To: "Maribeth Bradfield"
From: Jim Buckley
Subject: Re: NCMA TEK 3-7A, fireplaces
Thank you (and Jason) for allowing me to review the TEK 3-7A CM Fireplaces commentary. And forgive me for being a day late.
The commentary looks very similar to the Technical Notes 19 - Residential Fireplace Design available on line at http://www.bia.org/html/frmset_thnt.htm I would offer comments similar to those I made to the BIA.
The fireplace depicted in the TEK 3-7A is unnecessarily overbuilt. For example, the chimney wall only needs to be one brick wythe thick.
There is also little help in understanding the complex "clearance to combustibles" issues in the IRC. It would be more typical and more helpful if the fireplace were depicted in relationship to various frame and masonry wall systems.
I recommend that the TEK 3-7A be revised to show a more economical "code minimum" masonry fireplace such as the one in the CABO One and Two Family Code or the McGee "Real Thing" fireplace or one of our Rumford fireplaces.
We decided at the recent MACS meeting to hold off on submitting much needed new fireplace illustrations in the code. We didn't have any appropriate examples. We plan, therefore, to revise the BIA TechNote 19 plan and hope to be able to use that plan to update the figures in the code.
Since TEK 3-7A is already very similar to TechNote 19, I would suggest that the NCMA work with us to revise both commentaries. I think we might find some useful and illustrative differences between fireplaces and chimneys built with brick and CMU. It's probably too late for the changes you may be making. We will want to work on the plan over the next few months and need to have it all finished well before the code change process begins all over again next winter, but we would welcome the NCMA's involvement.
Jason Thompson at NCMA suggested I send you a copy of the attached for your review.
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