BIM4H Smoke Control Dampers Guidance GS

Below are recommendations that we, as BIM4Housing, are putting forward as the findings of Smoke Control Dampers experts.  We do not claim these findings to be definitive, but we would hope that they would provide ‘accountable’ and ‘responsible’ persons with some of the detail they would require to ensure that risks are mitigated.

Format

The structure of this set of information is designed to be consumed in various ways by different stakeholder groups doing different things. Therefore, information mentioned in one section may be repeated in another, so they can be applied to a particular activity.

Also, we have sought to organize the information to make it more machine-readable so, although the lists could be reduced by combining similar items, this would make them less easily used in applications.

Despite the need to edit and contextualise, we have tried to retain the authentic voice of our experts throughout. This is especially so in the Appendices, where no colloquialism is left unturned.

Terms of use

This document is not intended as an end-result, but as a snapshot of a dynamic, on-going piece of work being developed by Subject Matter Experts who represent the different interest groups.

We hope it is helpful but is not definitive because, as we have learned from our collaboration, no one knows everything. It should therefore be used to supplement other sources of information, all of which should be validated by a responsible person applying it to a project.

Comments and additional contributions are welcome and a panel of volunteer experts will review suggestions to assess/validate them and augment the guidance as required.

It will be available for free at www.bim4housing.com but should not be printed and used offline, because the information may be updated and be no longer valid.”

 INTRODUCTION

Structure

We have six Working Groups of experts who understand the individual Stakeholder needs of Development, Design, Construction, Manufacturing, Operations, and the specialist Advisors who support the whole process. Each Working Group determines the problems they are experiencing that could be alleviated by better information, often from a different Stakeholder group and they collectively establish Workstreams to collaborate and share knowledge to come up with practical solutions.

They have established Workstreams for MMC, Data Standardisation, Sustainability and Fire Safety and the latter has, in turn, established Round Table workshops that bring together SMEs who really understand specific asset types. Outputs from the workshops will feed into the GTI.

(See Appendix 1 for Structure Diagram)

Fire Safety Methodology

It was determined to take individual fire-critical assets and examine impacts and influences through their lifecycle. A series of online discussions were held, along with one-on-one calls and an email gathering of views and inputs.  This culminated in a series of Roundtable discussions, each with a clear focus and targeted output.  BIM4Housing’s expert team was enhanced by guests from the GTI, along with other fire safety specialists throughout.

Phase 1 defined the over-arching questions that need to be answered, for each asset type, to deliver the BIM-plus solution necessary to the effective functioning of the Golden Thread in terms of Fire Safety.

The questions defined are:

  • What risks does the asset mitigate?
  • To what risks is the asset, itself, susceptible?
  • What information is needed about an asset, to ensure it performs as required?
  • What tasks/method statements/procedures are required to ensure the asset is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?
  • What level of competency/training needs to be in place?
  • How should product changes be recorded?

Phase 2 sought to answer those questions, offering a definitive guide to the delivery of The Golden Thread through the effective management of required information.

Phase 3 seeks to build on our ongoing learning and experience and include further assets in our process.

Dampers Methodology

The output from a Roundtables (3rd and 13th September 2021) was collated and contextualized and combined with further subject matter expert input.  Significant participant engagement was achieved prior to the events.  The resulting report was then peer-reviewed.

What are Dampers?

Fire dampers are passive fire protection products used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts to prevent the spread of fire inside the ductwork through fire-resistance rated walls and floors.

A smoke control damper has two functions in smoke control systems. Firstly to allow a free path for extract of smoke and hot gases and a free path for makeup air, it is tested to remain open. Its second function is to close in other areas where compartmentation is to be maintained (branches, other zones etc.) and it is also tested to show this. SCDs have drive open/drive close actuators, as it is not known where a fire will start, and a “cause and effect” schedule is required. They have no fusible links. They cannot be substituted by ES classified smoke control dampers by simple replacement of the spring return actuator with a drive open/drive close actuator and the removal of the fusible link, they have to be tested.

 FINDINGS

It was determined to look to ‘codify’ risks to enable teams to coalesce around tackling a problem, run scenarios to simulate what might happen and how collaboration can reduce the risk of them happening.

Two other GTI Working Groups, H&S and Standards, have been working with NBS to extend Uniclass to carry a more detailed set of risks and, those identified here, can form part of that.  

Clearly, it is not desirable for the ‘Accountable Person’ to be absolved of responsibility for not anticipating a risk, simply because it was not on the list of suggested risks- which should be considered a ‘steer’ not an absolute. However, without that list, it becomes impossible to define and deliver the information needed.

Q1a. What risks do smoke control dampers mitigate?

  • Risk of smoke build-up
  • Risk of heat build-up
  • Risk to fire-fighter’s access
  • The risk of the spread of fire and products of fire (fire, smoke, heat) via cavities in external and internal walls, along with other concealed cavities (such a roof and ceiling voids)
  • Risk of spread of fire, smoke, and heat between building compartmentations.
  • Risk of speed of fire and smoke spread
  • Risk of number of uncontained areas
  • Risk of inhibiting safe exit from the building
  • Risk of fire brigade not having enough time to attend before fire spread
  • Risk of system failure.
  • Risk of Injury/harm/loss of life to residents/occupants.
  • Risk of smoke damage and subsequence.
  • Risk of compromising security, both for the building and individual apartments, when doors don’t close properly or are propped open.
  • Risk of reduced thermal efficiency
  • Risk of degraded acoustics.
  • Risk of damage to property, building or structure
  • Risk to the environment in terms of the pollutants that are released and develop from the fire-smoke, soot, toxic fumes, contaminated firefighting water runoff

(See Appendix 2 for Additional Participant Input)

Q1b. What compromises smoke control dampers’ ability to perform as required?

  • Risk of wrong supporting construction or fire resisting / smoke control ductwork used
  • Risk of incorrect wall type
  • Risk of incorrect wall grouping. i.e., A, B or C as tested.
  • Risk of incorrect vertical seal depth
  • Risk of incorrect vertical seal depth
  • Risk of incorrect seal depth through the wall
  • Risk of incorrect layers of aperture framing
  • Risk of incorrect distances between other services within the wall to meet the fire test data of the wall
  • Risk of incorrect wall seal material e.g. different seal material manufacturer without direct test evidence or a different density of material
  • Risk of incorrect wall deflection head details
  • Risk of PMC Support’s distances of drops from the penetration seal differ from Part 3, 2, 1 etc.
  • Risk of PMC Competency of the seal installation not being a part 3 installer
  • Risk of additional items having been placed into an escape route (such as a sofa), not having been considered at design stage, could provide fuel for a fire, and have the potential to counteract the AOV/smoke extraction system
  • Risk of incorrect replacement components having been installed
  • Risk of human intervention on ancillary assets, such as smoke detectors, impacting on asset performance
  • Risk of information on an individual asset being incomplete, inaccurate, or absent
  • Risk of information on an individual asset not being supplied in both digital and physical format
  • Risk that the asset has not been tested against the ‘Cause and Effect’ document
  • Risk of other trades and employees not appreciating the asset’s function and so compromising its performance
  • Risk of non-appreciation of the differences between performance of assets in compartmentalised areas versus performance of asset’s in shared circulation areas
  • Risk of vandalism or simply misuse
  • Risk of damage by contractors or occupants

Materials

  • Building movement / shrinkage
  • Excessive water damage
  • Some Laboratory testing not covering real-life scenarios

Installation

    1. Test results with client information including position within the building/system, date, and name of operative shall be recorded and any comments noted if further action is required.
    2. Asset register to include damper location and ID number.
    3. Inspection results including details of failed damper operation.
    4. If drawings are provided, update and annotate details.
    5. Digital photographic evidence of damper condition prior to and after testing procedures unless otherwise specified by client.

Explanation of failed operation and recommended corrective or remedial action.

    • Refurbishments and upgrades
    • Failure to install properly due to lack of skill and knowledge.
    • Incorrect installation of service penetrations:
      • insufficient spacing of services (too close together)
      • not installed to manufacturers recommendations (e.g., dampers and ducts)
      • incomplete base material (e.g., no lintels in solid walls, openings in partitions not framed and lined)
      • insufficient service supports (too wide spacing, non-fire rated materials, unsuitable anchor fixings into soffit (non-fire rated, not designed for support in fire).
      • non fire rated service supports
    • In service damage/disturbance to FSDC through maintenance, replacement of services, pipe  leakage etc also has an effect on FSDC efficacy.
    • Incorrect installation of builders work holes (service openings)
    • Wrong damper for application and /or orientation
    • Incorrect builders frame to permit connection to building element
    • Damper not in line with compartment element
    • Damper not supported independently back to structure (e.g. supported by adjacent ductwork to which its attached)
    • No expansion sleeves at connections to mitigate duct expansion and thrust in event of fire causing displacement of damper from opening
    • No breakaway joints to allow duct to detach in fire
    • Installation checks not carried out (e.g., transit tape still in place locking shutter mechanism)
    • Insufficient base material preparation (e.g., no lintels in solid walls, unframed and lined openings in partition walls)
    • Inadequate and unsuitable damper and duct supports
    • Damper installed in same opening as pipes and cables
    • No maintenance programs
    • No annual testing and reset
    • Dampers not secured with tie rods etc thus distorting and affecting surrounding structure in a fire event
  • Inappropriate fixings- threaded rods holding up fire rated dampers with plastic washers would not be shown within the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Incorrect aperture size will not replicate the tested product and rating

Q2. What information is needed about smoke control dampers to ensure they perform as required?

