USG H-Stud Area Separation Walls

Effective fire resistance and sound attenuation are important considerations in townhouse design.

An area separation wall can be used in townhouses up to four stories (44') tall and with all common floor-ceiling heights. It must either be continuous from the foundation to the underside of the protected roof sheathing, or continue through the roof to form a parapet.

The area separation wall is designed to allow for collapse of the construction on the fire-exposed side, without collapse of the entire wall. To do this, aluminum breakaway clips attach the separation wall to the adjacent framing. When one side of the separation wall is exposed to fire, the clips are designed to soften and break away. This allows the structure on the fire side of the separation wall to collapse, while the clips on the unexposed side of the separation wall continue to support the separation wall. The area separation wall remains intact, protecting the adjacent townhouse.