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Façades & Fire Safety

Rainscreen and masonry façades are popular building envelope specifications, particularly in high–rise applications. Please click on the links below for more information:

Introduction

However, choosing the best route to compliance, with fire safety regulatory requirements in Great Britain, necessitates a clear understanding of the complexities and the common misconceptions that surround the use of insulation in these constructions.

We have developed a step-by-step guide to help you identify the most appropriate route to take for compliance with the fire safety requirements of the Building Regulations / Standards, when using Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board in the façades of buildings with a habitable storey 18 metres, or greater, above ground level. 

We do recommend that you check with the warranty provider first, as the specified construction may already meet the requirements for a number of applications.

How tall is your building?

What you need to know.

Check the diagram below to determine whether your building has a habitable storey 18 m, or greater, above ground level.

Question:
Does your building have a habitable storey 18 m, or greater, above ground level? 

NO
✔ Compliance achieved. 

Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board, and its rigid thermoset insulation core, are Class 0, as defined by the Building Regulations and so can be deemed compliant. 

YES

Go to 'Does your façade system build-up meet the criteria in BR 135?'

What you need to know.

To meet the acceptance criteria of BR 135, your façade system build-up should either be:
  • successfully tested to BS 8414-1: 2002 or BS 8414-2: 2005, by an independent UKAS accredited testing body; or
  • assessed and subsequently confirmed, in a Desktop Study Report and in the professional opinion of a suitably qualified fire specialist, that it suitable.
Scroll through the build-ups below to see if any match or are similar to your designs. 

Cement board cladding & masonry blockwork
Report No. 220876

 

Run a Desktop Study

What you need to know.
You should now appoint a suitably qualified fire specialist to assess the suitability of your proposed façade system build-up.

They will produce a Desktop Study Report which can take anything from 2-6 weeks. Providing the fire specialist with sufficient, accurate and detailed information from the outset will minimise any risk of delay.
The type of information required includes, but is not limited to, the following:

first and foremost, all applicable fire test data for all components of the façade system build–up – in particular that for the external surface of the façade;
plans (building design, location etc.);
elevations (location of cladding materials, configuration of fire stops etc.);
section details (façade build–up; fire barriers at junctions and openings etc.); and
material specification (type, thickness, performance data and relevant certification).

Question:

Does the fire specialist confirm that the façade build-up is suitable (i.e. that the acceptance criteria of BR 135 would be met)? 

YES
✔ Compliance achieved.

The proposed façade system build-up, incorporating Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board, meets the acceptance criteria of BR 135 and so can be deemed compliant for all storeys of your building. 

NO
Go to ‘Fire Safety Engineering’.

Fire Safety Engineering

What you need to know.
Fire Safety Engineering does not only consider the performance of structures, systems, products and materials when exposed to fire. It also includes fire prevention, active and passive fire protection measures, for instance effective means of egress, and adequate measures for alarm, detection, control and extinguishment.

It can facilitate innovation in building design without compromising fire safety, particularly in some large and complex buildings, and in buildings containing different uses, where it may be the only practical way to achieve a satisfactory level of fire safety.

If you take this advanced route, it is recommended that you follow the guidance in:

BS 7974: 2001 (Application of fire safety engineering principles to the design of buildings. Code of practice); and

IFEG: 2005 (International Fire Engineering Guidelines).

Question:

IIs the available data for your proposed façade system (including that for Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board in isolation of the other materials comprising the system), sufficient to form part of the information that’s needed to undertake a detailed analysis of relevant, specific aspects of fire safety engineering in buildings? 

YES
✔ Compliance achieved.

Compliance does not depend on the standalone fire performance of the proposed façade system or Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board. Compliance can only be determined after all factors that affect the building are considered holistically. 

NO
Contact us and we'll talk through the next steps with you.
Email: highrisetechnical@kingspan.com

Kingspan Insulation Ltd.

Bree Industrial Estate

Castleblayney

Co. Monaghan

A75 X966

Tel: +353 (0) 42 979 5000

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