  • Base material
  • Type
    • movement of structure and services
    • environment exposure
    • service maintenance
  • Location (both space(s) and x, y, z coordinates)
  • Resistance required.
  • Intended use inputs on selection of type
  • What has been installed, by whom and when.
  • Other requirements:
    • Acoustics
    • Durability/long term resistance
    • Airtightness
    • mold resistance
    • paintability
  • Test evidence of compliance to match the intended use i.e., size of opening closure of opening when it’s a flexible wall(drywall) and be suitable for the type of services penetrating the wall or floor
  • Can damper be positioned to allow access for maintenance?
  • What damper accessories needed for compliant installation (e.g., which type of builders frame)
  • What supports are needed for continuous support during fire (e.g., fire rated channel, supports, anchors)
  • What approvals for dampers (Note CE marking will be mandatory)
  • Is design approach for damper holistic? E.g., has whole penetration been considered for restraint, differential movement in fire, deflection etc. etc.
  • Damper manufacturer approval for use in mixed penetration (e.g., see TROX)
  • Identification of use (acoustic, fire, integrity, or insulation)
  • Areas needed to be accessible for inspections
  • Limitations
  • Lifespan
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Timescales for likely upgrades or replacement
  • Presence of local security, so they cannot be tampered with or misused
  • Planned works in the building
  • As built / O&M manuals to show the locations of the fire stopping that have been installed
  • Levels of protection 30/60/90/120
  • Means of application. i.e., brick or block, around plastic pipes or within plasterboard construction
  • A true cause and effect of all active systems that are interlinked
  • Position, access from both sides (inspection and duct cleaning)
  • Check installation seals around the outside

Q3. What tasks are required to ensure smoke control dampers are installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?

(It should be a given that any work on fire safety critical assets should always be undertaken by competent people, probably 3rd party accredited. However, that person must be supported with any information that they might need to reduce the risk of an important step being missed and to provide an auditable record of what tasks were completed. This is common practice in M&E maintenance, where the industry has developed a significant library of standard procedures and tasks lists, along with roles/competency required.

An air-conditioning unit is maintained by a qualified air conditioning engineer, but the engineer is also issued with a check list for them to record what was done.

A similar industry-wide check list for installation, commissioning, handover, maintenance, and recycling could be agreed.)

  • Ongoing checking of the selected materials should be made to ensure resilience of chose FSDC solution with any maintenance/inspection procedures and regimes written into the O&M .
  • Check installers of damper and ducts accredited
  • Check base material has been constructed properly and in accordance with wall manufacturers guidelines and also the damper manufacturers guidelines and requirements
  • Check manufacturer has sufficient technical details and method statements to aide installation
  • Check manufacturer has method statement for commissioning and that there is a sign off procedure
  • Identify a suitable standard of testing, which may not be in line with current standards which may be too onerous or detrimental to the system design
  • Check what is the due diligence if something to assist in the installation is ignored
  • Check labeling
  • Ensure any trade that comes to your building is offered the fire strategy drawings and they mark the areas that they have worked on onto the drawing
  • Check that smoke control dampers are installed, commissioned and maintained by an organisation with relevant accreditation such as IFCs UKAS accredited SDI19 scheme for smoke control systems

Industry-standard maintenance instructions – extract from BESA’s SFG20.

Q4. What level of competency/training needs to be in place?

(Industry training courses are critical, but they must be complemented by additional knowledge-transfer from people with many years real experience.

Individual manufacturers have product-specific training which complements the more general training. Such training resources need to be provided in all cases where a product is used – both for new build but also as part of the long-term H&S/O&M information, ideally held as machine-readable data in the Asset information model to ensure maintenance teams have easy access to critical information.)

  • Follow latest Best Practice guidance for openings within fire rated systems
  • Use accredited installers for damper/duct installation (they must be competent to assess suitability of base material and how to support and restrain damper)
  • Use test data to determine spacings of services (including separation of duct/dampers from other service penetrants)
  • Employ 3PA accredited contractors, when using CE/UKCA/3PA products for firestop installation
  • Ensure manufacturer competency in providing

– product training

– technical support

– engineering design to overcome non-standard applications.

  • Damper manufacturer must have technical competency to provide technical support for amendments/changes that may be required by site conditions
  • Any organisation that holds SDI 19 will be able to demonstrate the relevant competence of the individuals within their organisation
  • The person undertaking the work should be competent, but they should be supported with check lists for installation, commissioning, inspection/maintenance, decommissioning/replacement.

(See Appendix 4 for Additional Participant Input)

Q5.  How are the changes from one product to another recorded?

(If information is not updated, it isn’t information anymore. It is misleading and, possibly, down-right dangerous. If the systems and processes to keep information current are not trusted, then the value of even correct information is compromised.

Robust Change Management requires an information baseline against which the different states – current, proposed, final and ongoing change – can be measured and reported.

The baseline information should contain the required performance in a machine-readable/actionable form and the Change Management process should enable that to be compared with:

  1. the actual performance of the designed solution (probably generic)
  2. the performance of the chosen product against the generic
  3. the performance of an alternative (value engineered?) product
  4. the record of what was used/installed.)

Requirements and Suggestions

  • A schedule of safety critical elements for the building, to include products specified
  • Baseline against which to compare proposed alternative products (Some designers have expressed reluctance to propose (not specify) a specific manufactured product that will satisfy their design due to liability, procurement rules and fees)
  • This schedule would be “Locked” at a specific design stage, after which changes to products specified should not occur except for exceptional reasons
  • A formal change management system is required to ensure that any unavoidable changes are validated by a ‘responsible’ person e.g., original designer and/or fire engineer
  • There is a well-established change management process in construction called Technical Submissions in which requested changes from the specifications/recommendations, that were created by the designers (and selected manufacturers), need to be formally reviewed and approved. Design-and-Build procurement has affected that process and it should be reestablished in a way that the performance of a proposed product, and its constituent components, is easily compared with the proposed alternative and, if agreed, it is recorded as a Technical Deviation
  • Validation of changes would include verifying that the new product met all the requirements for the application with no detriment to the overall design, the details of which should be recorded (Changes in the product may be made between design and procurement, procurement and installation, handover, and ongoing maintenance)
  • More onus needs to be on the client during the collation of Information Requirements and the updating of design models into ‘as installed’ content suitable for Asset/Facilities Management
  • Full Disclosure of the product is needed at handover so that after Work Stage 7, if a manufacturer goes out of business or products change the record is there in perpetuity
  • Asset database must be kept up to date with core data for new installs. Installation documents should be held in a centralised digital location. Once BIM/COBie level data is manageable within the asset management system then this will be used as the main source of data.
  • BIM, CAFM, Asset and Housing management systems must inform the change management process
  • H&S files for each building (cradle to grave) must be supplied, recorded, and be updated with notification of changes and the implications.
  • Warranty information of the existing and the proposed products should be provided to allow proper consideration to be made on the selection of an alternative or replacement. If a product has a shorter life than another, this information should be available to inform selection. Given some of the products will be in locations that are difficult to locate, the longevity of a product could have safety implications.
  • Compliance systems should be informed with the information from the AIM
  • Asset tagging (barcode) systems and processes should be considered as forming part of the change management process.
  • Procurement should be included in the process, recording what was purchased and feeding that into the BIM process to locate where they were installed, or which products they are replacing.
  • Specification or design brief for the business (performance and or product) should be recorded in a machine-readable format to enable validation against the Golden Thread.
  • Record the compatibility and compliance of any ancillaries and confirm they comply with the test data? (Ironmongery, door access control systems, vision panels, vents)
  • Any adjustment, repair, addition to / removal of product, ironmongery or fittings must be recorded and should only be undertaken by a licensed / accredited contractor (this includes and modification to an existing asset)
  • The asset information needs to enable comparison but the original performance spec of the AOV and the related information such as Fire Strategy and Cause and Effect should form part of that Technical Deviation process. The FMs must be able to update the Asset Information Model with machine-readable data of the newly installed product
  • Recording who has worked on/replaced the component and their entitlement/competence to do so
  • Evidence that the component’s performance in relation to the part it plays in the system has been considered and is warranted
  • Manufacturers must provide a component list (e.g., ironmongery on a door) so if anything breaks, a direct replacement can be used.
  • Removal of certain products/materials must be undertaken by people who are on an approved list, certified by an accreditation body and should require advance notice to all certification holders, with signoff to ensure traceability

Robust Change Management requires an information baseline against which the different states – current, proposed, final and ongoing change – can be measured and reported including PIM’s and AIM’s (Project Information Models and Asset Information Models)

The baseline information should contain the required performance in a machine-readable/actionable form and the Change Management process should enable that to be compared with:

  1. the actual performance of the designed solution (probably generic)
  2. the performance of the chosen product against the generic
  3. the performance of an alternative (value engineered?) product
  4. the record of what was actually used/installed
  • Approval needs to be sought before work commences and where any changes to specification is to be made. Design and specification of FSDC is vital as not all firestopping performs the same despite appearing similar.
  • Pre-approval for change of specification before installation
  • Checking that product to be used match specification
  • Digital recording of dampers being used (photo, coding, labelling)
  • Commissioning and maintenance manuals provided and part of O&M manuals
  • Robust design control process, with detail review and change authorisation, should be within ISO 9001 process control
  • BIM models and data storage such as Fire Emergency Files need to complete in its entirety not just ‘what is available’. This could be on a local files or IT software solution or possibly on a central system. Key element is that 5/10/15/20 years down the line the relevant information is available
  • Need to audit the information to confirm that the correct holes, infill, products etc have been used
  • Product should be agreed as part of the overall design and never put as a contractor design portion. Equal and approved by the principal designer

This ISO 19650 diagram is informative

(See Appendix 5 for Additional Participant Input)

APPENDIX 1

BIM4Housing Structure

APPENDIX 2

Additional Participant Input Question 1a

The list below is not a complete list and I know some of the later standard numbers have changed i.e., chimneys.

