Case Studies

Chicago, Illinois

FitzGerald Associates Architects

LP FlameBlock Sheathing Helps FitzGerald Associates Architects Meet Code Requirements While Providing Ease of Installation

Project Summary

With roots dating back 95 years, FitzGerald Associates Architects maintains a portfolio full of master- planned communities; numerous new low-, mid-, and high-rise residential buildings; commercial and industrial facilities; banks; restaurants; retail spaces; and more than one hundred conversions and restorations of historic structures. When it comes to meeting fire codes with wood-framed construction, the company specifies LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing, according to AIA Principal Michael Cody. Because of LP FlameBlock sheathing’s proven performance, FitzGerald specifies the product for a variety of applications in both multifamily and single-family projects.


One of Chicago’s leading residential and commercial design firms, FitzGerald Associates Architects is committed to creating architecture that works and conveys an enduring sense of place and visual impact, according to Michael Cody, an AIA principal for the firm. When it comes to wood-framed construction, FitzGerald knows firsthand the importance of specifying well-known, easy-to- use products. That’s why the company turned to LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing to help meet code requirements.


As a company committed to designing successful buildings, FitzGerald needed to be able to specify a product that not only has code acceptance but also provides ease of installation and durability, according to Cody.


“For certain types of projects, we’re required to meet specific fire resistance ratings in line with building codes. We started using FlameBlock sheathing for these applications because of its acceptance in the marketplace. People know about the product—contractors are familiar with it, and it’s accepted in the building code,” Cody said.

“It’s an easy material to work with because it acts very much like the materials it’s replacing.”

“We started using FlameBlock sheathing for these applications because of its acceptance in the marketplace. People know about the product— contractors are familiar with it, and it’s accepted in the building code.”

LP FlameBlock sheathing offers structural performance and fire resistance in one panel and can actually reduce the time and cost associated with installation when compared to a combination of gypsum and structural sheathing that would otherwise be required. The product’s proven fastener-holding ability can also simplify installation of exterior facing materials, potentially providing additional savings.

“We also specify the product because of its durability, which has been proven in the marketplace. It’s going to stand up during construction. Some products have problems being exposed to weather during construction, but FlameBlock sheathing does not,” Cody said.

LP FlameBlock sheathing carries an Exposure-1 classification, meaning it’s designed to withstand exposure to moisture during normal construction delays. Created by applying a proprietary non- combustible, fiberglass-reinforced Pyrotite® layer to LP OSB panels, LP FlameBlock sheathing is a PS2-rated structural sheathing with a Class A Flame Spread Rating.


FitzGerald has included the product in designs for multiple projects, including both single-family and multifamily applications as codes require. Some applications have included roof decking in Type V construction, exterior fire-rated walls, exterior walls in Type III construction, and roof decks in Type II construction.