Fire Door Frames Butted in Existing Stud Walls

Are fire rated hollow metal frames butted against existing drywall walls acceptable since they are described in ANSI/SDI A250.11?

Hollow metal frames can maintain a fire rating in a butted wall application as described in ANSI/SDI A250.11 and SDI members currently have certification for the butted drywall wall application.  However, for clarity, the following four points may help one better understand the situation.

  1. The UL Guide Card references SDI A250.11 and NFPA 80 since these consensus documents are commonly available and represent common installation methods which have been tested and certified from various manufacturers and industry groups.  When a steel door frame or other frame type is to be installed following the methods shown in either. document, UL allows a manufacturer to not provide installation details.
  2. The butted drywall frame installation has been tested and certified by several testing and certification entities. However, the frames must be prepared for this type of installation by the frame manufacturer prior to shipment to the final installation site.  The butted drywall frame as certified for many manufacturers requires the frame to be prepared with specific anchors for this installation which do not match knock-down slip-on or other common drywall anchor types.  Manufacturers must always provide their specific certification details.
  3. The butted frame was added to NFPA 80 to represent an as-tested condition which was different from the typical wrap-around frame detail which had been previously approved.  This is important to illustrate that this installation method has been tested but must be installed following the methods shown in NFPA 80 and other industry documents.
  4. The installation of a butted drywall frame is not complete without the installation of the firestopping sealant bridging the frame and wall.  This must be done to maintain the labeled rating.