California Construction News special feature
STARC Systems, a manufacturer of temporary modular wall containment solutions used for occupied renovations and infection isolation, says the California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshal have officially approved FireblockWall™ for use in their state.
FireblockWall™ is the first modular reusable one-hour fire-rated temporary containment system and is used to stop fires and keep patients, staff and visitors safe in healthcare environments.
Designed to contain fire and smoke for a predetermined amount of time, fire-rated walls are part of a building’s passive fire protection system. Whether permanent or temporary, these walls are inspected against applicable code by the appropriate regulatory authorities, with the goal of preventing fire from spreading from one part of a building to another.
FireblockWall™ launched at the end of 2021 and was designed to solve some of the biggest challenges contractors and facility managers face while working in occupied healthcare facilities. Typically, building temporary drywall is necessary to pass inspections, but it can be labor-intensive, cause excess debris and dust, is noisy to build and a waste of materials when it ends up in a landfill after the renovation is completed.
FireblockWall™ uses sleek wall panels that are fire-rated and can be easily constructed from the floor to the deck above to meet NFPA 101 or IBC code. It can be quickly installed with minimal labor. In fact, it’s 4 times faster than installing traditional drywall and there is no taping, mudding, sanding, painting or clean up. The reusable walls also save on the waste and debris normally created by building and tearing down drywall.
After being in the market for less than 6 months regulatory authorities have already started to give their approval.
“HCAI is responsible for monitoring the construction, renovation and seismic safety of hospitals and skilled nursing facilities across the state,” said Nanci Timmins, HCAI’s Chief Fire and Life Safety Officer. “Having a one-hour fire-rated solution like FireblockWall will make it easier for facility managers to meet the diverse safety needs of California’s healthcare facilities with the added benefit of having a lower carbon footprint.”
“We are familiar with (STARC’s FireblockWall) and will accept it. It’s an excellent option,” said Brian Love, Fire Prevention Supervisor at the Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshal.
“Facility managers have a tremendous responsibility during an occupied healthcare renovation project,” said Bruce Bickford, vice-president of product development at STARC Systems. “Our goal was to deliver a one-hour fire-rated product that solved multiple challenges and would eliminate any wondering if they would pass an inspection.
“We’re thrilled safety organizations in California and Kansas have already recognized the value of FireblockWall and are making it easier for facility managers and contractors in their states to keep their renovation sites as safe as possible.”
An additional benefit of FireblockWall™ is that it can be used for infection control isolation and meets the new ICRA Class V requirement. The system includes a negative air panel to discharge air keeping dangerous dust off the ground and automatically closes the damper when temperatures go above 165 degrees. It also includes an air monitor panel that’s compatible with all common manometers and has a 2” rated pass through for wiring. This makes the walls useful for renovation projects and when they’re not in use they’re available to create instant isolation rooms for patients, staff or visitors.
To learn more about the benefits of FireblockWall™ or to get a quote, please visit www.starcsystems.com.