International Building Code Section 704


International Building Code 704.10

Vertical exposure. For buildings on the same lot, opening
protectives having a fire-protection rating of not less than
3/4 hour shall be provided in every opening that is less than 15
feet (4572 mm) vertically above the roof of an adjoining building
or adjacent structure that is within a horizontal fire separation
distance of 15 feet (4572 mm) of the wall in which the
opening is located.
Exception: Opening protectives are not required where the
roof construction has a fire-resistance rating of not less than
1 hour for a minimum distance of 10 feet (3048 mm) from
the adjoining building, and the entire length and span of the
supporting elements for the fire-resistance-rated roof
assembly has a fire-resistance rating of not less than 1 hour.

International Building Code 704.1

General. Exterior walls shall comply with this section.

International Building Code 704.11

Parapets. Parapets shall be provided on exterior walls
of buildings.
Exceptions: A parapet need not be provided on an exterior
wall where any of the following conditions exist:
1. The wall is not required to be fire-resistance rated in
accordance with Table 602 because of fire separation
distance.
2. The building has an area of not more than 1,000
square feet (93 m2) on any floor.
3. Walls that terminate at roofs of not less than 2-hour
fire-resistance-rated construction or where the roof,
including the deck and supporting construction, is
constructed entirely of noncombustible materials.
4. One-hour fire-resistance-rated exterior walls that terminate
at the underside of the roof sheathing, deck or
slab, provided:
4.1. Where the roof/ceiling framing elements are
parallel to the walls, such framing and elements
supporting such framing shall not be of
less than 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction
for a width of 4 feet (1220 mm) for
Groups R and U and 10 feet (3048 mm) for
other occupancies, measured from the interior
side of the wall.
4.2. Where roof/ceiling framing elements are not
parallel to the wall, the entire span of such
framing and elements supporting such framing
shall not be of less than 1-hour fire-resistance-
rated construction.
4.3. Openings in the roof shall not be located
within 5 feet (1524 mm) of the 1-hour fire-resistance-
rated exterior wall for Groups R and
U and 10 feet (3048 mm) for other occupancies,
measured from the interior side of the
wall.
4.4. The entire building shall be provided with not
less than a Class B roof covering.
5. In Groups R-2 and R-3 where the entire building is
provided with a Class C roof covering, the exterior
wall shall be permitted to terminate at the underside of
the roof sheathing or deck in Type III, IV and V construction,
provided:
5.1. The roof sheathing or deck is constructed of
approved noncombustible materials or of
fire-retardant-treated wood for a distance of 4
feet (1220 mm); or
5.2. The roof is protected with 0.625-inch (16
mm) Type X gypsum board directly beneath
the underside of the roof sheathing or deck,
supported by a minimum of nominal 2-inch
(51 mm) ledgers attached to the sides of the
roof framing members for a minimum distance
of 4 feet (1220 mm).
6. Where the wall is permitted to have at least 25 percent
of the exterior wall areas containing unprotected
openings based on fire separation distance as determined
in accordance with Section 704.8.

Parapet construction. Parapets shall have the
same fire-resistance rating as that required for the supporting
wall, and on any side adjacent to a roof surface, shall
have noncombustible faces for the uppermost 18 inches
(457 mm), including counterflashing and coping materials.
The height of the parapet shall not be less than 30 inches
(762 mm) above the point where the roof surface and the
wall intersect. Where the roof slopes toward a parapet at a
slope greater than two units vertical in 12 units horizontal
(16.7-percent slope), the parapet shall extend to the same
height as any portion of the roof within a fire separation distance
where protection of wall openings is required, but in
no case shall the height be less than 30 inches (762 mm).

International Building Code 704.11.1

Parapet construction. Parapets shall have the
same fire-resistance rating as that required for the supporting
wall, and on any side adjacent to a roof surface, shall
have noncombustible faces for the uppermost 18 inches
(457 mm), including counterflashing and coping materials.
The height of the parapet shall not be less than 30 inches
(762 mm) above the point where the roof surface and the
wall intersect. Where the roof slopes toward a parapet at a
slope greater than two units vertical in 12 units horizontal
(16.7-percent slope), the parapet shall extend to the same
height as any portion of the roof within a fire separation distance
where protection of wall openings is required, but in
no case shall the height be less than 30 inches (762 mm).

