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  We help define the industry

Gary Hamilton
Founder and president, Gary Hamilton

Founder Gary Hamilton is the President of Hamilton Benchmark and has been a passive fire protection specialist since 1992. Working as a management planner, designer, and inspector in the asbestos abatement and mechanical insulation industry, he discovered that fire stopping was becoming a more prevalent issue in the Wisconsin construction market, particularly in Health Care, Heavy Industrial and Nuclear Complexes.

Over a short period of time, Hamilton determined that there was a good potential for the industry, but Wisconsin lacked the adequate code to support this important Life Safety construction discipline. In the mid 90’s he began work relating to the development of the Wisconsin Code and took the requirement found in section 51.049 of the old D.I.L.H.R. code (as illustrated below) and had it subjected to the nationally recognized ASTM E 814 Standard test method for through-penetration firestops at the 3M Cottage Grove Test Facility. The results of that test provided solid evidence that the code was grossly insufficient.

In November of 1997, Hamilton was invited to present the issue before the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code Council, which unanimously voted to enact the emergency revision of January 1998 and ultimately the adaptation of the 2000 IBC code in 2002. Since then, Hamilton has assisted in further development of passive fire protection standards and codes in Wisconsin and the United States by serving as chairman of the code committee for Firestop Contractors International Association and as a member of the Underwriters laboratories standards technical panel.

What this means to you is that when Hamilton-Benchmark specifies a product, you know it will conform to code because we know firestop code. When Hamilton-Benchmark installs a firestop system on your project, you know it will be installed properly.

The methodologies illustrated below were abandoned in January 1998 from the Wisconsin Building Code. Beginning with the 2002 Wisconsin-enrolled building code, the use of test methods and materials is in accordance with the ASTM EA 14 Standard.

51.049 Wisconsin Firestop Designs 3(b), 3(c), 3(d)

WI Firestop Designs