• Facts about the NFPA 285 Test

    WHAT IS THE NFPA 285 Test?  

    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 285 is a test that provides a method of determining the flammability characteristics of exterior, non-load bearing wall assemblies/panels.






    Understanding NFPA 285

    Born in the mid-1970s, during the energy crisis, NFPA 285 was developed to address the concerns of building code regulators as more and more combustible insulation was being included in wall assemblies. NFPA 285 provides a tool to evaluate the whole wall assembly and still the fears of fire inspectors and regulatory bodies. 

    Today, NFPA 285 has had a profound impact on the construction industry. It can be found referenced in numerous places in the building code and regulation. Conventional Stucco, One Coat Stucco, Adhered Veneer, most all cladding that are used in a structure over 40 feet in height or used on a structure with continuous insulation, the wall assembly must have passed NFPA 285. 

    10 Facts of NFPA 285 (Owens Corning)

    Fact #1: The fire exposure duration for NFPA 285 is 30 minutes. 

    Fact #2: Several combustible materials are typically used in non-combustible wall construction including foam plastic continuous insulation, air and water barriers, high-pressure laminates, metal composites, and fiber-reinforced polymer panels. 

      Fact #3: NFPA 285 is directly referenced in 2015 IBC Section 1403.5 and Section 2603.5.5. 


      Fact #4: NFPA 285 is an assembly test so all components must be tested together to be compliant, meaning an individual component of an NFPA 285 compliant assembly cannot be labeled as “passing NFPA 285.” 



    Fact #5: The idea behind the NFPA 285 test goes back to the building codes of the early 1980s. 

    Fact #6: The NFPA 285 fire test is performed with a full, two-story wall assembly. 

    Fact #7: A successful NFPA 285 fire test must limit fire spread vertically and horizontally. 

    Fact #8: Rising energy standards like ASHRE 90.1 are driving the use of continuous insulation and thus the need for more NFPA 285 testing.” 

    Fact #9: NFPA 285 fire test standards may be applied to exterior wall assemblies in Type I, II, III, and IV construction. 

    Fact #10: Enter the four-letter code, FWFO, in the UL Category Code of the UL online certifications directory to receive a listing of all UL certified NFPA 285-approved wall assemblies. 

    Did You Know? 

    Keene Building Products has passed the rigorous testing requirements of NFPA 285 with our Driwall Rainscreen Materials including Driwall Rainscreen and Easy-Fur. Keene Building Products manufactures Driwall Rainscreen in various sizes and weights and all are compliant in (multiple) wall assemblies where compliance to NFPA 285 is required. 

    The testing that has been performed to date is to ensure that our Driwall Rainscreen Products are compliant with the changing building codes, that incorporate the use of a drainage space to allow proper air movement and drying abilities, in addition to being compliant with Continuous Insulation assemblies that are becoming more prevalent across the country. 

    Keene Building Products and Driwall Rainscreen Products are on the forefront of product quality, performance, and testing.  

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    Corning, O. (2017). How Many of These NFPA 285 Facts Do You Know? Retrieved October 05, 2020, from https://www.architectmagazine.com/design/buildings/how-many-of-these-nfpa-285-facts-do-you-know