June 2020

PURPLE Book® II has More Details and Drawings

By Thad Goodman and Pat Grotlisch

In 2013, National Gypsum Construction Services developed the original PURPLE Book® to help provide solutions to common fire-rated assembly problems in commercial construction. It was so popular that we updated it, and the second edition is available: The PURPLE Book® II. It’s still the only resource in the industry that illustrates in detail how fire-rated gypsum assemblies intersect with other building components, like elevator shafts or steel beams.

Contains Answers to Our Most Frequently Asked Fire-Rated Assembly Questions
When designing for commercial construction, it’s easy to detail the individual building components – the wall, the floor, the stairwell, the elevator – but this resource shows comprehensive drawings of how the assemblies fit together at different transitions.

This book includes new NGC fire-rated wall and ceiling assemblies, new corner details for steel stud partitions and shaftwall assemblies, and new repair details for shaftwall assemblies.

We think you’ll appreciate the level of detail. There are more than 100 technical drawings for many system details you will encounter when developing your steel-stud projects. For example, we show options to stagger gypsum board joints for horizontal and vertical, 1- and 2-hour walls, with all the corner configurations we could think of. You’ll also find information about GridMarX® and MaX 12® fastener pattern detail, highlighting National Gypsum’s 12-inch on-center fastener pattern for 1-hour assemblies.

For the past five years, architect Sam Halverson, Manager - Construction Services for National Gypsum, has collected questions from customers, along with his 1-800-NATIONAL colleagues, Mark Chapman and Jim Farrell. The result: Every page in this book contains detailed answers to those most frequently asked questions about fire-rated commercial construction.

Has More Drawings and Fewer Words
This book also accommodates a general preference for more drawings with fewer words. The difference between this latest PURPLE Book® II and our original PURPLE Book® is additional details. With a five-year publishing interval between the two versions, what was previously 97 pages is now 120.

An example of what you’ll find in the second edition: There are 15 pages dedicated to “How to Build a 1-Hour Wall” because there are a million different ways to do it. If you specifically want to know how to build a 1-hour, fire-rated design for U465, the options are there, on eight pages, illustrating how to draw that one UL design.

The Only Resource of Its Kind in the Industry
This resource will help determine how to build – or not to build – fire-rated assemblies. It answers your questions and provides peace of mind, knowing that National Gypsum Company has your back. If you haven’t already, check out this go-to resource for architects, contractors and inspectors — you may even want a copy for your desk and one to leave in your vehicle for job-site visits.

To request a printed copy, contact your Construction Design Manager today. A pdf is also available on our Design Center.

We’re all here to help you design and build better – with valuable resources like the PURPLE Book® II.

"The PURPLE Book® has become an industry favorite, highlighting best practices and UL code references for job sites and code officials across the country."
- Thad Goodman

"The PURPLE Book® ll is the expanded second edition of ”The Fire-Rated Assemblies in Commercial Construction.” I have received many emails and comments from architects thanking National Gypsum Company for updating this trusted resource guide. It contains 1- and 2-hour metal-stud, fire-rated assemblies for head of wall, shaftwalls, columns and corridors in addition to repair details, penetrations and frequently specified STC ratings. Download it from the NGC Design Center or request a hard copy."
- Pat Grotlisch

Product Overview

For Radius Applications That Require a Fire Rating

Gold Bond® 5/16” XP® Fire-Shield® Gypsum Board gets the job done beautifully.

Use Gold Bond 5/16” XP® Fire-Shield® Gypsum Board to construct concave and convex corners in multi-layered applications that require a fire-rated assembly. Design curves into your wood- and metal-framed walls without breaking the budget. It will save time and costs – no more scoring and cracking on site.

This gypsum board is listed in UL designs U465, U411 and V438 for 1- and 2-hour fire ratings and also features special moisture- and mold-inhibiting properties. Its high-density, fire-resistant gypsum core is encased in mold/mildew/moisture-resistant PURPLE® paper.

1-800-NATIONAL often fields questions about how to rate a curved wall for such applications as hospital corridors. You’ll find directions on pages 48-49 of PURPLE Book® II: Use two layers of 5/16” and one layer of 5/8” Type X.

This gypsum board also:

  • Achieves GREENGUARD Gold Certification.
  • Resists the growth of mold per ASTM D3273 and ASTM G21, with best possible scores on both tests.
  • Qualifies as a low-VOC emitting material by meeting California Specification 01350.

For details about how 5/16” XP® Fire-Shield® Gypsum Board can enhance your projects, talk with your Construction Design Manager.

Project Profile

Expanding a Virginia Biomedical Research Facility


Owner: Architect of Record: Contractor: Subcontractor:
Virginia Tech Carilion Biomedical Research Expansion, Roanoke, Virginia
Carilion Clinic (Private) and Virginia Tech (Public)

AECOM, Roanoke, Virginia
Baird Drywall, Vinton, Virginia

Cutting-edge brain, heart and cancer research will flourish in an expanded facility at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. This newly revamped building – a partnership between Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic – will also house research on metabolism and immunology along with biomaterials and body-device interfaces (electronic devices and apps that transmit data). Half of the funding for this $90-million expansion project is from the state of Virginia with the balance subsidized by Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic. Six National Gypsum products are included in this project. (For details, please click on the link below.)

Read More About The Project

Continuing Education

Virtual sessions are available for all Continuing Education courses.

Connect with your Construction Design Manager to schedule.

High Performance Gypsum: Protect Against Mold, Moisture and Exposure
AIA Credit: 1 LU/HSW
Innovative Cement Board Applications with Continuous Insulation
AIA Credit: 1 LU/HSW

It’s Easy to Install PermaBase® CI Insulated Cement Board™

Watch these videos for helpful tips:

Commercial Stucco Installation Video Commercial Thin Brick Installation Video


Amy Hockett
National Marketing Manager, Architectural Services & Sustainability

Pat Grotlisch

Frank Fuller

Alan Zeedyk
Gulf / Southeast

Thad Goodman
Central / Midwest

Scott Hughes
Northeast / Atlantic

Trang Schwartz
Architectural Specialist