Drylining and Fire Wall BIM4Housing Roundtables 03-07-2023

RICHARD …which is updating the guidance on 12 fire critical assets that we identified 18 months ago. This is obviously looking in terms of the Fire Safety and the Building Safety Acts, but also the fact that the industry's changed very markedly in the last year. I'm gonna ask George to give a sort a brief overview just to put things in context.

GEORGE (shares screen). When we took over BIM4Housing 2 or 3 years ago, one of the things we wanted to do was to move it away from BIM being about 3D modelling and focus on better information management. And the question is what information do we actually need to manage? And different stakeholders need different things. So we set up different working groups which meet once every two months, so we’ve got 36 of these meetings each year and typically they have 20-30 people attending. We try and look at what information would make their tasks easier. For example, what would make a construction teams work easier if developers provided them with better information, and likewise operations teams if the construction teams handed over better information.

The way in which we acted on that was to set up workstreams which then work for 3-4 months to focus on certain things. For example, we focused on producing standard data templates, standard processes. The work that we’re doing today has come out of the fire safety group looking at typical critical assets. We’ve got a lot going on at the moment with decarbonisation and also trying to standardise digital records and safety case reports.

Just to put it in context, one of the challenges that we’ve got is that different people want different information about the same asset for different purposes, and we’ll see that today in the meetings. The fact is that people need either different information or different levels of detail and what we’re learning is that certain information is fixed and therefore is repeatable and therefore can probably be delivered in the form of PDFs, but other information changes, is variable or active, and it’s really useful to be able to differentiate between the two.

The other thing is that a lot of the things we’ve got going on at the moment, particularly because of the Building Safety Act, are snapshots in time, and although it’s important to have a safety case report, we also need to recognise that the landlords have got to have everything current at that point in time. So you can’t simply say we were OK when we did the fire risk assessment last year, it needs to change as risks change. And then to be able to tie everything back to an individual asset, not simply recording the fact that we’ve done an inspection.

So part of the process of doing that is to use RFIDs or tags for asset types, but one of the things that’s important is to recognise that we’re ending up with lots of golden threads, so from a construction point of view we’re probably testing to make sure that certain information has been provided. from a manufacturers point of view it’s important to tie that together with what the product was that is actually satisfying it and then the product data that’s being provided, but then looking at it in the context of where it is. So from a fire engineering point of view you really need to know what the spaces are on either side. So that’s why what we’re trying to do is federate together all of these different threads that are being produced by people using excellent applications like Plan Radar, Riskbase, Hilti, Keystone, Civica CX. The important thing is that they shouldn’t be all separate isolated information sets, we need to be able to bring them together. And that’s one of the reasons we need the information in a machine-readable format, a lot of the information in this data sheet, for example, is well laid out, easy to understand, but it can only be understood by a human.

So fire rating, for example, is presented in this way that a human can read it, but it’s not machine-readable because here’s another data sheet and the fire rating is described quite differently, and the same here on a different data sheet. The information is there, but you need to manually interpret it, so there’s certain information we want to try and make sure is machine-readable. So we’ve been on this journey for the last couple of years with HACT and organisations trying to come up with standardised data templates. The point about that is that they can either be used for new projects or for existing buildings and if we can organise it in that way, it doesn’t really matter what software you’re suing because we can present the information in a standardised format.

This is some of the work in progress we did with HACT with the 250 standard asset types that we’ve got. So here, for example, you’ll see on the left hand side in column b we’ve got standardised names that have been agreed across different social landlords as to what something is called. That might seem blindingly obvious, but if you look in the synonyms column you’ll see that an AOV, for example, is described as an Automatic Opening Vent or a smoke vent, but by putting them into classifications it means that we can start to provide some order we can tie data back to.

We’ve actually got 152 safety related assets identified of which 71 relate specifically to fire. Now that obviously is gain interpretation, but it gives us a basis on which to work. Some of you will know about COBie which is the international standard for handover information exchange, so that’s what we tend to use to do the high level information. So here, for example, this is common to any type of asset, doesn’t matter whether it’s a plasterboard, a door, a fire collar, a smoke vent, they’re all standard. The thing that makes it different, the difference between the attributes that are needed for a fire collar or a damper or a door or a wall will be down to that particular type of element, and the question is which attributes do we include.

BuildingSMART or the BIM community has got a large data set that we work to, but there’s other information as well, there’s classification systems, MBS have got their own data sets, CIBSE have got their own data sets as well for building services. The surveyors and cost managers have got their own data sets as well, as have the wholesalers and merchants, they use ETIM. So the question is which attributes should we or shouldn’t we include? The fact is that we probably need to include all of them because different people will want the different information.