  • EN 1363-1: General requirements (tests)
  • EN 1366-1: Fire Ducts
  • EN 1366-2: Fire dampers
  • EN 1366-3: Penetration seals
  • EN 1366-4: Linear joint seals
  • EN 1366-5: Service ducts and shafts
  • EN 1366-6: Raised access floors and hollow floors
  • EN 1366-8: Smoke extraction ducts
  • EN 1366-9: Smoke extraction ducts single compartment
  • EN 1366-11: Fire Cable Systems and Components
  • EN 1366-10: Smoke control dampers
  • EN 1366-19: Chimneys
  • EN 1364-1: Fire resistance tests for nonloadbearing Elements
  • EN 1364-2: Ceilings
  • EN 1364-4: Curtain walling

APPENDIX 3

Additional Participant Input Question 3

Industry-standard testing & maintenance instructions – example extract from BESA’s SFG20.

Testing and reporting procedure

Testing should include but is not limited to the following steps:

  1. An inventory of all dampers to be tested.
  2. All fire/smoke dampers will be manually released to ensure the integrity of the spring-loaded shutter.
  3. The fusible link should be inspected for any deformity or damage.
  4. The fire/smoke damper will be cleaned and lubricated within the closed position.
  5. The fire/smoke damper shall then be opened and re-set.
  6. Any severe corrosion found shall be reported to the client.

 

Reports should include but are not limited to the following items:

BIM4H Dampers Guidance

BIM4H Dampers GuidanceBy Richard Freer

Below are recommendations that we, as BIM4Housing, are putting forward as the findings of Dampers Guidance experts.  We do not claim these findings to be definitive, but we would hope that they would provide ‘accountable’ and ‘responsible’ persons with some of the detail they would require to ensure that risks are mitigated.

Format

The structure of this set of information is designed to be consumed in various ways by different stakeholder groups doing different things. Therefore, information mentioned in one section may be repeated in another, so they can be applied to a particular activity.

Also, we have sought to organize the information to make it more machine-readable so, although the lists could be reduced by combining similar items, this would make them less easily used in applications.

Despite the need to edit and contextualise, we have tried to retain the authentic voice of our experts throughout. This is especially so in the Appendices, where no colloquialism is left unturned.

Terms of use

This document is not intended as an end-result, but as a snapshot of a dynamic, on-going piece of work being developed by Subject Matter Experts who represent the different interest groups.

We hope it is helpful but is not definitive because, as we have learned from our collaboration, no one knows everything. It should therefore be used to supplement other sources of information, all of which should be validated by a responsible person applying it to a project.

Comments and additional contributions are welcome and a panel of volunteer experts will review suggestions to assess/validate them and augment the guidance as required.

It will be available for free at www.bim4housing.com but should not be printed and used offline, because the information may be updated and be no longer valid.”

INTRODUCTION

Structure

We have six Working Groups of experts who understand the individual Stakeholder needs of Development, Design , Construction , Manufacturing , Operations, and the specialist Advisors who support the whole process. Each Working Group determines the problems they are experiencing that could be alleviated by better information, often from a different Stakeholder group and they collectively establish Workstreams to collaborate and share knowledge to come up with practical solutions.

They have established Workstreams for MMC, Data Standardisation, Sustainability and Fire Safety and the latter has, in turn, established Round Table workshops that bring together SMEs who really understand specific asset types. Outputs from the workshops will feed into the GTI.

(See Appendix 1 for Structure Diagram)

Fire Safety Methodology

It was determined to take individual fire-critical assets and examine impacts and influences through their lifecycle. A series of online discussions were held, along with one-on-one calls and an email gathering of views and inputs.  This culminated in a series of Roundtable discussions, each with a clear focus and targeted output.  BIM4Housing’s expert team was enhanced by guests from the GTI, along with other fire safety specialists throughout.

Phase 1 defined the over-arching questions that need to be answered, for each asset type, to deliver the BIM-plus solution necessary to the effective functioning of the Golden Thread in terms of Fire Safety.

The questions defined are:

  • What risks does the asset mitigate?
  • To what risks is the asset, itself, susceptible?
  • What information is needed about an asset, to ensure it performs as required?
  • What tasks/method statements/procedures are required to ensure the asset is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?
  • What level of competency/training needs to be in place?
  • How should product changes be recorded?

Phase 2 sought to answer those questions, offering a definitive guide to the delivery of The Golden Thread through the effective management of required information.

Phase 3 seeks to build on our ongoing learning and experience and include further assets in our process.

Dampers Methodology

The output from a Roundtables (3rd and 13th September 2021) was collated and contextualized and combined with further subject matter expert input.  Significant participant engagement was achieved prior to the events.  The resulting report was then peer-reviewed.

What are Dampers?

Fire dampers are passive fire protection products used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts to prevent the spread of fire inside the ductwork through fire-resistance rated walls and floors.

 

FINDINGS

It was determined to look to ‘codify’ risks to enable teams to coalesce around tackling a problem, run scenarios to simulate what might happen and how collaboration can reduce the risk of them happening.

Two other GTI Working Groups, H&S and Standards, have been working with NBS to extend Uniclass to carry a more detailed set of risks and, those identified here, can form part of that.

Clearly, it is not desirable for the ‘Accountable Person’ to be absolved of responsibility for not anticipating a risk, simply because it was not on the list of suggested risks- which should be considered a ‘steer’ not an absolute. However, without that list, it becomes impossible to define and deliver the information needed.

Q1a. What risks do dampers mitigate?

  • Risk of smoke build-up
  • Risk of heat build-up
  • Risk to fire-fighter’s access
  • The risk of the spread of fire and products of fire (fire, smoke, heat) via cavities in external and internal walls, along with other concealed cavities (such a roof and ceiling voids)
  • Risk of spread of fire, smoke, and heat between building compartmentations.
  • Risk of speed of fire and smoke spread
  • Risk of number of uncontained areas
  • Risk of inhibiting safe exit from the building
  • Risk of fire brigade not having enough time to attend before fire spread
  • Risk of system failure.
  • Risk of Injury/harm/loss of life to residents/occupants.
  • Risk of smoke damage and subsequence.
  • Risk of compromising security, both for the building and individual apartments, when doors don’t close properly or are propped open.
  • Risk of reduced thermal efficiency
  • Risk of degraded acoustics.
  • Risk of damage to property, building or structure
  • Risk to the environment in terms of the pollutants that are released and develop from the fire-smoke, soot, toxic fumes, contaminated firefighting water runoff

(See Appendix 2 for Additional Participant Input)

Q1b. To what risks are dampers susceptible?

  • Risk of wrong supporting construction
  • Risk of incorrect wall type
  • Risk of incorrect wall grouping. i.e., A, B or C as tested.
  • Risk of incorrect vertical seal depth
  • Risk of incorrect vertical seal depth
  • Risk of incorrect seal depth through the wall
  • Risk of incorrect layers of aperture framing
  • Risk of incorrect distances between other services within the wall to meet the fire test data of the wall
  • Risk of incorrect wall seal material e.g. different seal material manufacturer without direct test evidence or a different density of material
  • Risk of incorrect wall deflection head details
  • Risk of PMC Support’s distances of drops from the penetration seal differ from Part 3, 2, 1 etc.
  • Risk of PMC Competency of the seal installation not being a part 3 installer
  • Risk of additional items having been placed into an escape route (such as a sofa), not having been considered at design stage, could provide fuel for a fire, and have the potential to counteract the AOV/smoke extraction system
  • Risk of incorrect replacement components having been installed
  • Risk of human intervention on ancillary assets, such as smoke detectors, impacting on asset performance
  • Risk of information on an individual asset being incomplete, inaccurate, or absent
  • Risk of information on an individual asset not being supplied in both digital and physical format
  • Risk that the asset has not been tested against the ‘Cause and Effect’ document
  • Risk of other trades and employees not appreciating the asset’s function and so compromising its performance
  • Risk of non-appreciation of the differences between performance of assets in compartmentalised areas versus performance of asset’s in shared circulation areas
  • Risk of vandalism or simply misuse
  • Risk of damage by contractors or occupants

Materials

  • Building movement / shrinkage
  • Excessive water damage
  • Some Laboratory testing not covering real-life scenarios

