flame spread index and smoke-developed index for wall and ceiling finishes. Flame spread and smoke index for wall and ceiling finishes shall be in accordance with Sections R302.9.1 through R302.9.4.

R302.9.1 Flame spread index. Wall and ceiling finishes shall have a flame spread index of not greater than 200.
Exception: Flame spread index requirements for finishes shall not apply to trim defined as picture molds, chair rails, baseboards and handrails; to doors and windows or their frames; or to materials that are less than 1⁄28 inch (0.91 mm) in thickness cemented to the surface of walls or ceilings if these materials exhibit flame spread index values no greater than those of paper of this thickness cemented to a noncombustible backing.

R302.9.2 Smoke-developed index. Wall and ceiling finishes shall have a smoke-developed index of not greater than 450.


SECTION R805 CEILING FINISHES

R805.1 Ceiling installation. Ceilings
shall be installed in accordance with the requirements for interior wall finishes as provided in Section R702.
SECTION R702 INTERIOR COVERING

R702.1 General.
Interior coverings or wall finishes shall be installed in accordance with this chapter and Table R702.1(1), Table R702.1(2), Table R702.1(3) and Table R702.3.5. Interior masonry veneer shall comply with the requirements of Section R703.7.1 for support and Section R703.7.4 for anchorage, except an air space is not required. Interior finishes and materials shall conform to the flame spread and smoke-development requirements of Section R302.9.

R702.5 Other finishes. Wood veneer paneling and hardboard paneling shall be placed on wood or cold-formed steel framing spaced not more than 16 inches (406 mm) on center. Wood veneer and hard board paneling less than 1/4 inch (6 mm) nominal thickness shall not have less than a 3/8-inch (10 mm) gypsum board backer. Wood veneer paneling not less than 1/4-inch (6 mm) nominal thickness shall conform to ANSI/HPVA HP-1. Hardboard paneling shall conform to CPA/ANSI A135.5.


R602.5 Interior nonbearing walls. Interior nonbearing walls shall be permitted to be constructed with 2-inch-by-3-inch (51 mm by 76 mm) studs spaced 24 inches (610 mm) on center or, when not part of a braced wall line, 2-inch-by-4-inch (51 mm by 102 mm) flat studs spaced at 16 inches (406 mm) on center. Interior nonbearing walls shall be capped with at least a single top plate. Interior nonbearing walls shall be fireblocked in accordance with Section R602.8.
R602.8 Fireblocking required. Fireblocking shall be provided in accordance with Section R302.11.

R302.11 Fireblocking. In combustible construction, fireblocking shall be provided to cut off all concealed draft openings (both vertical and horizontal) and to form an effective fire barrier between stories, and between a top story and the roof space.

Fireblocking shall be provided in wood-frame construction in the following locations:
1. In concealed spaces of stud walls and partitions, including furred spaces and parallel rows of studs or staggered studs, as follows:
1.1. Vertically at the ceiling and floor levels.
1.2. Horizontally at intervals not exceeding 10 feet (3048 mm).
2. At all interconnections between concealed vertical and horizontal spaces such as occur at soffits, drop ceilings and cove ceilings.


Ceiling AND floor levels. Interior non-bearing walls are included, they are not considered "cosmetic" in a basement space. Ceilings must be covered, no gaps per drywall manufacturer's instructions. Beams projecting below ceilings as noted. Fire-stop the top of walls from any cavity--- floor joist bays, other chases, blocking in wall at drop ceilings. Drywall (or other approved) on ceilings and walls. If you have difficulty with any of this information, I suggest you research more or ask your Fire Marshall/Building Inspector.

Gary
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:59 AM   #12
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


Thank you for that slap in the face, it was needed and I truly appreciate it.

So what's your thoughts on wood paneling? You see homes with libraries having wood paneling on the walls and ceilings, post & beam homes with exposed wood structures and toungue & grooves ceilings, and even standard homes with wood treatments above and beyond "trim". None of them meet the flame/smoke index requirements as noted. This page has the indexes of common woods: http://www.marysrvr.com/media/pdf/FlameSpread.pdf

I tried looking up paint and polyurethane to see if they can provide the required indexes to "protect" the wood, but haven't found anything yet.

I agree with the total covering of concealed studs and cavities but it would stand to reason, in my mind, that if all this exposed structure is allowed elsewhere in the home, then exposed floor joists wouldn't be much different. The difference comes when you create concealed spaces. Your thoughts?
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:38 PM   #13
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Basement Finishing: You're thoughts on this repeat topic...


I'm finishing similarly to how you propose (though no gap for the ceiling drywall). My county (Howard County, MD) uses the 2009 IRC as their reference.

- The county told me I had to use at least 1/2" drywall with no gaps since I was using the rigid insulation and that no additional vapor barrier was required
- The inspector actually told me I didn't need fireblocking (weird...) for my application (basement/residential)

My interpretation of IRC 2009 was that fireblocking is required as GBR has been saying, so I'm still a bit confused and plan to do fireblocking anyways. But, I'm curious to see what the inspector says when they do the framing inspection. I'll probably fireblock with fiberglass and gypsum. Just wish I had done it before I started framing cause it would have been 100x easier (though, when I first started, I didn't even realize it was in the IRC).

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