So if we just look at the AOV one that we did last week, here we’ve got a range of different attributes in here which are all machine-readable, some of them may not be needed from an asset management point of view or a safety point of view, mechanical load rating or wind load rating may be things that would be adequate just to have as a PDF. So part of the exercise today that we’re gonna go through is just understanding whether we’ve got the right information sets for this type of asset. So we led the Golden Thread Initiative which L&Q set up for asset and survey information and one of the challenges was to ask some of the people what data do we need to know about fire walls, and the answer to the question is invariably ‘it depends’.

It depends on where that wall is, what’s it doing and also how it relates back to building regs. We’ve done this now for 10 of the 12 asset types, today we’re doing this, tomorrow we’re finishing off with dry and wet risers. In each of these different processes we’ve actually looked at what does the asset comprise, so how is it made up, and also what information can we put in, for example for this door, that can be managed (separate from the BIM models) that is specific to it being a door. So for the fire wall some of these, like fire rating, may be common, but obviously a lot of these others won’t be.

So we need to be able to hold this in a database rather than in the BIM systems because it might be that it’s not just BIM systems but also we want it for procurement and operations. So the way in which we go about that is by holding it in databases and then using API connecters to connect it back to the applications. So that’s why this exercise that you’re going through today is so important. it also means that when new information comes in like the new FIREie standard it means that we can relate it easily to that same information and do that as an update. I’m just gonna show what we’ve already got, this is what we’re gonna go through today: What is a fire wall? What risks does the fire wall mitigate?

We have to answer that question to align it with what the regulator is looking for. We also wanted to identify from the roundtable sessions what actually goes wrong, Matt Taylor gave us some great examples of things that don’t work. And then there’s a lot of things that people do wrongly to prevent the fire wall form working. The next question we’re gonna go through is what information is needed and this is where we want to try and get to that machine-readable information if at all possible.

And then we’re going to go onto talk about the tasks that are required to ensure that things are installed properly, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly. And then finally we go onto competency, so what levels of competency are needed, and how should we manage changes. So this is the work that was done 18 months ago and we’re now refreshing this to reflect what we’ve learned over the last couple of years.

RICHARD This meeting is recorded and you’ll be given a link to that recording. We also take a highpoint minutes document which you’ll also receive which isn’t just about what’s verbally happening in the meeting, it’s also about what’s in the chat, so please do use the chat. If you’ve got comments on something that’s adjacent to what we’re talking about put it into the chat and it will perhaps find its way into the appendix of the document itself. We’ll try and stick very much to these questions, if something comes up adjacent then, if we’ve got time, we’ll talk about it at the end. Ok, let’s get started. What risks do dry lining and fire walls mitigate?

ALAN OLIVER I read through it yesterday and there’s one thing I want to point out. The bottom bullet point there, it says ‘they provide both integrity and insulation i.e. prevent the spread of head’. That should be prevent the spread of heat, surely. And then later on it mentions the spread of heat, it should be the transfer of heat. You don’t spread heat, you transfer heat.

IAN DONCASTER There’s one above just where we were, applications include escape corridors and firefighter channels. Should applications be in there? It’s what they mitigate, not the application.

JOE CILIA Second item down, risk of smoke buildup, what do you mean by that? Because the risk of smoke buildup, if it’s a compartment and the compartment isn’t ventilated it’s the ventilation system that deals with the smoke buildup.

MATT TAYLOR I would say, we’ve got spread of smoke in there. There’s a number of different factors in relation to smoke buildup including some ventilation and other services concerns which are generally outside of the drylining…I think it’s covered elsewhere. The risk of degraded acoustics, are we saying risk of detriment to proposed or specified acoustic performance?

GEORGE I don’t know, it depends, I don’t know who added that.

RICHARD This came up on a number of meetings about acoustics and it was a new one to many people. At the time it made sense, but I don’t remember the background to it.

JOE CILIA So the only risk that I can understand about degrading acoustics is the risk of the sound not being heard from one space to another, but that’s mitigated separately. So the wall itself will provide airborne sound insulation, that’s one of the reasons it’s there in the first place. So as a risk it will be about the sounders, but again I think that’s mitigated separately in the sounders themselves. Just to give people a bit of background, I’m the technical director at the FIS, we represent the manufacturers and constructers in this sector.

IAN DONCASTER Quite a few of these are repeats of themselves. I reckon half of that list is probably a repeat of the other half of the list. Offline it would be worth going through and colouring a lot of them that say the same thing. You’ve got transference of heat in about 10 different ways, and transference of smoke…at the end of the day we’re saying the same thing many times.