Installation

    • Refurbishments and upgrades
    • Failure to install properly due to lack of skill and knowledge.
    • Incorrect installation of service penetrations:
      • insufficient spacing of services (too close together)
      • not installed to manufacturers recommendations (e.g., dampers and ducts)
      • incomplete base material (e.g., no lintels in solid walls, openings in partitions not framed and lined)
      • insufficient service supports (too wide spacing, non-fire rated materials, unsuitable anchor fixings into soffit (non-fire rated, not designed for support in fire).
      • non fire rated service supports
    • In service damage/disturbance to FSDC through maintenance, replacement of services, pipe  leakage etc also has an effect on FSDC efficacy.
    • Incorrect installation of builders work holes (service openings)
    • Wrong damper for application and /or orientation
    • Incorrect builders frame to permit connection to building element
    • Damper not in line with compartment element
    • Damper not supported independently back to structure (e.g. supported by adjacent ductwork to which its attached)
    • No expansion sleeves at connections to mitigate duct expansion and thrust in event of fire causing displacement of damper from opening
    • No breakaway joints to allow duct to detach in fire
    • Installation checks not carried out (e.g., transit tape still in place locking shutter mechanism)
    • Insufficient base material preparation (e.g., no lintels in solid walls, unframed and lined openings in partition walls)
    • Inadequate and unsuitable damper and duct supports
    • Damper installed in same opening as pipes and cables
    • No maintenance programs
    • No annual testing and reset
    • Dampers not secured with tie rods etc thus distorting and affecting surrounding structure
      in a fire event
  • Inappropriate fixings- threaded rods holding up fire rated dampers with plastic washers would not be shown within the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Incorrect aperture size will not replicate the tested product and rating

Q2. What information is needed about dampers to ensure they perform as required?

  • Base material
  • Type
    • movement of structure and services
    • environment exposure
    • service maintenance
  • Location (both space(s) and x, y, z coordinates)
  • Resistance required.
  • Intended use inputs on selection of type
  • What has been installed, by whom and when.
  • Other requirements:
    • Acoustics
    • Durability/long term resistance
    • Airtightness
    • mold resistance
    • paintability
  • Test evidence of compliance to match the intended use i.e., size of opening closure of opening when it’s a flexible wall(drywall) and be suitable for the type of services penetrating the wall or floor
  • Can damper be positioned to allow access for maintenance?
  • What damper accessories needed for compliant installation (e.g., which type of builders frame)
  • What supports are needed for continuous support during fire (e.g., fire rated channel, supports, anchors)
  • What approvals for dampers (Note CE marking will be mandatory)
  • Is design approach for damper holistic? E.g., has whole penetration been considered for restraint, differential movement in fire, deflection etc. etc.
  • Damper manufacturer approval for use in mixed penetration (e.g., see TROX)
  • Identification of use (acoustic, fire, integrity, or insulation)
  • Areas needed to be accessible for inspections
  • Limitations
  • Lifespan
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Timescales for likely upgrades or replacement
  • Presence of local security, so they cannot be tampered with or misused
  • Planned works in the building
  • As built / O&M manuals to show the locations of the fire stopping that have been installed
  • Levels of protection 30/60/90/120
  • Means of application. i.e., brick or block, around plastic pipes or within plasterboard construction
  • A true cause and effect of all active systems that are interlinked
  • Position, access from both sides (inspection and duct cleaning)
  • Check installation seals around the outside

Q3. What tasks are required to ensure dampers is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?

(It should be a given that any work on fire safety critical assets should always be undertaken by competent people, probably 3rd party accredited. However, that person must be supported with any information that they might need to reduce the risk of an important step being missed and to provide an auditable record of what tasks were completed. This is common practice in M&E maintenance, where the industry has developed a significant library of standard procedures and tasks lists, along with roles/competency required.

An air-conditioning unit is maintained by a qualified air conditioning engineer, but the engineer is also issued with a check list for them to record what was done.

A similar industry-wide check list for installation, commissioning, handover, maintenance, and recycling could be agreed.)

  • Ongoing checking of the selected materials should be made to ensure resilience of chose FSDC solution with any maintenance/inspection procedures and regimes written into the O&M .
  • Check installers of damper and ducts accredited
  • Check base material has been constructed properly and in accordance with wall manufacturers guidelines and also the damper manufacturers guidelines and requirements
  • Check manufacturer has sufficient technical details and method statements to aide installation
  • Check manufacturer has method statement for commissioning and that there is a sign off procedure
  • Identify a suitable standard of testing, which may not be in line with current standards which may be too onerous or detrimental to the system design
  • Check what is the due diligence if something to assist in the installation is ignored
  • Check labeling
  • Ensure any trade that comes to your building is offered the fire strategy drawings and they mark the areas that they have worked on onto the drawing
  • Check that smoke control dampers are installed, commissioned and maintained by an organisation with relevant accreditation such as IFCs UKAS accredited SDI19 scheme for smoke control systems

Industry-standard maintenance instructions – extract from BESA’s SFG20.

Q4. What level of competency/training needs to be in place?

(Industry training courses are critical, but they must be complemented by additional knowledge-transfer from people with many years real experience.

Individual manufacturers have product-specific training which complements the more general training. Such training resources need to be provided in all cases where a product is used – both for new build but also as part of the long-term H&S/O&M information, ideally held as machine-readable data in the Asset information model to ensure maintenance teams have easy access to critical information.)

  • Follow latest Best Practice guidance for openings within fire rated systems
  • Use accredited installers for damper/duct installation (they must be competent to assess suitability of base material and how to support and restrain damper)
  • Use test data to determine spacings of services (including separation of duct/dampers from other service penetrants)
  • Employ 3PA accredited contractors, when using CE/UKCA/3PA products for firestop installation
  • Ensure manufacturer competency in providing
    – product training
    – technical support
    – engineering design to overcome non-standard applications.
  • Damper manufacturer must have technical competency to provide technical support for amendments/changes that may be required by site conditions
  • Any organisation that holds SDI 19 will be able to demonstrate the relevant competence of the individuals within their organisation
  • The person undertaking the work should be competent, but they should be supported with check lists for installation, commissioning, inspection/maintenance, decommissioning/replacement.

(See Appendix 4 for Additional Participant Input)

Q5.  How are the changes from one product to another recorded?

(If information is not updated, it isn’t information anymore. It is misleading and, possibly, down-right dangerous. If the systems and processes to keep information current are not trusted, then the value of even correct information is compromised.

Robust Change Management requires an information baseline against which the different states – current, proposed, final and ongoing change – can be measured and reported.

The baseline information should contain the required performance in a machine-readable/actionable form and the Change Management process should enable that to be compared with:

  1. the actual performance of the designed solution (probably generic)
  2. the performance of the chosen product against the generic
  3. the performance of an alternative (value engineered?) product
  4. the record of what was used/installed.)

Requirements and Suggestions

  • A schedule of safety critical elements for the building, to include products specified
  • Baseline against which to compare proposed alternative products (Some designers have expressed reluctance to propose (not specify) a specific manufactured product that will satisfy their design due to liability, procurement rules and fees)
  • This schedule would be “Locked” at a specific design stage, after which changes to products specified should not occur except for exceptional reasons
  • A formal change management system is required to ensure that any unavoidable changes are validated by a ‘responsible’ person e.g., original designer and/or fire engineer
  • There is a well-established change management process in construction called Technical Submissions in which requested changes from the specifications/recommendations, that were created by the designers (and selected manufacturers), need to be formally reviewed and approved. Design-and-Build procurement has affected that process and it should be reestablished in a way that the performance of a proposed product, and its constituent components, is easily compared with the proposed alternative and, if agreed, it is recorded as a Technical Deviation
  • Validation of changes would include verifying that the new product met all the requirements for the application with no detriment to the overall design, the details of which should be recorded (Changes in the product may be made between design and procurement, procurement and installation, handover, and ongoing maintenance)
  • More onus needs to be on the client during the collation of Information Requirements and the updating of design models into ‘as installed’ content suitable for Asset/Facilities Management
  • Full Disclosure of the product is needed at handover so that after Work Stage 7, if a manufacturer goes out of business or products change the record is there in perpetuity
  • Asset database must be kept up to date with core data for new installs. Installation documents should be held in a centralised digital location. Once BIM/COBie level data is manageable within the asset management system then this will be used as the main source of data.
  • BIM, CAFM, Asset and Housing management systems must inform the change management process
  • H&S files for each building (cradle to grave) must be supplied, recorded, and be updated with notification of changes and the implications.
  • Warranty information of the existing and the proposed products should be provided to allow proper consideration to be made on the selection of an alternative or replacement. If a product has a shorter life than another, this information should be available to inform selection. Given some of the products will be in locations that are difficult to locate, the longevity of a product could have safety implications.
  • Compliance systems should be informed with the information from the AIM
  • Asset tagging (barcode) systems and processes should be considered as forming part of the change management process.
  • Procurement should be included in the process, recording what was purchased and feeding that into the BIM process to locate where they were installed, or which products they are replacing.
  • Specification or design brief for the business (performance and or product) should be recorded in a machine-readable format to enable validation against the Golden Thread.
  • Record the compatibility and compliance of any ancillaries and confirm they comply with the test data? (Ironmongery, door access control systems, vision panels, vents)
  • Any adjustment, repair, addition to / removal of product, ironmongery or fittings must be recorded and should only be undertaken by a licensed / accredited contractor (this includes and modification to an existing asset)
  • The asset information needs to enable comparison but the original performance spec of the AOV and the related information such as Fire Strategy and Cause and Effect should form part of that Technical Deviation process. The FMs must be able to update the Asset Information Model with machine-readable data of the newly installed product
  • Recording who has worked on/replaced the component and their entitlement/competence to do so
  • Evidence that the component’s performance in relation to the part it plays in the system has been considered and is warranted
  • Manufacturers must provide a component list (e.g., ironmongery on a door) so if anything breaks, a direct replacement can be used.
  • Removal of certain products/materials must be undertaken by people who are on an approved list, certified by an accreditation body and should require advance notice to all certification holders, with signoff to ensure traceability

