Industry body Engineered Panels in Construction (EPIC) is calling for whole system testing to be applied to all façade systems, regardless of their composition.
As the much anticipated initial report from the Hackitt Review, which followed the Grenfell Tower tragedy, is published, the construction industry has been preparing itself to respond swiftly to any early recommendations.
Something which EPIC say is already clear is that large scale, whole system testing is the best indicator of how a building envelope will act in a fire.
EPIC has been deeply involved in fire testing and research for more than ten years, providing vital information and data about the fire performance of insulated panel systems to specifiers, contractors and fire professionals.
Over this period, results from large scale, insurer-backed tests including LPS 1181 from the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB), and FM 4880 from FM Approvals, have had a proven strong correlation to how buildings constructed from insulated panel systems perform in real fires.
The tests are similar in scale and severity to the BS 8414 test currently used under Building Regulations for buildings with a storey above 18 m.
Building envelopes featuring many differing components, and it is hoq they interact that can dictate whether and how a fire spreads.
This has led EPIC to recommend large scale system testing form the benchmark for regulatory compliance, as opposed to reliance on simple product classifications derived from small scale individual tests.
The EPIC research, case studies and the findings of reports carried out by independent fire experts can be downloaded from the EPIC website: www.epic.uk.com/fire-performance/fire-case-studies/fire-research-case-studies/
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