RICHARD I think part of the reason there is a lot of duplication is because a number of people put comments on that were slightly different and had a slightly different emphasis that others and we didn’t want to miss anything out. But if somebody can help me go through that and make it just one line instead of five that would be excellent.

ALAN OLIVER Looking at the bullet point just before the bottom where it says ‘substitution of components for an alternative, generally data is based is on a full system from one manufacturer’.  There’s other people here who’d probably be better to confirm this, but I think it should say one board manufacturer, the fire tests tend to be done by board manufacturers and I think it’s important to put the word board in there, or plaster board manufacturer.

JOE CILIA No. You can be a systems manufacturer coming at it form a number of routes. The two most popular routes are board manufacturer or stud manufacturers. There are stud manufacturers who are system owners in their own right.

RICHARD What risks are dry lining and fire walls susceptible themselves?

JOE CILIA I don't know whether you're planning to put these in some sort of order, but the first risk is incorrectly specified. You’ve got selection further down, but if the specification is wrong everything thereafter will be wrong.

RICHARD Right, we’ve had this before. This is about the asset, what’s the risk to the asset itself. Wrong specification isn’t a risk to the asset itself.

GEORGE I guess what we’re saying here, this particular clause was added in because when we’ve been in the meetings people have told us about things that maybe tenants/people do to the asset to stop them from working. So that’s the purpose of it, rather than looking at the design and construction side of things, which we do come on to. The other thing I wold say is that this is a long list which can then be filtered for different purposes. So the interpretation of what these points are can be done maybe in organisations’ asset information requirements and things like that. It’s designed to be a long list that can then be filtered and presented in different ways.

JOE CILIA The biggest risk to an asset in its lifetime, apart from damage, is when anybody actually does anything to it, and the biggest thing that we see post-installation are pipe and service penetrations. is that covered in this?

GEORGE I think there is inadequate coordination with MEP services, but I think specifically you’re quite right, could you just put something in the chat.

TIM AIKIN I’ve just put something in the chat, I think it’s post-occupancy work.

COLIN WHITE Isn’t it covered by modifications impacting their integrity?

JOE CILIA I wonder whether people would understand that, whether you need to be really basic, don’t put a pipe and a duct through something that’s already there without designing it.

MATT TAYLOR I’m not entirely sure how this might be worded in the bullet points, but one of the risks that I see time and time again is the assumption that as system can be used in a bespoke arrangement and still achieve the same fife performance as the tested system. The system manufacturers test under strict tests guidelines in terms of trying to prove a system is capable of providing a certain fire performance. And now even under European standard less scope for extended application of that test information, but when we design buildings we design interfaces as we want that interface to look so we look at various weird and wonderful arrangements and assume that the standard test information of that manufacturers system is going to cover that.

RICHARD We’ve got a section on information, I think maybe it would be more relevant there. Has anybody else got anything to add to this section?

JIMMY COLLINS I think it’s similar to what Matt’s saying, just a bullet point saying extended heights is quite misleading and vague and I don’t think that’s particularly helpful. There was also a note above about testing to a cause and effect document, I’m not quite sure what that means. Extended heights is in reference to the removal of the BS series and the move to EN, as Matt was alluding to, and there’s fewer field of applications available in dry lining. The second point ‘risk that the asset has not been tested against the cause and effect document’, what is the cause and effect document? We test by an EN by test methodology.

RICHARD A number of the meetings have alluded to a cause and effect document.

GEORGE Yeah, it’s part of the fire strategy, I think.

IAN DONCASTER We do smoke ventilation systems. When we’re commissioning a system we would need to check that it does certain things under certain different conditions and our cause and effect document would be that. But it’s more about mechanical operation under different controlled conditions, so it sets about the control strategy to make the fire strategy. The only reason might be something like which side the fire is coming from because depending on the cause and effect you might have fire from the inside or the outside of a draft that’s made of a wall construction.

GEORGE What’s the view of the group? Should we have something in there that relates to that, or should we take it out?

IAN DONCASTER I’d take it out.

TIM AIKIN In asbestos management, we always have permit to work stickers all over the place and it seems to me that when you’ve got something that is fire compartmentation and there is a temptation to go I can just drill through that, is that there should be a warning you’ve got to actually go through this process. I don’t know whether that falls within that, it’s more about how you manage it going forward. We came across stuff on a hospital where they’d put in cabling for monitoring and they’d breached all sorts of things and the thing was bloody leaking.

RICHARD I think that comes down partly to competence, which we’ll be covering shortly, and also  information because it’s down to the information about the wall and what should and shouldn’t happen with it.