Robust Change Management requires an information baseline against which the different states – current, proposed, final and ongoing change – can be measured and reported including PIM’s and AIM’s (Project Information Models and Asset Information Models)

The baseline information should contain the required performance in a machine-readable/actionable form and the Change Management process should enable that to be compared with:

  1. the actual performance of the designed solution (probably generic)
  2. the performance of the chosen product against the generic
  3. the performance of an alternative (value engineered?) product
  4. the record of what was actually used/installed
  • Approval needs to be sought before work commences and where any changes to specification is to be made. Design and specification of FSDC is vital as not all firestopping performs the same despite appearing similar.
  • Pre-approval for change of specification before installation
  • Checking that product to be used match specification
  • Digital recording of dampers being used (photo, coding, labelling)
  • Commissioning and maintenance manuals provided and part of O&M manuals
  • Robust design control process, with detail review and change authorisation, should be within ISO 9001 process control
  • BIM models and data storage such as Fire Emergency Files need to complete in its entirety not just ‘what is available’. This could be on a local files or IT software solution or possibly on a central system. Key element is that 5/10/15/20 years down the line the relevant information is available
  • Need to audit the information to confirm that the correct holes, infill, products etc have been used
  • Product should be agreed as part of the overall design and never put as a contractor design portion. Equal and approved by the principal designer

This ISO 19650 diagram is informative

(See Appendix 5 for Additional Participant Input)

APPENDIX 1

BIM4Housing Structure

APPENDIX 2

Additional Participant Input Question 1a

The list below is not a complete list and I know some of the later standard numbers have changed i.e., chimneys.

  • EN 1363-1: General requirements (tests)
  • EN 1366-1: Fire Ducts
  • EN 1366-2: Fire dampers
  • EN 1366-3: Penetration seals
  • EN 1366-4: Linear joint seals
  • EN 1366-5: Service ducts and shafts
  • EN 1366-6: Raised access floors and hollow floors
  • EN 1366-8: Smoke extraction ducts
  • EN 1366-9: Smoke extraction ducts single compartment
  • EN 1366-11: Fire Cable Systems and Components
  • EN 1366-10: Smoke control dampers
  • EN 1366-19: Chimneys
  • EN 1364-1: Fire resistance tests for nonloadbearing Elements
  • EN 1364-2: Ceilings
  • EN 1364-4: Curtain walling

APPENDIX 3

Additional Participant Input Question 3

Industry-standard testing & maintenance instructions – example extract from BESA’s SFG20.

Testing and reporting procedure

Testing should include but is not limited to the following steps:

  1. An inventory of all dampers to be tested.
  2. All fire/smoke dampers will be manually released to ensure the integrity of the spring-loaded shutter.
  3. The fusible link should be inspected for any deformity or damage.
  4. The fire/smoke damper will be cleaned and lubricated within the closed position.
  5. The fire/smoke damper shall then be opened and re-set.
  6. Any severe corrosion found shall be reported to the client.

Reports should include but are not limited to the following items:

  1. Test results with client information including position within the building/system, date, and name of operative shall be recorded and any comments noted if further action is required.
  2. Asset register to include damper location and ID number.
  3. Inspection results including details of failed damper operation.
  4. If drawings are provided, update and annotate details.
  5. Digital photographic evidence of damper condition prior to and after testing procedures unless otherwise specified by client.
  6. Explanation of failed operation and recommended corrective or remedial action.

Testing

An example of a fire damper tested in detail and the reliance on the wall depth, thickness

Building Deflection is the way a structural element moves under load from above. There are various types of loads that can be applied from above and these can result in the standard supporting construction required fire safe deflection heads in excess of 250mm.

APPENDIX 4

Additional Participant Input Question 4

  • There is no benchmark for any qualifications or third-party certification schemes and no regulatory controls on passive fire.
  • Inspection is the first step of maintenance – so fire assets need inspection therefore they are assets – QED- you must monitor its condition and check to see if it has been disturbed
  • It is easy to keep an eye on assets that are visible – passive is generally hidden in building fabric but still needs to be viewed

it is important to have basic fire behaviour science understanding so it gives the installer / checker and understanding of when to raise a red flag

Competency / Training

Specific Actors such as Designers, Constructors, Installers, Manufacturers etc each have specific training and competencies that they need.

This section needs to identify the different Actors and the competencies needed. The focus is predominantly on Manufacturers and Installers where other Actors needs should also be addressed.

APPENDIX 5

Additional Participant Input Question 5

The Golden Thread does not mean everything about a building and its history needs to be kept and updated from inception to disposal. The objective of the golden thread is building safety and therefore if information is no longer relevant to building safety, it does not need to be kept.

Models reflect both Design and Construction models with ownership and therefore liability associated with Changes made in each. Mechanism for updating models may impact on a model owners’ liability. A Designer may refuse to change a model to reflect as built as they will not take liability for a Constructor installed product. Change management along with ownership and liability needs to be reflected.

Accountable person under the new Building Safety Act

The performance of the penetration seal for trays/pipes/trunking, fire dampers, FR ducts, SE ducts, chimneys(flues) in terms of their classification is required to be verified against the classification of the wall and the requirement of the specific requirements for the purpose of the system to which they are installed. Then any change can be judged from them

Many existing buildings have been modified so that the original compliant smoke control system can no longer work and original design is invalid

For Consideration

In common areas you will have smoke control dampers, which are different to what has been called a fire and smoke damper. They have different standards and requirements, and this is badly understood at the moment. They are not well addressed in ADB BS9991 etc yet, but will be in the next incarnations, I hope – I am working there too.

There are some applications that use fire doors as smoke vents and these need defining a lot better too – again often just the leaf is provided/considered, not the whole thing and not fitted by a proper certificated installer.

APPENDIX 6

Participants

Daniel England               PRP

David Peacock                TÜV SÜD

David Poat                       NottingHill Genesis

Emma Murphy               Thrive Homes

George Stevenson               ActivePlan

Ian Doncaster                 Fire And Smoke Solutions Ltd

Martin Milner                 Milner Associates

Mike Smith                      Bailey Partnership

Mustafa Alhashimi               Clarion

Nick Haughton               Sapphire Balconies Ltd

Paul McSoley                  Mace

Paul Oakley                     ActivePlan

Paul White                      Ventilation Fire Smoke Ltd

Sue Wilbraham              Metropolitan Thames Valley

BIM4H Fire Stopping Guidance

BIM4H Fire Stopping GuidanceBy Richard Freer

Below are recommendations that we, as BIM4Housing, are putting forward as the findings of Fire Stopping experts.  We do not claim these findings to be definitive, but we would hope that they would provide ‘accountable’ and ‘responsible’ persons with some of the detail they would require to ensure that risks are mitigated.

Format

The structure of this set of information is designed to be consumed in various ways by different stakeholder groups doing different things. Therefore, information mentioned in one section may be repeated in another, so they can be applied to a particular activity.

Also, we have sought to organize the information to make it more machine-readable so, although the lists could be reduced by combining similar items, this would make them less easily used in applications.

Despite the need to edit and contextualise, we have tried to retain the authentic voice of our experts throughout. This is especially so in the Appendices, where no colloquialism is left unturned.

Terms of use

This document is not intended as an end-result, but as a snapshot of a dynamic, on-going piece of work being developed by Subject Matter Experts who represent the different interest groups.

We hope it is helpful but is not definitive because, as we have learned from our collaboration, no one knows everything. It should therefore be used to supplement other sources of information, all of which should be validated by a responsible person applying it to a project.

Comments and additional contributions are welcome, and a panel of volunteer experts will review suggestions to assess/validate them and augment the guidance as required.

It will be available for free at www.bim4housing.com but should not be printed and used offline, because the information may be updated and be no longer valid.”

INTRODUCTION

Structure

We have six Working Groups of experts who understand the individual Stakeholder needs of Development, Design, Construction, Manufacturing, Operations, and the specialist Advisors who support the whole process. Each Working Group determines the problems they are experiencing that could be alleviated by better information, often from a different Stakeholder group and they collectively establish Workstreams to collaborate and share knowledge to come up with practical solutions.

They have established Workstreams for MMC, Data Standardisation, Sustainability and Fire Safety and the latter has, in turn, established Round Table workshops that bring together SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) who really understand specific asset types. Outputs from the workshops will feed into the GTI (Golden Thread Initiative).

