There are several different components to consider when thinking about installing fire-rated industrial partitions, all requiring equal consideration and understanding.
Firewalls are needed in a number of different scenarios, whether that be as a regulatory requirement within an existing building or as part of new large-scale industrial developments. For example, if a vast warehouse space is to be divided into smaller units, perhaps to be rented out to a number of tenants, the division walls that will be installed must hold a certain level of fire resistance. This is to be able to contain a spread of fire to the section of the building concerned, reducing the risk of damage to other spaces within the building.
Such walls work in conjunction with active fire defence systems, such as alarms and sprinkler systems, in order to provide the maximum amount of fire protection within each building.
Fire-resistant walls built using composite panels are now a more favourable choice for many construction projects as they offer unrivalled benefits when compared to traditional jumbo stud work. Our previous blog post looks into the advantages held by composite fire-rated partitions.
Fire ratings range from 30 minutes to 4 hours, which specifies the amount of time that the partition will be able to withstand exposure to flame. The ratings required for partitions are often dependent on the use of the building and are determined by building regulations or insurance specifications. Generally, if the building is two storeys or less, then a one-hour firewall should be installed. Buildings more than two storeys high with firewalls should hold a fire rating of two hours.
Partitions must adhere to performance requirements as outlined within either LPS 1208 or British Standards (BS476 Pt 22), where you will be told by the insurance provider or local building regulator which one is necessary for your build.
Firestopping & Fireboarding
Firestopping and fireboarding work in conjunction with the firewall itself, designed to restore the continuous fire resistance of the installation. Firestopping is used at the vertical or horizontal abutments to seal any openings, while fireboarding is used to protect the existing structural steel from the spread of fire.
Whilst sourcing the most efficient materials is important, arguably their installation is even more valuable to ensure guaranteed fire protection and fire resistance. Such installations should only be carried out by approved LPCB installers, as they will be able to assure compliance to regulations and provide a certificate of conformity once construction is complete. Without this important document, it cannot be assumed that the partition is fully fire resistant.
The type of composite panel installation – whether that’s vertical or horizontal – is dependent on the height of the wall required. If taller than 11.5m in one span, additional structural steelwork needs to be considered and a horizontal installation will be necessary.
The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) has been working for over 100 years to ensure fire products and systems perform effectively. In doing so, their Loss Prevention Standards (LPS) are a widely recognised third-party certification for fire and security products, including passive fire protection.
Look out for LPS 1500: Issue 2 certified approved installers for your project; holding this accreditation means they have been able to demonstrate full competency in installing fire-rated compartmentation systems, having successfully undertaken the relevant training for doing so and are regularly assessed in their work. Installing firms with this accreditation must provide an LPS 1500 Certificate of Conformity upon the completion of every project.
The LPS 1200: Issue 2 certification applies to the materials used; this certification defines the fire resistance performance for compartmentation walls.
As with any construction project, the quality of the products and service is important. Firms accredited with the ISO 9001 certification, a quality management system governed by the LPCB, have been able to and continue to demonstrate a high level of quality across activities within the business.
Of course, ancillaries such as doors and vision panels may be required within your project. In order to ensure maximum fire integrity of the whole structure, these items must also hold the same level of fire resistance as the partition. Fire-rated hinged personnel doors are available for quick access between areas and vision panels can be seamlessly integrated into the system.
Stancold’s specialist firewall and industrial partition team are able to easily transform your requirements into a fire resistant composite system, taking care of all aspects of design, supply and installation. With an in-house LPS 1500 approved installation team, we can ensure compliance with the certifications and regulations required, providing passive fire protection that meets your needs.
To find out more about Stancold’s fire-rated industrial partitions and to discuss aspects of our panel systems installations, get in touch here or call Shaun Jones on 07821 152 663.
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