GEORGE Joe’s holding up a sticker. Do you want to explain what that is?

JOE CILIA if any of you have got a smartphone, if you hold your smartphone up to that QR code it will take you to a set of information and the idea of the sticker is in sits in a void above a ceiling and it warns people. This is a fire wall providing compartmentation, don’t do anything until you’ve checked this out. And a QR code will take the user to advice on how to plan it to ensure that you get a compliant seal, depending on what the service penetration is, and it’s advice which is based on a piece of guidance which was produced by BSA, ASFP, FIS and BSRIA recently and also the advice from ASFP, their Red Book.

RICHARD So that again I’d say is for the net section when we get onto information. Anybody got anything else on question 1b, the risks to the drylining itself?

JOE CILIA Penetrations also include doors, so if you put a non-complaint door, which apparently is one of the things that happened at Grenfell, the flat doors were changed, then the wall itself will become non-compliant because it won’t perform.

GEORGE What about painting and things like that? Is that a risk?

JOE CILIA I’m not aware of painting being a risk.

MATT TAYLOR Mainly to finish, rather than performance. For example certain types of paint aren’t recommended onto dry lining, but that’s primarily due to reflection of the surface and finish related issues.

GEORGE Obviously a lot of what we’re doing here is focused around fire and structural safety, but a growing thing is mould. So are there any risks that would result in mould that people might do to the wall to prevent it from breathing, maybe?

JOE CILIA No. Mould comes either through lack of ventilation, cold spots on the outside of the wall and sometimes mould happens quite quickly where the boards are installed in the wet and they should be replaced if that’s the case.

JIMMY COLLINS It’s more of a design risk in terms of putting a gypsum based board with no humidity, properties not cement based into a bathroom or shower area, so it would be incorrect specification. But it’s certainly a risk, no doubt.

ALAN SPEED (PLP).  I was thinking I mentioned mould, I was thinking moisture and we know the NHPC are getting really hot on water problems over and above fire issues at the moment on some external wall issues, but dry lining is put on external walls, it forms part of through wall systems and moisture is an issue with that. I don’t know if that’s within the scope of this document.

GEORGE Would fire walls exclude external walls, Joe?

JOE CILIA Yes, as Alan just mentioned the risk is where SFS has been used to create the external wall and they also need to have fire protection. They sort of come under the barrier of through wall. Different construction I would say over an internal petition. There are risks and a lot of the risks come down the front end specification. So for example you can’t put a timber pattress in an external wall. Have the board manufacturers changed any guidance recently on pattressing on internal fire walls?

BOB ALLEN I’m technical consultant for GBDA, I’m not aware of any changes. On that point just made about external walls, are we saying that is part of this document? Because if it is we’re introducing maybe low bearing elements which means the what is a fire wall description at the beginning would need looking at.

GEORGE Probably that would be down to, I think Joe and Matt were the principle people putting this together. Certainly, external walls are important and we don’t have another asset type covered so I think we probably should try and accommodate external walls.

JOE CILIA I would do it separately, there are so many differences. the construction is different and the set of parameters they have to deal with are greater and although internal walls still wind loading, external ones have different ones.

RICHARD Question 2: What information is needed about dry lining firewalls to ensure they perform correctly? We’ve got requirements, specification, performance, materials, construction, installation, inspection, maintenance, a lot of sections there. We’ll start with general requirements. What information do we need to know? we’re just doing requirements: type of dry lining, size of walls, manufacture of products, anything else?

JIMMY COLLINS I’d mention the substrate they’re being fixed into.

IAN DONCASTER Can I just throw one in here, it’s an issue for smoke ventilation people and it’s a question of a shaft wall, when is it a wall and when is it a duct, because it effects the sort of control dampers that we use and how we fit them. There’s quite a bit of disagreement around the industry, so the use of the wall, whether it’s being used as a wall that forms part of a shaft or whether it is a shaft, iI’m not quite sure where the issue fits or where it’s covered, but it’s a bit of a hot topic in our bit of the industry at the moment.

COLIN WHITE Isn’t it about the application of the product in so much that if a dry lining fife wall, shaft wall or whatever you call it is utilised to transit smoke as part of a smoke ventilation system then there should be some form of test data. The product for that application should at least have some proven data that it’s suitable for a ventilation system, especially when you talk about smoke ventilation systems coping with under pressures of 1500 pascal, for example.

RICHARD Let’s just hold that for a minute because we’ve got a section on performance where that would go. Jimmy, just to go back to what you were saying about the substrate.