(See Appendix 1 for Structure Diagram)

Fire Safety Methodology

It was determined to take individual fire-critical assets and examine impacts and influences through their lifecycle. A series of online discussions were held, along with one-on-one calls and an email gathering of views and inputs.  This culminated in a series of Roundtable discussions, each with a clear focus and targeted output.  BIM4Housing’s expert team was enhanced by guests from the GTI, along with other fire safety specialists throughout.

Phase 1 defined the over-arching questions that need to be answered, for each asset type, to deliver the BIM-plus solution necessary to the effective functioning of the Golden Thread in terms of Fire Safety.

The questions defined are:

  • What risks does the asset mitigate?
  • To what risks is the asset, itself, susceptible?
  • What information is needed about an asset, to ensure it performs as required?
  • What tasks/method statements/procedures are required to ensure the asset is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?
  • What level of competency/training needs to be in place?
  • How should product changes be recorded?

Phase 2 sought to answer those questions, offering a definitive guide to the delivery of The Golden Thread through the effective management of required information.

Phase 3 seeks to build on our ongoing learning and experience and include further assets in our process.

Fire Stopping Methodology

The output from a Roundtables (3rd and 13th September 2021) was collated and contextualized and combined with further subject matter expert input.  Significant participant engagement was achieved prior to the events.  The resulting report was then peer-reviewed.

What is Fire Stopping?

Fire Stopping, also known as compartmentation, is a fundamental part of passive fireproofing. It refers to the process of filling openings and joints between walls and floors with fire-resistant material, inhibiting the spread of fire between ‘compartments’ within a building.

FINDINGS

It was determined to look to ‘codify’ risks to enable teams to coalesce around tackling a problem, run scenarios to simulate what might happen and how collaboration can reduce the risk of them happening.

Two other GTI Working Groups, H&S and Standards, have been working with NBS to extend Uniclass to carry a more detailed set of risks and, those identified here, can form part of that.  

Clearly, it is not desirable for the ‘Accountable Person’ to be absolved of responsibility for not anticipating a risk, simply because it was not on the list of suggested risks- which should be considered a ‘steer’ not an absolute. However, without that list, it becomes impossible to define and deliver the information needed.

Q1a. What risks does Fire Stopping mitigate?

  • Risk of smoke build-up
  • Risk of heat build-up
  • Risk to fire-fighter’s access
  • The risk of the spread of fire and products of fire (fire, smoke, heat) via cavities in external and internal walls, along with other concealed cavities (such a roof and ceiling voids)
  • The risk of spread of fire, smoke, and heat between building compartmentations.
  • Risk of speed of fire and smoke spread
  • Risk of number of uncontained areas
  • Risk of inhibiting safe exit from the building
  • Risk of fire brigade not having enough time to attend before fire spread
  • Risk of system failure.
  • Risk of Injury/harm/loss of life to residents/occupants.
  • Risk of smoke damage and subsequence.
  • Risk of compromising security, both for the building and individual apartments, when doors don’t close properly or are propped open.
  • Risk of reduced thermal efficiency
  • Risk of degraded acoustics.
  • Risk of damage to property, building or structure

Q1b. To what risks is Fire Stopping susceptible?

  • Risk of human intervention on ancillary assets, such as smoke detectors, impacting on asset performance
  • Risk of information on an individual asset being incomplete, inaccurate, or absent
  • Risk of information on an individual asset not being supplied in both digital and physical format
  • Risk that the asset has not been tested against the ‘Cause and Effect’ document
  • Risk of other trades and employees not appreciating the asset’s function and so compromising its performance
  • Risk of non-appreciation of the differences between performance of assets in compartmentalised areas versus performance of assets in shared circulation areas
  • Risk of vandalism or simply misuse

Materials

  • Building movement / shrinkage
  • Excessive water damage
  • Some Laboratory testing not covering real-life scenarios

Installation

  • Failure to install properly due to lack of skill and knowledge.
  • Incorrect installation of service penetrations:
    -insufficient spacing of services (too close together)
    -incomplete base material (e.g., no lintels in solid walls, openings in partitions not framed and lined)
    -insufficient service supports (too wide spacing, non-fire rated materials, unsuitable anchor   fixings into soffit (non-fire rated, not designed for support in fire).
    -non fire rated service supports
  • Supports for building services are sometimes installed too far from the fire stopping, resulting in the fire stopping, itself, acting as a support. There should be independent support within 500mm of fire stopping.
  • If any in-situ welding is required, this should not be carried out within 500mm of fire stopping because heat can transfer up the pipe and activate the fire stopping.
  • Change of location of a door, for example, can lead to the 500 mm prescribed distancing being breached.
  • Change of location of the fire stopping to cross ‘barriers’, such as lintels.
  • Size of fitting space not matching the specification, so the fire stopping needs extending.
  • Refurbishments and upgrades
  • There is no benchmark for third party accreditation for installation contractors, so the door is open for sub-standard accreditation, as contractors may take the easiest option.
  • Fire stopping is tested in isolation, whereas it often installed in the same space as services and therefore should be tested in that context.
  • Sub-standard digital infrastructure.
  • Fire Stopping seen as an after-thought resulting in too little time allocated for proper assessment of the fire strategy and other assets/materials that make up the compartment.
  • In service damage/disturbance to FSDC through maintenance, replacement of services, pipe leakage etc also has an effect on FSDC efficacy.
  • Incorrect builders frame to permit connection to building element
  • No expansion sleeves at connections to mitigate duct expansion and thrust in event of fire causing displacement of damper from opening
  • No breakaway joints to allow duct to detach in fire
  • Installation checks not carried out (g. transit tape still in place locking shutter mechanism)
  • Insufficient base material preparation (g. no lintels in solid walls, unframed and lined openings in partition walls)
  • No maintenance programs
  • No annual testing and reset
  • Fire stoppers damaged after installation by follow on services
  • Incorrect testing for product to substrate
  • Outdated test for compliance based on previous formulation/make up

Q2. What information is needed about Fire Stopping to ensure they perform as required?

  • Base material
  • Type
    • movement of structure and services
    • environment exposure
    • service maintenance
  • Location (both space(s) and x/y coordinates)
  • Resistance required.
  • Intended use inputs on selection of type
  • What has been installed, by whom and when.
  • Other requirements:
    -acoustics
    -Durability/long term resistance
    -airtightness
    -mold resistance
    -paintability
  • Test evidence of compliance to match the intended use ie size of opening closure of opening when it’s a flexible wall(drywall) and be suitable for the type of services penetrating the wall or floor
  • Fire only, fire and smoke, smoke only
  • What supports are needed for continuous support during fire (eg fire rated channel, supports, anchors)
  • What is the item there for – acoustic, fire, integrity, or insulation or both?
  • What areas need to be accessible for inspections?
  • Limitations
  • Lifespan
  • Maintenance requirements
  • When to consider upgrades or replacement
  • Local security so they cannot be tampered with or misused.
  • Planned works in the building
  • As built / O&M manuals to show the locations of the fire stopping that have been installed
  • Levels of protection 30/60/90/120
  • Means of application. i.e., brick or block, around plastic pipes or within plasterboard construction
  • A true cause and effect of all active systems that are interlinked
  • Check installation seals around the outside
  • Check that the seal is still intact form both sides

Q3. What tasks are required to ensure Fire Stopping is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?

(It should be a given that any work on fire safety critical assets should always be undertaken by competent people, probably 3rd party accredited. However, that person must be supported with any information that they might need to reduce the risk of an important step being missed and to provide an auditable record of what tasks were completed. This is common practice in M&E maintenance, where the industry has developed a significant library of standard procedures and tasks lists, along with roles/competency required.

An air-conditioning unit is maintained by a qualified air conditioning engineer, but the engineer is also issued with a check list for them to record what was done.

A similar industry-wide check list for installation, commissioning, handover, maintenance, and recycling could be agreed.)

  • Check building deflection (Building Deflection is the way a structural element moves under load from above. There are various types of loads that can be applied from above and these can result in the standard supporting construction required fire safe deflection heads more than 250mm.)
  • Ongoing checking of the selected materials should be made to ensure resilience of chose FSDC solution with any maintenance/inspection procedures and regimes written into the O&M.
  • Check manufacturer has sufficient technical details and method statements to aide installation
  • Check manufacturer has method statement for commissioning and that there is a sign off procedure
  • Identify a suitable standard of testing, which may not be in line with current standards which may be too onerous or detrimental to the system design
  • Check what is the due diligence if something to assist in the installation is ignored
  • Check labeling
  • Ensure any trade that comes to your building is offered the fire strategy drawings and they mark the areas that they have worked on onto the drawing
  • The person undertaking the work should be competent, but they should be supported with check lists for installation, commissioning, inspection/maintenance, decommissioning/replacement
  • Check installation and that of adjacent Fire Stopping

(See Appendix 2 for Additional Participant Input)

Q4. What level of competency/training needs to be in place?

(Industry training courses are critical, but they must be complemented by additional knowledge-transfer from people with many years real experience.

Individual manufacturers have product-specific training which complements the more general training. Such training resources need to be provided in all cases where a product is used – both for new build but also as part of the long-term H&S/O&M information, ideally held as machine-readable data in the Asset information model to ensure maintenance teams have easy access to critical information.)

