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R&D has enabled us to stay ahead of the curve in engineering design and sustainability while our clients are the ones who reap the benefits.

As an on-going part of BORM’s Research and Development process, members of our staff, along with USG, Brady Company, Nexframe, and others were involved in two rounds of collapse tests, conducted to verify the performance of firewalls as required by the 2006 IBC.


Firewalls are important elements of buildings which prevent fire from spreading from one side of a structure to another. They accomplish this by preventing one side of a structure from collapsing should the other side collapse due to fire. All the while, firewalls are required to maintain two hours of fire resistance for light frame construction.


Due to the differing interpretations of building officials and complexities in the building Code, a contradiction results between the fire and seismic provisions for light frame structures in high seismic regions. To reconcile this contradiction, BORM decided to spearhead an effort of constructing life size mockups of building segments and performing full scale collapse tests to verify that the firewalls are indeed performing their job. Cold-Formed Steel (CFS) framing was used because CFS is believed to present a more difficult case to prove.


After two rounds of testing, successful results were obtained for the CFS firewalls.

Fire Test Video


Fire Collapse Test #1


Fire Collapse Test #2


Fire Collapse Test #3


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