• The ADB and NFPA 80 A are construction standards that contain building guidelines on separation of buildings.
  • NFPA 80 A contains recommendations on the separation distances to limit the spread of fore from exterior exposures.
  • The minimum separation distance depends on the existence of combustible materials within the adjacent buildings and the severity of exposure to both radiation and conventional heats.
  • Light severity to fire exposures requires a minimum separation distance of 0-7 Ib/ft square, 8-15 for moderate exposures, and >16 for severe exposure to fire (NFPA, 2016).
  • It utilizes exterior openings and other critical features of construction to prevent the spread of fire to adjacent buildings. Such exterior openings ought to be specious enough to allow the execution of fire-fighting activities.
  • NFP 80 A requires engineers to design proper site layout that can facilitate water supply, transportation, and traffic in case of fire disasters. Some of the measures to protect buildings from exterior exposure to fire are the use of automatic sprinklers, extending exterior walls, elimination of unnecessary wall openings, integration of non-combustible construction, and sealing openings with glass block panels.
  • NFTA 80 A provides three recommendations that are aimed at preventing the spread of fire disasters. The framework applies to the fires that start from yard storage and spread to the adjacent buildings.
  • NFTA 80 A recommendation outlines considerations on the proper spacing between buildings to enable firefighters to contain the situation easily in case of a disaster.
  • The first measure regards proper spacing to control radiation heating. It is a situation where energy waves transfer heat from building materials in one structure to another, and, thus, causing them to ignite.
  • Secondly, convection heating may cause building materials to burn and spread to other structures. This situation occurs where there is limited space between buildings, and, thus, allowing heated air to pass.
  • The third aspect regards flying brands. It happens when adjacent buildings catch fire from blows of burning buildings.
  • The ADB standards, on the other hand, have recommendations on building clearances and rules on the ideal spacing between constructions.
  • Firstly, ADB recommends horizontal separation between both the yard storage and the building itself, or amid two or more structures.
  • The second provision states that construction engineers ought to calculate appropriate horizontal distance and spacing where the building that may be exposed to fire is taller than the exposing structure.
  • The spacing of the exposing wall depends on the ratio of the door, window, and other openings of exposing buildings (Hopkin et al., 2016, p. 41).
  • The ADB standard on buildings with a lower roofline has a Minimum Separation Distance that applies to all fire exposing structures. It states that constructions with higher roofing than that of adjacent buildings ought to have an entire fire resistance roof that can withstand fire for at least one hour.
  • The NFPA 80 A, in contrast, requires engineers to protect adjacent buildings that have lower roofing with noncombustible walls within their separation distance. Also, its walls should have 3hour fire-resistive materials to protect it from fire exposing structures.
  • Wang et al., (2012, p. 15) assert that buildings whose walls are made of masonry blocks cannot withstand a fire that passes through their separation distance, and lasting for more than three hours.
  • The recommendation is to protect adjacent buildings within 5 feet with three-hour resistance shutters. However, the building ought to be protected with ¾ h fire resistance wall shutters if the construction is within one-half feet from the separation distance.




Hopkin, D., Ballantyne, A., O’Loughlin, E. and McColl, B., 2016. Design goals–fire resistance

Demands for tall residential buildings. In Proceedings of Interflam.

Min, S.H., Kim, M.S., Jang, Y.J., Sa, J.C., Bae, Y.J. and Lee, J.M., 2012. A Study on the

Development of a Head to Prevent the Fire Spread of Exterior. Fire Science and

            Engineering26(1), pp.113-119.

NFPA. (2016, 1 18). NFPA 80A, Recommended Practice for Protection of Buildings from Exterior Fire Exposures, 2012 Edition. Retrieved 2 9, 2019, from

Wang, Y., Burgess, I., Wald, F. and Gillie, M., 2012. Performance-based fire engineering of

Structures. CRC press.

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