Installation

  • Those involved in the design and installation should be able to demonstrate training /qualifications relevant to the systems they design/install and be members of a recognised organisation such as the Smoke Control Association with accreditation through the likes of the UKAS Approved IFC SDI 19 Smoke Control System Installer Accreditation Scheme
  • Competency of individual installers demonstrated through certification with a suitable 3rd party accreditation provider. This should include the provision of the manufacturer’s fitting instructions
  • Specification of which third party accreditations are acceptable (g. Trada, Firas, BM Trada, IFC etc.) should be required
  • Ongoing demonstrable CPD of installer (not simply the company they work for). For example, operatives installing products should have achieved L2 NVQ Diploma in Wood Occupations (Construction) – Site Carpentry (CSCS blue card) or L2 NVQ Diploma in Associated Industrial Services Occupations – Passive Fire Protection (Construction), both with the mandatory module for Installing Fire Resisting Timber Door sets in the Workplace
  • Supervisors should have achieved L3 NVQ Diploma in Wood Occupations (Construction) -Site Carpentry (CSCS gold card), or IFE Level 3 Certificate in Passive Fire Protection or be named as a competent supervisor in the company UKAS accreditation (see https://essentialsiteskills.co.uk/course-index)
  • Installer should have manufacturer-led product-specific installation training, in addition to any formal UKAS accreditation.
  • Manufacturers should offer installation training, either in their own right, or sub-contracted out to a specialist to provide that service
  • code of practice should include training materials
  • Competency and training needs include:
  • Base material construction (especially partition walls particularly with new guidance being provided e.g., BG Best practice guidance for openings within fire rated systems)       D
  • Spacings (including separation of duct/dampers from other service penetrants) of services as limited by test data and to permit installation of firestop
  • Service supports
  • Firestop installation to be by 3PA accredited contractors using CE/UKCA/3PA products

There is no statutory requirement for Fire Stopping installers to be qualified. Under forthcoming guidance, some CPD qualification maybe required, but those certified contractors can still employ unqualified installers to do the work.

Maintenance

  • Manufacturer-specific installation, commissioning, inspection, maintenance/repair, replacement, and recycling requirements should be retained to inform future maintainers of the manufacturers’ recommendations.
  • Mandatory awareness training should be in place for all people working on site and carrying out maintenance in buildings
  • Training for the operational team should be required on Standards (BS, CEN etc.) plus to give a basic understanding of how to read drawings, commissioning certs, O&M’s,
  • BSI Flex 8670 focuses on the competence of individuals and expects that organisations use this core criteria as part of their management of competency (planning, monitoring, reviewing etc.). This also enables the capture of the skills, knowledge, experience, and behaviors necessary to the undertaking of a defined role, function, activity, or task.
  • Manufacturer competency in providing
  • product training
  • technical support
  • engineering design to overcome non-standard applications

Q5.  How are the changes from one product to another recorded?

(If information is not updated, it isn’t information anymore. It is misleading and, possibly, down-right dangerous. If the systems and processes to keep information current are not trusted, then the value of even correct information is compromised.

Robust Change Management requires an information baseline against which the different states – current, proposed, final and ongoing change – can be measured and reported.

The baseline information should contain the required performance in a machine-readable/actionable form and the Change Management process should enable that to be compared with:

  1. the actual performance of the designed solution (probably generic)
  2. the performance of the chosen product against the generic
  3. the performance of an alternative (value engineered?) product
  4. the record of what was used/installed.)

Robust Change Management requires an information baseline against which the different states – current, proposed, final and ongoing change – can be measured and reported.

The baseline information should contain the required performance in a machine-readable/actionable form and the Change Management process should enable that to be compared with:

  1. a) the actual performance of the designed solution (probably generic)
  2. b) the performance of the chosen product against the generic
  3. c) the performance of an alternative (value engineered?) product
  4. d) the record of what was actually used/installed.

Requirements and Suggestions

  • A schedule of safety critical elements for the building, to include products specified
  • Baseline against which to compare proposed alternative products (Some designers have expressed reluctance to propose (not specify) a specific manufactured product that will satisfy their design due to liability, procurement rules and fees)
  • This schedule would be “Locked” at a specific design stage, after which changes to products specified should not occur except for exceptional reasons
  • A formal change management system is required to ensure that any unavoidable changes are validated by a ‘responsible’ person g. original designer and/or fire engineer
  • There is a well-established change management process in construction called Technical Submissions in which requested changes from the specifications/recommendations, that were created by the designers (and selected manufacturers), need to be formally reviewed and approved. Design-and-Build procurement has affected that process and it should be reestablished in a way that the performance of a proposed product, and its constituent components, is easily compared with the proposed alternative and, if agreed, it is recorded as a Technical Deviation
  • Validation of changes would include verifying that the new product met all the requirements for the application with no detriment to the overall design, the details of which should be recorded (Changes in the product may be made between design and procurement, procurement and installation, handover, and ongoing maintenance)
  • More onus needs to be on the client during the collation of Information Requirements and the updating of design models into ‘as installed’ content suitable for Asset/Facilities Management
  • Full Disclosure of the product is needed at handover so that after Work Stage 7, if a manufacturer goes out of business or products change the record is there in perpetuity
  • Asset database must be kept up to date with core data for new installs. Installation documents should be held in a centralised digital location. Once BIM/COBie level data is manageable within the asset management system then this will be used as the main source of data.
  • BIM, CAFM, Asset and Housing management systems must inform the change management process
  • H&S files for each building (cradle to grave) must be supplied, recorded, and be updated with notification of changes and the implications.
  • Warranty information of the existing and the proposed products should be provided to allow proper consideration to be made on the selection of an alternative or replacement. If a product has a shorter life than another, this information should be available to inform selection. Given some of the products will be in locations that are difficult to locate, the longevity of a product could have safety implications.
  • Compliance systems should be informed with the information from the AIM (Asset Information Model)
  • Asset tagging (barcode) systems and processes should be considered as forming part of the change management process.
  • Procurement should be included in the process, recording what was purchased and feeding that into the BIM process to locate where they were installed, or which products they are replacing.
  • Specification or design brief for the business (performance and or product) should be recorded in a machine-readable format to enable validation against the Golden Thread.
  • Record the compatibility and compliance of any ancillaries and confirm they comply with the test data? (Ironmongery, door access control systems, vision panels, vents)
  • Any adjustment, repair, addition to / removal of product, ironmongery or fittings must be recorded and should only be undertaken by a licensed / accredited contractor (this includes and modification to an existing asset)
  • The asset information needs to enable comparison but the original performance spec of the AOV (Automatic Opening Vents) and the related information such as Fire Strategy and Cause and Effect should form part of that Technical Deviation process. The FMs must be able to update the Asset Information Model with machine-readable data of the newly installed product
  • Commissioning and maintenance manuals provided and part of O&M manuals
  • Robust design control process, with detail review and change authorisation, should be within ISO 9001 process control
  • BIM models and data storage such as Fire Emergency Files need to be complete in its entirety not just ‘what is available’. This could be on a local files or IT software solution or possibly on a central system. Key element is that 5/10/15/20 years down the line the relevant information is available
  • Need to audit the information to confirm that the correct holes, infill, products etc have been used
  • Product should be agreed as part of the overall design and never put as a Contractor-design portion. Equal and approved by the principal designer
  • Recording who has worked on/replaced the component and their entitlement/competence to do so
  • Evidence that the component’s performance in relation to the part it plays in the system has been considered and is warranted
  • Manufacturers must provide a component list (e.g., ironmongery on a door) so if anything breaks, a direct replacement can be used.
  • Removal of certain products/materials must be undertaken by people who are on an approved list, certified by an accreditation body and should require advance notice to all certification holders, with signoff to ensure traceability
  • Post hand-over work, such as broadband installation, may undermine work already completed by Fire Stopping contractors and therefore compromise compartmentation. Such work should be managed as a Change and therefore planned, supervised and recorded.
  • PIM’s and AIM’s (Project Information Models and Asset Information Models)
  • ISO 19650, this diagram is so important

(See Appendix 3 for Additional Participant Input)

APPENDIX 1

BIM4Housing Structure

APPENDIX 2

Additional Participant Input Question 3

APPENDIX 3

Additional Participant Input Question 5

Models reflect both Design and Construction models with ownership (and therefore liability) associated with Changes made in each. Mechanism for updating models may impact on a model owners’ liability. A Designer may refuse to change a model to reflect as built as they will not take liability for a Constructor-installed product. Change management along with ownership and liability needs to be reflected.

Accountable person under the new Building Safety Act

The performance of the penetration seal for trays/pipes/trunking, fire dampers, FR ducts, SE ducts, chimneys(flues) in terms of their classification is required to be verified against the classification of the wall and the requirement of the specific requirements for the purpose of the system to which they are installed. Then any change can be judged in that context.

Many existing buildings have been modified so that the original compliant smoke control system can no longer work and original design is invalid. Therefore, the Change Management process should include these wider changes which will have wider impact.

