Minimising Fire Risks and Maximising Opportunities
A lack of test evidence and performance data creates challenges for specifiers having to achieve precise safety and performance requirements. Steve Thompson Managing Director for light steel frame specialists, EOS Framing – discusses reducing the fire load of residential buildings.
A key advantage of light steel frame is fire performance. The amount of combustible material in a light steel framed building is much lower, therefore the risk of fire during construction and when occupied is vastly reduced. Steel is non-combustible and does not add to the fire load of a building – reducing the ‘fuel for the fire’ and limiting risk of damage and injury.
Making the Building Process Inherently Safer
EOS as part of Etex are continually looking at ways to make the building process not only inherently safer but also to offer performance assurances to architects, contractors and specifiers to ensure they can provide sufficient levels of protection to occupants.
Fire protection for light steel framing is typically provided by the use of non-combustible boards for internal linings and fire protection systems such as those manufactured by our Etex group partners –Promat and FSi. These passive fire protection specialists develop and manufacture a full range of built-in fire systems to safeguard both infrastructure and assets.
Rigorously Tested and Certified
Developed together with our Etex Group partners, Siniat, a leading expert in plasterboard and drylining systems, together with Promat and FSi – our Thrubuild® complete loadbearing walling and flooring systems combine the technical and manufacturing expertise of the group to provide a comprehensive range of tested and certified solutions for light steel frame construction – all from one supplier.
All Thrubuild® components – light steel frame, boarding, insulation, and fixings – are rigorously tested together. Fire performances are resultsof testing to BS EN 1365-1 forwalls and BS EN 1365-2 forfloors. Systems are evaluated attheir minimum dimensions for asafe ‘worst case’ performance.Loads applied during testing areselected to simulate representativestresses in accordance with thetest standard.
With 60 – 120-minute fire resistance options, this approach mitigates risk because these integrated systems have been tested and assessed for compliance with the latest regulations and standards, to ensure robust and reliable performance. Design performance is achieved using combinations of boarding and insulation and only tested configurations are available for selection.
When walling and flooring systems are built entirely with Etex Building Performance components and materials in line with our latest standards — we award a Thrubuild® 30-year warranty.
Advanced light steel framing systems manufactured offsite in well managed factory environments not only mitigate risks but also enhance the speed and quality of the build process. Robust testing regimes backed by comprehensive warranties offer assurances to developers and no doubt help specifying teams sleep at night safe in the knowledge that they have safeguarded building owners and occupants.