International Building Code 704.12

Opening protection. Windows in exterior walls
required to have protected openings in accordance with other
sections of this code or determined to be protected in accordance
with Section 704.3 or 704.8 shall comply with Section
715.5. Other openings required to be protected with fire door or
shutter assemblies in accordance with other sections of this
code or determined to be protected in accordance with Section
704.3 or 704.8 shall comply with Section 715.4.
Exception: Opening protectives are not required where the
building is protected throughout by an automatic sprinkler
system and the exterior openings are protected by an
approvedwater curtain using automatic sprinklers approved
for that use. The sprinklers and the water curtain shall be
installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 and shall
have an automaticwater supply and fire department connection.

Unprotected openings. Where protected openings
are not required by Section 704, windows and doors
shall be constructed of any approved materials. Glazing
shall conform to the requirements of Chapters 24 and 26.

International Building Code 704.12.1

Unprotected openings. Where protected openings
are not required by Section 704, windows and doors
shall be constructed of any approved materials. Glazing
shall conform to the requirements of Chapters 24 and 26.

International Building Code 704.13

Joints. Joints made in or between exterior walls
required by this section to have a fire-resistance rating shall
comply with Section 713.
Exception: Joints in exterior walls that are permitted to
have unprotected openings.

Voids. The void created at the intersection of a
floor/ceiling assembly and an exterior curtain wall assembly
shall be protected in accordance with Section 713.4.

International Building Code 704.13.1

Voids. The void created at the intersection of a
floor/ceiling assembly and an exterior curtain wall assembly
shall be protected in accordance with Section 713.4.

International Building Code 704.14

Ducts and air transfer openings. Penetrations by air
ducts and air transfer openings in fire-resistance-rated exterior
walls required to have protected openings shall comply with
Section 716.
Exception: Foundation vents installed in accordance with
this code are permitted.

International Building Code 704.2

Projections. Cornices, eave overhangs, exterior balconies
and similar projections extending beyond the floor area
shall conform to the requirements of this section and Section
1406. Exterior egress balconies and exterior exit stairways
shall also comply with Sections 1014.5 and 1023.1, respectively.
Projections shall not extend beyond the distance determined
by the following two methods, whichever results in the
lesser projection:
1. A point one-third the distance to the lot line from an
assumed vertical plane located where protected openings
are required in accordance with Section 704.8.
2. More than 12 inches (305 mm) into areas where openings
are prohibited.

Type I and II construction. Projections fromwalls
of Type I or II construction shall be of noncombustible
materials or combustible materials as allowed by Sections
1406.3 and 1406.4.

Type III, IV or V construction. Projections from
walls of Type III, IV or V construction shall be of any
approved material.

Combustible projections. Combustible projections
located where openings are not permitted or where
protection of openings is required shall be of at least 1-hour
fire-resistance-rated construction, Type IV construction,
fire-retardant-treated wood or as required by Section
1406.3.
Exception: TypeVconstruction shall be allowed for R-3
occupancies.

International Building Code 704.2.1

Type I and II construction. Projections fromwalls
of Type I or II construction shall be of noncombustible
materials or combustible materials as allowed by Sections
1406.3 and 1406.4.

International Building Code 704.2.2

Type III, IV or V construction. Projections from
walls of Type III, IV or V construction shall be of any
approved material.

International Building Code 704.2.3

Combustible projections. Combustible projections
located where openings are not permitted or where
protection of openings is required shall be of at least 1-hour
fire-resistance-rated construction, Type IV construction,
fire-retardant-treated wood or as required by Section
1406.3.
Exception: TypeVconstruction shall be allowed for R-3
occupancies.

International Building Code 704.3

Buildings on the same lot. For the purposes of determining
the required wall and opening protection and roof-covering
requirements, buildings on the same lot shall be assumed
to have an imaginary line between them.
Where a new building is to be erected on the same lot as an
existing building, the location of the assumed imaginary line
with relation to the existing building shall be such that the exterior
wall and opening protection of the existing building meet
the criteria as set forth in Sections 704.5 and 704.8.
Exception: Two or more buildings on the same lot shall
either be regulated as separate buildings or shall be considered
as portions of one building if the aggregate area of such
buildings is within the limits specified in Chapter 5 for a single
building. Where the buildings contain different occupancy
groups or are of different types of construction, the
area shall be that allowed for the most restrictive occupancy
or construction.