JIMMY COLLINS 99.9% of our fire test data will be in a concrete rig. If you start fixing that to cross-laminated timber or timber trusses the substrate needs consideration that the fire wall is being installed into.

IAN DONCASTER The point that Colin was making and that I was making, we seem to have glossed over that a bit, but I’d have thought that would have been in requirement for type of dry lining. There’s people on here that are working in the dry lining industry, I don’t know if any of them have got any comments to make.

JOE CILIA I’m trying to find some documents, I’ve got a specifiers link to dry lining, I’m gonna put that in the link as well.

IAN DONCASTER But is that something that people in that side of the industry are getting asked about or have any…it’s something that we end up with a problem. We work back through a builder who goes back through a dry liner and we often end up with what we end up with, which may not be the right thing because people don’t understand that it’s not just a bit of plasterboard, it’s a bit more technical than that.

JOE CILIA Yeah, you’re right. The competency, a really simple example, if you take a half hour fire rated plasterboard that everybody talks about, as those in the industry will tell you there is no such thing that exists. That’s where we’ve got to get the competency right in the sector. Going back to the specification and the requirements I’m going to send you through a document which is how to specify dry lining which has got a lot of these questions in.

ALAN SPEED So just picking up on an earlier comment, something we're tackling in the office at the moment is the specification of smoke shafts to match the interfacing elements as opposed to matching the ADP or compliance fire resistance requirements. So I'll give you an example. If you take a smoke control damper from one of the leading suppliers, they test those dampers typically in 120 minute walls and the walls are the minimum thickness. So if your building is only a 90 minute fire resistance building structural fire protection then you find that the wall doesn't meet the tested parameters of the smoke control damper, so it's an interfacing element which is actually driving the performance of the wall as opposed to the regulations.

RICHARD We’ve got a section we’re coming up to shortly on performance and the information we need for performance which I think that sounds like.

GEORGE I think that’s a particularly important thing from my limited knowledge of this area, Alan.

MATT TAYLOR A previous statement covers testing, but I’d say that really needs to be at the forefront of any requirements. What is the performance requirement of the wall and does the specified wall have the correct test information to show that it achieves that performance requirement.

GEORGE I’d just like to ask the team a question on the specification and the performance requirements. That's one of the things that we've been working through over the last couple of years and that is you've got a prescriptive specification and descriptive specification, and I think those are typically defined in something like MBS chorus. Am I wrong on that?

JIMMY COLLINS It kind of varies. We sometimes see drawings, you don’t see them so much anymore, but it would have equal or approved. So it might have our product name and then just say equal or approved or it will give you just the performance criteria, but where we would like to get to is that it specifies precisely what the products are that go into the system that lead to the performance. Otherwise it opens up the possibility that you’ve got equal or approved for different products, but they don’t work in conjunction.

GEORGE Yes, that’s certainly the direction of travel that most people are coming down, because as I understand it if somebody swaps out BG for Knauf or vice versa that is quite fundamental.

RICHARD Let’s scroll down because we’re talking about performance, but we’ve not actually looked at what we’ve got here already.

JIMMY COLLINS Just on specification, we should probably move away from product integrity rating and talk about system insulation and integrity performance.

GEORGE Just before we move off that I’d like to capture whether people are…I’m not promoting MBS Chorus, I’m just trying to understand what a specification actually looks like.

JIMMY COLLINS So we would provide a Knauf K10 document, or there would be a K40 fore ceilings or something like that, and that would then be dropped into an architectural specification. They may well use MBS Chorus or their own platform, but we are providing that basis for them to take the information through the systems we specify. But I think we should advocate it being a performance driven specification, rather than vague and open.

IAN DONCASTER Can i ask a question about specification. If we have a construction that’s used as a smoke shaft then there is a requirement for it to be able to cope under pressure, so the specifications don’t actually have any sort of pressure ratings for a system, do they? Because under the integrity of the structure that would be covered elsewhere. So am I right in saying that there isn’t a way of specifying a shaft for pressure directly under the normal specifications?

MATT TAYLOR Normally, Ian, for example, where the shaft is contained with a shaft wall construction, I’ve yet to see a detail which is based upon that shaft wall construction being sealed. What normally happens is excessive mastic is used and then a pressure test is done to make sure that it achieves or falls within the required leakage per hour. So there’s not a specification as such. When it’s specified there’s normally just a leakage rate in there and then it’s done by site testing.

ALAN OLIVER If we can look at the performance bullet points, I think fire integration should be fire integrity, shouldn't it?

RICHARD We’ll scroll down, let’s do materials and construction first and then go onto installation. There, surrounding materials. Jimmy, that covers your substrata, doesn’t it?

