Fire Safety – A Hot Topic

Fires in tall buildings, in the UK and throughout the world, have heightened awareness of safety concerns involving the use of façade cladding on buildings. This has led to some tragic loss of life, as well as extensive damage to buildings and loss of property for homes and businesses. Here in the UK, Building Regulations Approved Document B in 2013 stated that new buildings over 18m above ground level should utilise an insulation or filler material that is of limited combustibility.

Building Control Alliance also issued guidance in 2015 covering the use of combustible cladding materials on buildings over 18m in height. There are four options for buildings to achieve compliance, which are as follows:

Option 1 – use materials of limited or non combustibility as set out in Building Regulations Part B – various options are available here and Panel Systems can advise on each project.

Option 2 – a full scale fire test should be performed of the exact façade construction proposed, which should be tested to BS 8414-1/2 and to meet BR 135 criteria.

Option 3 – a fire officer should perform a desk top study to find out if the structure of the façade would comply in theory, based on previous test data or reasoned arguments.

Finally, option 4 – an assessment needs to be carried out of the whole building by a suitably qualified engineer, which should take into account all building factors. It may be necessary to adapt the building to meet requirements.

There are a number of materials can comply with building regulations and our technical team can advise here on what is best suited to a particular project.

As the UK’s major cities continue to build towards the skies, there is a real need for our industry to get this right. This is the reason why we work closely with contractors and specifiers to ensure that all the projects we supply meet relevant fire performance criteria.

If you’d like more details, or a quotation call: 0114 275 2881 or email

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