29 September 2020

New best practice design guide Firestopping of service penetrations available for free

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Five leading not-for-profit organisations have joined together to release a best practice guide aimed at assisting in the design, specification and installation of building services penetrations through fire compartment walls and floors in new buildings to ensure that fire compartmentation is maintained.


Firestopping of service penetrations, which features a foreword by Dame Judith Hackitt (Chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety), encourages designers to consider firestopping design earlier in the process to prevent problems from occurring at a later stage in construction. It is based on Building Regulations current in England at the time of writing, with further guidance relevant to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales provided in Appendix A.


It is not an installation manual but offers best practice guidance – breaking down information on actions that should be carried out during each of the stages one to seven as defined in the RIBA Plan of Work. Cavity barriers and linear seals are excluded from the scope of this guide.


It was produced as part of a collaborative initiative involving the organisations ASFP, BESA, BSRIA, FIS, GPDA, and supported by FSI, Rockwool, and BM TRADA’s sister company Warringtonfire – who worked closely with FIS on the project. They teamed up to address service penetrations in buildings and ensure the spread of fire due to inappropriate or poorly installed service penetrations can be eliminated.


This is a topic about which the TRADA technical helpline receives quite a few queries, suggesting further support on the subject is essential. Among TRADA members, architects, consultants, fire engineers, manufacturers, principal designers and contractors as well as building controllers and inspectors will all find this new guide useful.


Commenting on the launch of the guide, Dame Judith Hackitt 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.’


Ross Newman, Regulatory Analyst at Warringtonfire, added: ‘This best practice guide is an excellent example of industry wide collaboration as acknowledged by Dame Judith. It will hopefully encourage early design consideration of Firestopping, a vital fire protection measure required to maintain effective compartmentation within buildings. Following the guide should lead to compliant specification using suitable certified products and clearly identifiable installations carried out by competent installers. The requisite regulation 38 fire safety information can then easily be handed over to the building owner on completion allowing them to operate and maintain the building safely and effectively over time.’


Firestopping of service penetrations is available to download for free