JIMMY COLLINS Maybe, I guess.

GEORGE One of the things on installation, and possibly design as well, is in the CAD models breaking up the different types of walls so that they are held in the fight form within the CAD systems and the BIM models. What I mean by that is that it may be that if you’ve got the specification of the wall changing along a running length, which I understand does happen, often the way the BIM model is created they’ll just use a generic wall and then use some annotation to differentiate it. So that’s one of the things we’ve learned, we need to encourage people to model properly.

RICHARD Let’s scroll down to inspection and maintenance.

GEORGE It’s important that this guidance also covers maintenance and remedial work and things like that, which may not be organised as projects, as it were, it could just be repairs. The inspection bit is an important element that we’re looking at at the moment, and I guess they’ve got to be intrusive inspections to see whether something is likely to be performing. Is there anybody on the call that is involved in maintenance? I think most people are involved in new build and design and manufacturing.

MATT TAYLOR We are involved in some sort of refurbishment and repair, not the practical application of it obviously, but the design implications of repair works and maintenance works. As well as that we're involved in production of the project operation and maintenance manuals. So I I think one of the misconceptions certainly with the O&M manual is that plasterboard and dry lining systems are going to have far more complex maintenance requirements than they actually have. Generally it's just repair of boards and stud, there’s not that sort of ongoing maintenance interval as such, although, and this was brought up in the recent FIS housing meeting, and Joe perhaps if you could just quickly go through about the three-sided service openings Laing O'Rourke and Mace were talking to us about.

JOE CILIA it’s about having evidence that what you’re planning to do you have evidence of compliance right through it. So where you normally have a builder’s work opening, a builders work opening is treated as a four-sided opening. Where the height is restricted a lot of designers now are putting the service zone too close to the head and so it starts to interfere with the deflection head and so a number of openings are being designed as a three-sided opening. If that opening hasn’t been tested by the system’s owner and critically hasn’t been tested by the fire stopping manufacturers then you’ve got no evidence of compliance.

RICHARD Does any of that have any bearing on the maintenance section of this document?

JOE CILIA What I put in the chat is ensuring that any remedial work is in accordance with the original system owners instructions using that manufacturer’s products.

RICHARD What tasks are required to ensure dry lining and firewalls are installed, commissioned, inspected and maintained properly? Let's have a look at the general ones first.

JOE CILIA I just put a note in there about the benchmark and how it’s a bit lower under installation.

GEORGE This is a living document, by the way, so if you look at this afterwards and decide that you want to clarify something or add something, please do so.

RICHARD This will be posted all over our various websites, primarily on our black box site where you can actually go and make comments that we can then update the actual document with.

GEORGE And your names will be on as contributors. What are hold points, Matt?

MATT TAYLOR Hold points are points within the construction where you plan a stop to do an inspection.

GEORGE Joe, is there anything in terms of inspections that is proposed by FIS?

JOE CILIA Yeah, we’ve got a quality inspection plan. I think what you should say is you should adopt a quality inspection plan, we provide one for our members. So there is a point in terms of stuff that’s for members only, if we give it all away there is no need to become a member.

GEORGE Martin Adie, is there anything for example that you would do in terms of standardised inspections that you might be able to share?

MARTIN ADIE I’m not sure about sharing it, but it should be captured in the construction control plan, in that you should set out how you’re going to go about doing your inspections and where you’re going to keep your records. It’s a pre-requisite to all activities.

GEORGE I was thinking more about specific tasks. In the past you’ve told me that compartmentation is one of the biggest challenges that you have in terms of defects and things like that, so I just wondered if there was a checklist that you would…

MARTIN ADIE There’ll be dozens of checklists, to be fair. There are standard checklists for this sort of work, but you need to make them bespoke for the particular wall that you’re constructing. You really don’t want to go down the template road, it should be bespoke for each and every application.

RICHARD Question 4: What level of competency training needs to be in place? Let’s look at the headings, we’ve got installation and maintenance. Now these are generic, they cover right across all the asset types that we’re dealing with. Is there anything specific to drylining that we should have in there?

JOE CILIA There is some work being carried out by working group 2 on the subject. It’s not quite there yet, but the work is being undertaken by working group 2 and FIS, particularly around drylining. I would hope it will come out by the end of the year.

MATT TAYLOR A couple of items that could go on there: fixes pack all to often, and having the right information within the drylining fixes pack. All too often I see fixes packs with no fire strategy information, which is quite often what leads to the issues that we’ve been speaking about with fir compartmentation. They don’t know where the fire compartment line is and where the corners are etc. And the other thing is toolbox talks. Just having a run through a site-based toolbox talk before building an area or before building a certain system or combination of systems can help highlight problems and address any misunderstanding of different operatives.

