Fire-Rated Systems

Fire-Rated SystemsWhile no building is truly fireproof, construction materials and systems can make a building firesafe. Fire-resistive construction gives time to discover a fire, suppress it before it spreads, and to evacuate the building, if necessary. In many cases, ordinary wood-frame construction with plywood or other wood structural panel sheathing provides ample fire safety and is completely acceptable. When unusual circumstances require additional protection, the designer’s options include protected construction, heavy timber construction, and treated construction.

Fire-Rated SystemsFire-Rated Systems, Form W305

Planning and designing buildings that provide good fire protection, don't cost too much to build or insure, meet the codes, make the best use of materials, and strike a balance between form and function is complicated.

The problem arises from the lack of standardized code provisions and insurance rating practices, and partly from the rapid advance of construction technology itself. Many of these advances have changed and improved wood construction's acceptance by building codes and insurance rating agencies.

Fire-Rated Systems, Form W305, is designed to bring you up to date on what are considered today among the most cost-effective fire-rated construction systems you can design or build -- wood and wood structural panels systems. It provides hard facts about what's available, what's acceptable, and what's best practice. This 24-page publication is available as a free downloadable PDF from the APA Publications Library.

Free Fire-Rated System CAD Details at, a free resource for building designers and construction professionals in search of CAD (computer-aided design) details for wood-frame construction, includes several fire rated system details, including: one-hour combustible floor-ceiling and roof-ceiling assemblies; one-hour combustible load-bearing wall assemblies; two-hour load-bearing wall systems; and wood structural panel heavy timber roof construction. Designs are available in four different formats – DWG, DWF, DXF and PDF – that can be quickly downloaded and inserted into your building plans.