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February 14, 2021


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Firestopping of service penetrations: Best practice guide

Firestopping-ServicePenetrationsGuide-20To assist in the design, specification and installation of building services penetrations to ensure fire compartmentation is maintained, in September 2020 five organisations launched a Best Practice Design and Installation Guide, Firestopping of Service Penetrations.

The aim of the guide is to encourage all stakeholders in construction to consider firestopping design earlier in the process in order to avoid problems at a later stage in construction. Those involved in the project would like to highlight that it is not an installation manual, but guidance to a good practice approach.

The guide is broken down to provide information on actions that should be carried out during each of the stages one to seven as defined in the RIBA Plan of Work.

Since the guide was first launched, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has approved the guide as assessed Continual Professional Development (CPD) material. This enables architects to download and read the guide and log this towards their 35 hours of required CPD each year.

With a foreword by Dame Judith Hackitt, who was the Chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, the Best Practice Guide will enable a project team to meet its obligations to deliver a safe and secure project in terms of penetration seals.

The guide was produced collaboratively by the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA), Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS) and the Gypsum Products Development Association (GPDA) to address service penetrations in buildings and ensure the spread of fire due to inappropriate or poorly installed service penetrations can be eliminated.

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.”

Commenting on the launch of the guide, Nick Mead, Mei Systems And Assurance Lead – Meica Systems, Laing O’Rourke Europe said: “Service penetrations in fire-separating elements are in part a minor element of a compartment wall or floor, yet in truth they are one of the most important elements when it comes to ensuring the performance of any compartment wall or floor is maintained.”

The guide was produced with the support of stakeholders across the industry including manufacturers, designers, contractors and specialist fire companies. Those who produced the guide would like to thank Rockwool, FSi Ltd, and Warringtonfire in particular.

The Best Practice Design and Installation Guide, Firestopping of Service Penetrations is available to download on each of the association’s websites (Find it here from the ASFP, for example).

This article was first published in September 2020. 

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Mike Floyd
Mike Floyd
September 10, 2020 7:48 pm

4th edition was already a benchmark guide in this sector, so an updated version will be even more useful.