International Building Code 704.4

Materials. Exterior walls shall be of materials permitted
by the building type of construction.

International Building Code 704.5

Fire-resistance ratings. Exterior walls shall be
fire-resistance rated in accordance with Tables 601 and 602.
The fire-resistance rating of exterior walls with a fire separation
distance of greater than 5 feet (1524 mm) shall be rated for
exposure to fire from the inside. The fire-resistance rating of
exterior walls with a fire separation distance of 5 feet (1524
mm)or less shall be rated for exposure to fire from both sides.

International Building Code 704.6

Structural stability. The wall shall extend to the height
required by Section 704.11 and shall have sufficient structural
stability such that it will remain in place for the duration of time
indicated by the required fire-resistance rating.

International Building Code 704.7

Unexposed surface temperature. Where protected
openings are not limited by Section 704.8, the limitation on the
rise of temperature on the unexposed surface of exterior walls
as required by ASTM E 119 shall not apply. Where protected
openings are limited by Section 704.8, the limitation on the rise
of temperature on the unexposed surface of exterior walls as
required by ASTM E 119 shall not apply provided that a correction
is made for radiation from the unexposed exterior wall
surface in accordance with the following formula:
(Equation 7-1)
where:
Ae = Equivalent area of protected openings.
A = Actual area of protected openings.
Af = Area of exterior wall surface in the story under consideration
exclusive of openings, on which the temperature
limitations ofASTME119 for walls are exceeded.
Feo = An “equivalent opening factor” derived from Figure
704.7 based on the average temperature of the unexposed
wall surface and the fire-resistance rating of the
wall.

International Building Code 704.8

Allowable area of openings. The maximum area of
unprotected or protected openings permitted in an exteriorwall
in any story shall not exceed the values set forth in Table 704.8.
Where both unprotected and protected openings are located in
the exteriorwall in any story, the total area of the openings shall
comply with the following formula:
(Equation 7-2)
For SI:

Automatic sprinkler system. In buildings
equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in
accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, the maximum allowable
area of unprotected openings in occupancies other than
Groups H-1, H-2 and H-3 shall be the same as the tabulated
limitations for protected openings.

First story. In occupancies other than Group H,
unlimited unprotected openings are permitted in the exterior
walls of the first story above grade facing a street that have a
fire separation distance of greater than 15 feet (4572 mm) or
facing an unoccupied space. The unoccupied space shall be
on the same lot or dedicated for public use, shall not be less
than 30 feet (9144 mm) in width and shall have access from
a street by a posted fire lane in accordance with the International
Fire Code.

International Building Code 704.8.1

Automatic sprinkler system. In buildings
equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in
accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, the maximum allowable
area of unprotected openings in occupancies other than
Groups H-1, H-2 and H-3 shall be the same as the tabulated
limitations for protected openings.

International Building Code 704.8.2

First story. In occupancies other than Group H,
unlimited unprotected openings are permitted in the exterior
walls of the first story above grade facing a street that have a
fire separation distance of greater than 15 feet (4572 mm) or
facing an unoccupied space. The unoccupied space shall be
on the same lot or dedicated for public use, shall not be less
than 30 feet (9144 mm) in width and shall have access from
a street by a posted fire lane in accordance with the International
Fire Code.

International Building Code 704.9

Vertical separation of openings. Openings in exterior
walls in adjacent stories shall be separated vertically to protect
against fire spread on the exterior of the buildings where the
openings are within 5 feet (1524 mm) of each other horizontally
and the opening in the lower story is not a protected opening
with a fire protection rating of not less than 3/4 hour. Such
openings shall be separated vertically at least 3 feet (914 mm)
by spandrel girders, exterior walls or other similar assemblies
that have a fire-resistance rating of at least 1 hour or by flame
barriers that extend horizontally at least 30 inches (762 mm)
beyond the exterior wall. Flame barriers shall also have a
fire-resistance rating of at least 1 hour. The unexposed surface
temperature limitations specified in ASTM E 119 shall not
apply to the flame barriers or vertical separation unless otherwise
required by the provisions of this code.
Exceptions:
1. This section shall not apply to buildings that are three
stories or less in height.
2. This section shall not apply to buildings equipped
throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in
accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.
3. Open parking garages.