Fire Rated Wall Panels: What Constitutes a One Hour Fire Rated Wall?


Jan 11, 2021

Whether you’re building a large commercial structure or just adding an attached garage to your residence, you must familiarize yourself with fire-rated wall panels. These are building panels that help contain the fire to a confined space long enough for occupants to escape safely.

Most building codes require the use of specialized wall panels between apartments, between hotel rooms, and between classrooms in buildings that will house multiple occupants. In addition, homeowners must use these special safety panels in the walls separating the attached garage from the primary residence and in any walls used for egress.

Failure to use the right materials may result in failed safety inspections that could set your project back weeks or more. Here’s what you need to know about this type of building material and what makes up a one-hour fire-rated wall.

Purpose of Fire Rated Wall Panels

These panels are developed for one major purpose — to save lives in the event of a building fire. They’re designed to contain the heat, flames, and smoke in a room long enough for the fire to be discovered and for occupants to escape with minimal injury. They should also be capable of bearing their load for that same amount of time under the same conditions.

Fire Wall Ratings

These wall panels are rated according to how long they can safely contain a fire. For instance, one-hour fire rated walls can contain a fire for one hour. Two-hour fire rated walls for two hours. It’s the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) who set the ratings, and they do so by putting the walls through rigorous testing using simulated fire conditions. Alternately, firewall ratings may be calculated using tables provided by the International Building Code (IBC).

Features and Benefits of Fire Rated Wall Panels

Fire-rated wall panels, like those available from Rockwall, offer superior features and benefits for the modern home builder. They are:

  • Fire-resistant
  • Mold- and mildew-resistant
  • Energy efficient
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Available in multiple finishes, profiles, and colors
  • Wholly customizable

Fire-resistant panels not only keep your occupants safer, but they’re designed to fit easily into your construction project with minimal effort and expense.

What Makes Fire Rated Walls Fire Resistant?

Fire-resistant panels are designed using materials that resistant heat and flame. One hour fire-rated walls may contain a non-combustible core and steel top and bottom. These panels are thicker than traditional building materials, such as sheetrock, and may feature a silicone finish. They’re designed to be fire-resistant, yet lightweight. This makes them easy to work with, transport, and erect.

Rockwall Fire Rated Wall Panels

Consider Rockwall Panels the next time you need fire-resistant materials for your building project. Rockwall panels feature an innovative, lightweight design with 1-, 2-, and 3-hour fire resistance for your new construction. Meet building codes and keep occupants safe when you use Rockwall fire-resistant wall panels. Our Rockwall panels must be installed per the specification details outlined by Warnock Hersey/Internek and meet all local building code standards