February 24, 2020
Authored by: Ruben Sandoval, Area Field Services Manager
Effective compartmentation in building design is accomplished by creating fire areas separated by fire resistance-rated walls and horizontal assemblies. Compartmentation is an essential component of a building’s passive fire protection features for occupant life safety through protection from fire and smoke. Firestopping of any penetration of fire resistance-rated construction is a critical part of effective compartmentation. A successful firestopping installation is a function of the firestop containment contractor installing the correct firestop products in accordance with the tested and listed system specifications and manufacturer’s installation instructions. But that’s only half of the safety equation.
Effective compartmentation also requires ongoing inspection and maintenance of passive fire protection features throughout the life of the building. Fire-resistance-rated walls, horizonal assemblies and their penetrating service items treated to restore the fire-resistance-rating are important parts of a building’s fire and life-safety protection. These firestop systems – when installed to the tested and listed system specifications and installation instructions – help resist the spread of fire and smoke from one fire area to another.
This important fire protection feature serves building occupants by increasing safety during building fires and providing safe routes for escape. At the urging of code officials and firestop contractor professionals on the Firestop Contractors International Association (FCIA) Accreditation Committee, UL launched its master audit certificate of compliance (MACC) service in 2018. Since launch, UL has issued MACC building certificates on a diverse array of buildings including hospitals, casinos, universities and airports. The MACC service provides code authorities with confidence that the firestop systems installed in their jurisdictions were completed by a UL Qualified Firestop Contractor and that the contractor was audited to the ten element program requirements. The MACC is a tool that can be requested by code authorities, fire marshals, architects, general contractors and building owners.
What is the MACC?
The MACC is a site-specific, project-specific building certificate. It starts with the annual maintenance cycle for building owners after construction has been completed on a new or existing project. The MACC is a management system audit that confirms that the UL Qualified Firestop Contractor’s processes were followed during the installation of firestop systems.
The MACC allows code authorities to have tangible evidence that the installation work has been audited, inspected and completed to both local building code and UL program requirements. After completion of a successful audit, UL issues a jobsite specific certificate that is renewable on an annual basis, giving a building or fire code official evidence that the annual assessment of firestop systems has been completed. The annual visual inspection of fire resistance-rated construction, including firestopping, is required by the International Fire Code (IFC).
As stated in the 2018 IFC, it is the building owner’s responsibility to ensure a building is always in compliance with its original installation code requirements. The MACC certificate and the firestop systems documentation builds the fire-resistance inventory required by the 2018 IFC for all passive fire and smoke protection features.
UL empowers trust by leveraging a global network of technical experts to deliver firestop inspection services that assist contractors and their customers in gaining code authority approval, demonstrating compliance and mitigating risk. The MACC program is the future of compliance and confirmation for passive fire protection construction maintenance.
The certificates can be found online on UL’s Product iQTM certification database under Authorized Service Providers Tab. Click the link to Qualified Firestop Contractors. This access to the UL database allows code authorities to verify the validity of the issued MACC and the status of the UL Qualified Firestop Contractor at any time, providing confidence that the work has been completed.
Contact us today to learn more about the MACC program at [email protected] or at 480.290.6987.