Fire Safety Regulations

It can be a challenge to keep up with the regulatory changes that the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Central Asia construction industry has witnessed over the past few years. Kingspan MEATCA has compiled the below summary of current requirements in Turkey, UAE, KSA and Wales, and an update on the state of play in Northern Ireland.

With ongoing revisions to regulatory guidance, it is fundamental that all members of the industry keep up to date with the new requirements – particularly those involved with the design, construction and maintenance of buildings which come under the “high-risk” bracket. This will enable them to make appropriate choices when it comes to building elements, ensuring the creation of safe, compliant buildings which will protect people and property in the event of a fire.
 
Kingspan Insulated Panels and Insulation Divisions offers a comprehensive range of panelised and rainscreen systems which are designed and tested to meet a multitude of building applications, heights, regulatory and functionality requirements. This includes a suite of systems that has passed the requirements of  NFPA285 large-scale system tests.  
 
Explore Kingspan’s full suite of panelised and rainscreen facade, insulation board and insulated panel NFPA285 tested systems here.

Cladding and the Fire Safety Regulations: Where do we Currently Stand?

Fire safety is a critical yet complex consideration when creating or upgrading a building. Over the past two and a half years, Middle East and especially UAE construction has seen considerable change with governments pushing to establish clearer and more robust regulatory guidance, particularly for what are classed as high-risk buildings. For many architects, contractors and other stakeholders, this has been a welcome shake up. However, it can be a challenge to keep track of the various nuances of each country’s approach and understand exactly what materials can be used where.
 
Below is an overview of the key changes that have come into force.

United Arab Emirates

UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice - 2018 Edition is the latest Building Fire Safety Code issued by UAE Ministry of Interior General Command of Civil Defense mandating all the rules and regulations for any type of building to be constructed in the UAE. The code restrict the types of materials that can be used on facades of buildings depending on occupancy type and building height classifications.

Building Height Classifications are listed below:

  • Low Rise Buildings - structures having total height of up to 15m
  • Mid Rise Buildings - structures having total height from 15m up to 23m
  • High Rise Buildings - structures having total height from 23m up to 90m
  • Super High Rise Buildings - structures having total height of 90m and over

For the below occupancy type buildings, external walls can only be constructed with materials achieving a European Class A1 or A2-s1, d0 in accordance with  EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009 and materials having self ignition temperature of not less than 343°C as per ASTMD1929.  In addition to the material classification requirement, if facade construction is to be made out of a system assembly constructed out of a mix of materials and components, then the complete system assembly must pass one of the following full scale system tests: BS8414-1 or 2 with pass criteria as per BRE 135 / NFPA285 with pass criteria / FM4881 with pass criteria / ISO 13785-2 with pass criteria

  • Super High Rise Buildings
  • Shopping Malls
  • Theme Parks
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Assembly

For the below occupancy type buildings, external walls can only be constructed with materials achieving a European Class B-s1, d0 in accordance with  EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009 and materials having self ignition temperature of not less than 343°C as per ASTMD1929.  In addition to the material classification requirement, if facade construction is to be made out of a system assembly constructed out of a mix of materials and components, then the complete system assembly must pass one of the following full scale system tests: BS8414-1 or 2 with pass criteria as per BRE 135 / NFPA285 with pass criteria / FM4881 with pass criteria / ISO 13785-2 with pass criteria

  • Lowrise Buildings
  • Midrise Buildings
  • Warehouses
  • Industrial Buildings

For the below occupancy type buildings, external walls can only be constructed with materials achieving a European Class B-s1, d0 in accordance with  EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009 and materials having self ignition temperature of not less than 343°C as per ASTMD1929.  

  • Coldstore Buildings

 All of the testing/certification requirements listed above must be conducted at UAE Civil Defense accredited laboratories and the accredited certifications must be approved/listed by regional UAE Civil Defense bodies. Installation of the Civil Defense Approved systems can only be installed by Civil Defense approved installers.

Further details on the requirements and the complete approval scheme is clearly defined on the UAE Fire and Life Safey Code of Practice 2018 Edition which can be downloaded here.