Fire Rating Cannot be an After Thought

3 May 2012
By Paul Vessey

The planning process for building works is a time-intensive one. Whether you are an architect, engineer, builder or the client, you know the time put into making sure the smallest details are covered off and the structure will be nothing short of brilliant when it is built.

There may be a discussion about the use of steel over concrete, whether to leave said steel exposed, the type of glass to use, how changes can be made to the floor plan to enhance cooling/heating of the building whilst maintaining the desired aesthetics and so on. The list really is endless.

However, what we are finding too often is that discussions around passive fire rating are being neglected till late in the building process. By the time it is realised that only little consideration has been given to the passive fire rating process, we’ve found that clients are either unhappy with the implications and impact the solution will have on aesthetic criteria or with the cost to reto-fit the solution to the structure.

We implore you to remember this: Fire rating cannot be an afterthought. It must be considered as part of the initial design phase and in the specifications phase. Whether it is fire rating protection for structural steel (intumescent paint or fire paint as some call it), fire collars, fire board or gap seals, passive fire protection is an integral component of the design process.

If you are unsure of what you need to consider, or how to interpret the Building oode, then please, feel free to contact our offices as we will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.