RICHARD So that's actually information really we're talking about there, aren't we? Rather than competency. Could you type it and put it so that we can put that into the information section, both of that both of those points which I think we need to capture.

JOE CILIA The CPA have produced a guidance on anybody connected with using a construction product and levels of competency should be required for those people. That’s in the chat.

RICHARD OK, let’s scroll down and we’ll have a good look at change management. How should changes to drylining and fire walls be managed and recorded? Again, much of this is generic but if you’ve got anything specific. It's quite an exhaustive list. We've obviously got a lot of work to do on these documents and that will be done. And as I say, that will go out to you all to have another look at in a more leisurely manner and give us feedback. And now the Section 2, we're looking at information slightly differently now and looking to dig deeper into that section. George, do you want to have a quick run through of our new approach?

GEORGE Yes. This is something we started last year. What we’re going to be asking for, we’ve obviously made some good progress today but we’d like if people are interested in contributing another hour and a half session to mop it up. There’s three areas we’re doing: one is to look at data and turn it into something that’s more meaningful; another is process and the other is application. So we’d like you to add your name to the chat if you’re willing to give a little bit more time on that as a followup session. This is the work that we’ve been trying to do to try and make sure that people get the right information for doing certain tasks. (shares screen). This is the work that we’ve been trying to do to try and make sure that people get the right information for doing certain tasks and this is just an example that we’ve done based on the RACI methodology to say who’s responsible for actually providing the design life, for example. I don’t think these are quite right, but being able to go through and say who’s responsible, who’s accountable, who needs to be consulted and who just needs to be kept informed.

So what we’ve done is looked at each of the attributes that were defined and we’d like people to go through and agree this. So if you’re willing to collaborate on that it would be helpful. if you're’ willing to do that put your name in the chat now and then either data, process or application and we’ll followup with you. Do you like this methodology? We’re just trying to make it so that people aren’t overwhelmed with information.

MATT TAYLOR Yes, I think principal designer has a place in there, George. The principal designer under CDM is all too often, possibly deliberately, overlooked. The role of the principal designer should be bringing all of that information that’s been gathered together and ultimately approving its suitability for use within the building as a whole.

GEORGE Yeah, I’m hearing a lot about that at the moment and there are some companies taking on that, stepping up to the plate to take on that. It’s a challenging role though.

MATT It is. The thing is where you've got lots of different packages all working together, they won't let the dry lining package or personnel involved within the dry lining package won't necessarily know the M&E or fire stopping packages inside out. To some extent it used to be the role of the architect, but from what I understand it’s becoming less so.

GEORGE Ana, would you have a view of the role of the principal designer in overseeing these things? Do you provide that role?

ANA MATIC Yes, we do, and the role of principal designer really will become very essential at the point of gateway 2 submissions, but in theory the principal designer cannot take the responsibility for every single system that’s designed. In a way the designers are taking the responsibility for the integration of the systems and I’m basically ultimately the architect actually, whether they’re the principal designer or not, in some situations the architect is not the principal designer, it’s a separate role. But the architect is responsible for coordinating the systems so that they work and then principal designer is really taking the role of a kind of checking and understanding the input from all other designers that need to be coordinated. So it’s not really on the principal designer to understand everything within the detail of the design because that would be quite difficult.

So your firer strategy will be in place, the specifications will be in place, the overall design will be coordinated and at that point the principal designer is actually checking that everyone knows their duties and has thought about their duties and has designed the coordinated design at as per regulation.

MATT TAYLOR It’s an area that I can see becoming a subject of a great deal of increased focus as a result of the building safety bill. At the moment we see too many projects with a fire consultant taking very much a backseat role, just looking at the overall strategy rather than individual interfaces, we see a lot of specifications coming through asking for testing of all interfaces and all systems which isn’t possible. For example, you can’t test a curved wall, you can’t test a splayed interface under our current test standards, so it’s a matter of getting information that’s gone through a correct approval process which should consist of multiple individuals all commenting in accordance with their area of expertise.

GEORGE Yeah, my impression is that the role of the principal designer is going to be important. Also the role of the fire engineer is going to be increasingly important and I’m also seeing quite a lot of clerks of work being brought back. That’s another interesting development as a result of the whole new regulatory regime, all of which I think are positive signs in terms of delivering greater quality, but clearly there is a cost in that, but I think it’s the cost also of doing it right first time.

RICHARD Thank you very much for your time and your inputs, all of which are valued. You’ll receive copies of this draught document once it's prepared and we look forward to your input to that and hopefully see you soon.



