Five major trade bodies have collaborated on a Best Practice Design and Installation Guide in a bid to get building services penetrations to be considered earlier in the design process.
The partners say the guide, Firestopping of Service Penetrations, has been designed to 'encourage all stakeholders in construction to consider firestopping design earlier in the process in order to avoid problems at a later stage in construction.'
Nick Mead, Mei Systems And Assurance Lead for Laing O’Rourke said: “Service penetrations in fire-separating elements are in part a minor element of a compartment wall or floor, yet in truth they are one of the most important elements when it comes to ensuring the performance of any compartment wall or floor is maintained.”
Failure of compartmentation has been one of the key causes of fire spread in major fires such as Grenfell Tower and Lakanal House.
The publication is not an installation manual but guidance to a good practice approach, they say, with the guide broken down to provide information on actions that should be carried out during each of the RIBA Plan of Work's stages one to seven.
The guide, with a foreword by Dame Judith Hackitt, previously Chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, will enable a project team to meet is their obligations to deliver a safe and secure project in terms of penetration seals, the partners say.
Dame Judith said: “This document is the result of a collaboration between a number of relevant trade bodies and organisations representing the wider construction and fire safety industries, and it is an example of the collaborative working and acceptance of professional responsibility throughout the supply chain that must become a feature of the industry’s culture from now on.”
The guide was produced collaboratively by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection, HVAC association BESA, research group BSRIA, the Finishes and Interiors Sector body and the Gypsum Products Development Association. They says that the guide will help eliminate the spread of fire due to inappropriate or poorly installed service penetrations.
The guide was produced with the support of stakeholders across the industry including manufacturers, designers, contractors and specialist fire companies and in particular Rockwool, FSi, and Warringtonfire.
Firestopping of Service Penetrations is available to download from the BESA website.