Tim Aikin

post occupancy work

Joe Cilia

Risk. Post installation of services through a fire wall without planning and understanding the construction, place in a building, the service and evidence of compatible evidence.

Extended heights are important in the design and construction not asset management.

Collins, Jimmy

Remove 'Extended Heights' - change to 'Consideration should be given to the relevant fire test standard methodology at the earliest possible stage'

Matt Taylor

'Not being installed' and 'Not being installed correctly' appears duplicated

Steve Osborne

Is post flooding damage included?

Tim Aikin

and thermal bridging

Matt Taylor

Assumptions that components installed into symmetrical/asymmetric systems will perform identically (incorrect application of test information) .

Speed, Alain

moisture in dry lined external wall

Matt Taylor

Mould growth can result from 'build-up' of condensation, where an external wall arrangement has been incorrectly specified, often without a dew point calculation being produced/acknowledged.

Joe Cilia


Tim Aikin

re last point failure of insulation which could be a leak from a roof getting into the cavity or some other are such as an opening interface door/window or drainage.

Joe Cilia

Requirements. Use. i.e. hospital education, housing

Installed heights.

Collins, Jimmy

Requirements - "substrate composition to be considered"

Matt Taylor

In accordance with Building Regulations Approved Doc. B, external walls within 1m of the relevant boundary should be fire rated.

Joe Cilia

All our specification guides are here https://www.thefis.org/membership-hub/publications/specifiers-guides/

Collins, Jimmy

Ian Doncaster - FASS to cover your point, I would add: 'Type and application of Drylining and Fire Walls" to the first bullet point.

Matt Taylor

Performance requirements of the construction and whether the specified construction has the correct associated test information to prove that it is able to achieve those requirements.

Collins, Jimmy

System fire resistance performance (insulation and integrity)

Speed, Alain

Smoke shaft fire resistance should match smoke control damper tested parameters, even where these are more than the structural fire resistance requirements within the regulations.  For example, most dampers are tested within 120 minute fire resisting walls although many buildings will have a lower structural fire resistance requirement. Minimum width of wall is also a factor. In summary: interfacing elements must also be considered when specifying fire resistance

Joe Cilia

Acoustic requirements

Fire resistance

Reaction to Fire



Movement joints

Air permeability

FIRE Resistance or reaction to fire

Matt Taylor

Duty rating

Internal pressure requirements

Joe Cilia

Wind loadings

Matt Taylor

Installation - Critical stud locations

Joe Cilia

Size and position of Builders work openings

Who installed the walls and are they competent

Ian Doncaster - FASS

Use of shaft wall construction - specification of pressure performance. - Continuity of shaft wall through compartment floors

Matt Taylor

Where any walls, i.e., riser walls, either continue below a raised floor, or include a transom above floor level, the potential for loading should be considered)

BWIC information being available at the correct time (whilst framing out) can result in the potential for reduction in both wastage and the potential for built defects.

Joe Cilia

What were the staged inspection points?

Collins, Jimmy

Inspections recorded and saved in a centralised / accessible digital format

Joe Cilia

Photographs of critical junctions

Especially for Part L

Back to performance don’t forget Security

Ensuring any remedial work is in accordance with the original sytem owners instructions using that manufacturers products.

A benchmark / sample of junctions penetrations etc should be provided, used in tool box talks and compared during the installation to ensure compliance

Matt Taylor

The three sided opening to which Joe refers is currently closed by use of a suitable 'firestopping' product.  Whilst these products are used to close 4-sided BWIC openings, they have not been tested to accommodate the deflection of the substrate that they would need to, when used to close a 3-sided opening.  Main contractors are now having to include inspection of these 3-sided openings within their maintenance strategy, inspecting them at regular intervals, to ensure no damage to the firestopping arrangement has occurred.

Bob Allen

The NB at bottom of Maintenance is not strictly correct and needs amending. A 3m test can cover for up to 4m provided the partition has not deflected 100mm

Joe Cilia

Specification, A copy of the prescriptive specification should be included in any OM or information provided

Employ a competent third party to carry out installation inspections

Ian Doncaster

This doesn't seem to cover shaft wall or stud wall filling in 4th side of concrete shaft?

Joe Cilia


Matt Taylor

Fixers' packs being produced and containing the correct information (i.e. non- inclusion of the fire strategy information can lead to later built defects within the fire compartment interfaces).

Toolbox talks to brief site personnel on relevant products/systems and to address any queries.

The use of benchmarks, to 'dry run' a proposed construction/interface, agree the proposed construction and identify any practical implications that might be missing from the design informative.