APPENDIX 4

Participants

 

Alastair Brockett Hilti
Audrey Hesse Chartered Architect
Chris Hall Siderise
Daniel England PRP
Dave Peacock TUD SUD
David Poat Nottinghill Genesis
Duncan Alabaster Polyseam
Emma Murphy Thrive Homes
Fredrik Hiort BRIAB
George Stevenson ActivePlan
Ian Doncaster Fire & Smoke Solutions
Joanna Harris Sodexo
Joe Cilia FIS
Martin Milner Milner Associates
Mustafa Alhashimi Clarion Housing
Paul McSoley Mace
Paul White Ventilation Fire Smoke Ltd
Sean Hicks Levitt Bernstein
Sharon McClure Avesta Group
Sue Wilbraham Metropolitan Thames Valley
Will Perkins SE Control

 

BIM4H Sprinkler System – Final GFS

BIM4H Sprinkler SystemBy Richard Freer

Below are recommendations that we, as BIM4Housing, are putting forward as the findings of Sprinkler System experts.  We do not claim these findings to be definitive, but we would hope that they would provide ‘accountable’ and ‘responsible’ persons with some of the detail they would require to ensure that risks are mitigated.

Format

The structure of this set of information is designed to be consumed in various ways by different stakeholder groups doing different things. Therefore, information mentioned in one section may be repeated in another, so they can be applied to a particular activity.

Also, we have sought to organize the information to make it more machine-readable so, although the lists could be reduced by combining similar items, this would make them less easily used in applications.

Despite the need to edit and contextualise, we have tried to retain the authentic voice of our experts throughout. This is especially so in the Appendices, where no colloquialism is left unturned.

Terms of use

This document is not intended as an end-result, but as a snapshot of a dynamic, on-going piece of work being developed by Subject Matter Experts who represent the different interest groups.

We hope it is helpful but is not definitive because, as we have learned from our collaboration, no one knows everything. It should therefore be used to supplement other sources of information, all of which should be validated by a responsible person applying it to a project.

Comments and additional contributions are welcome and a panel of volunteer experts will review suggestions to assess/validate them and augment the guidance as required.

It will be available for free at www.bim4housing.com but should not be printed and used offline, because the information may be updated and be no longer valid.

INTRODUCTION

Structure

We have six Working Groups of experts who understand the individual Stakeholder needs of Development, Design, Construction, Manufacturing, Operations and the specialist Advisors who support the whole process. Each Working Group determines the problems they are experiencing that could be alleviated by better information, often from a different Stakeholder group and they collectively establish Workstreams to collaborate and share knowledge to come up with practical solutions.

They have established Workstreams for MMC, Data Standardisation, Sustainability and Fire Safety and the latter has, in turn, established Round Table workshops that bring together SMEs who really understand specific asset types.

(See Appendix 2 for Structure Diagram)

Fire Safety Methodology

It was determined to take individual fire-critical assets and examine impacts and influences through their lifecycle. A series of online discussions were held, along with one-on-one calls and an email gathering of views and inputs.  This culminated in a series of Roundtable discussions, each with a clear focus and targeted output.  BIM4Housing’s expert team was enhanced by guests from the GTI, along with other fire safety specialists throughout.

Phase 1 defined the over-arching questions that need to be answered, for each asset type, to deliver the BIM-plus solution necessary to the effective functioning of the Golden Thread in terms of Fire Safety.

The questions defined are:

  • What risks does the asset mitigate?
  • To what risks is the asset, itself, susceptible?
  • What information is needed about an asset, to ensure it performs as required?
  • What tasks/method statements/procedures are required to ensure the asset is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?
  • What level of competency/training needs to be in place?
  • How should product changes be recorded?

Phase 2 sought to answer those questions, offering a definitive guide to the delivery of The Golden Thread through the effective management of required information.

Phase 3 seeks to build on our ongoing learning and experience and include further assets in our process.

Sprinkler System Methodology

The output from a Roundtable (17th September 2021) was collated and contextualized and combined with further subject matter expert input.  Significant participant engagement was achieved prior to the event.  The resulting report was then peer-reviewed.

What is a Sprinkler System?

A fire sprinkler system is an ‘active’ fire protection method, consisting of a water supply system, providing adequate pressure and flowrate to a water distribution piping system, onto which fire sprinklers are connected.

Although historically only used in factories and large commercial buildings, systems for homes and small buildings are now available.

Fire sprinkler systems are extensively used worldwide, with over 40 million sprinkler heads fitted each year.

Even though Fire Sprinkler Systems are a Life Saving System and are not designed to protect the building, 96% of buildings that had fires and were completely protected by fire sprinkler systems were controlled by the fire sprinklers alone.

A glass bulb type sprinkler head will spray water into the room if sufficient heat reaches the bulb and causes it to shatter. Sprinkler heads operate individually.

FINDINGS

It was determined to look to ‘codify’ risks to enable teams to coalesce around tackling a problem, run scenarios to simulate what might happen and how collaboration can reduce the risk of them happening.

Two other GTI Working Groups, H&S and Standards, have been working with NBS to extend Uniclass to carry a more detailed set of risks and, those identified here, can form part of that.  

Clearly, it is not desirable for the ‘Accountable Person’ to be absolved of responsibility for not anticipating a risk, simply because it was not on the list of suggested risks- which should be considered a ‘steer’ not an absolute. However, without that list, it becomes impossible to define and deliver the information needed.

What are the component elements of a Sprinkler system?

  • Sprinklers
  • Pipework
  • Alarm flow switch
  • Water supply – water mains, booster pump or a pump and tank
  • Deflectors
  • Pipework Materials
  • Pipework Supports
  • Valve types
  • Primary Electric Pumps
  • Secondary Diesel/Electric Pumps
  • Zonal Alarm indicators
  • Zonal Test Pumps
  • Drain down pipework/valves
  • Dry system plant/change over arrangements
  • End of line test points
  • Bells – water flow alarms
  • Sprinkler head

Are there any dependencies on other systems?

  • Generator systems
  • ATS electrical
  • Fire Alarm / interfaces
  • Sump and drain systems
  • Ventilation for diesel pumps (Combustion / Fresh air)
  • Open plan offices where the spacing is an issue
  • Water supply
  • Dry Systems gas supply

Q1a. What risks does a Sprinkler system mitigate?

  • Knocks down flames and cools the room
  • In a third of cases extinguishes the fire
  • Reduces overpressure so that smoke does not spread as readily
  • Fire load growth
  • Fire load size
  • Fire temperature suppressed
  • Structural failure temperatures
  • Property loss
  • Loss of life for persons in and amongst the property
  • Loss of fire services attendees’ lives.
  • Prevention of spread between buildings
  • reduces fire spread as well as that of smoke, CO2 and other pollutants that can be released in a fire.

Q 1b. To what risks are Sprinkler systems susceptible?

  • Being turned off
  • Cover plates of concealed sprinklers may not release if they are painted over
  • Wrongly placed deflectors
  • Incorrect hydraulic calculations
  • Undersized drainage systems for drain downs, i.e. floods the sprinkler room.
  • Undersized power suppliers for Star Delta start
  • Undersized power suppliers for rotor locks
  • Undersized generator supplies for both the above scenarios
  • Diesel pump ventilation system not sized and incorrect
  • Diesel pump flue arrangement failure
  • Battery failure on the diesel pump
  • Poorly maintained zonal alarm valves, pumps, control panels
  • Poorly maintained fire alarm interfaces
  • Incorrect power supply fuses and ratings
  • Wrong compartmentation of the floor valve riser cupboard within the FFL shaft. Should always be horizontal and vertical. Not vertical only.
  • Corrosion of pipework, poor water quality
  • Vandalized
  • Replaced valves that look different and are operated incorrectly
  • inspect dry pipe systems for corrosion after 10 years. Use an endoscope or ultrasound
  • CPCV pipework compatibility with fire stopping products
  • Human error
  • Failure to isolate flats

Q2. What information is needed about Sprinkler systems to ensure they perform as required?

  • Location (inc xyz)
  • Manufacturer
  • Model number
  • Installer
  • Zone it protects
  • Connection points
  • Activation strategy
  • Heat rating of sprinkler heads
  • Pump power rating
  • Manufacturer’s O&M manual and assurance of adherence from your contractor / operative.
  • Design calcs; is it housed (i.e. in boxing); does it have cover plates?
  • Maintenance regime.
  • Test results, commissioning certificates.
  • Installation date
  • Expected life
  • Planned to be replaced on “Shelf Life” basis- assessment of condition from maintenance or a planned review – or ‘run to fail’
  • Call outs breakdowns / remedial works (to determine an appropriate replacement date)
  • Water supply
  • Any modifications.
  • Fault finding procedure
  • Fixings (components) to keep in place
  • Mastic quality (good or bad)

Q3. What tasks are required to ensure Sprinkler systems are installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?

(It should be a given that any work on fire safety critical assets should always be undertaken by competent people, probably 3rd party accredited. However, that person must be supported with any information that they might need to reduce the risk of an important step being missed and to provide an auditable record of what tasks were completed. This is common practice in M&E maintenance, where the industry has developed a significant library of standard procedures and tasks lists, along with roles/competency required.

An air-conditioning unit is maintained by a qualified air conditioning engineer, but the engineer is also issued with a check list for them to record what was done.

A similar industry-wide check list for installation, commissioning, handover, maintenance, and recycling could be agreed.)

Industry-standard maintenance instructions – extract from BESA’s SFG20.

Q4. What level of competency/training needs to be in place?

(Industry training courses are critical, but they must be complemented by additional knowledge-transfer from people with many years real experience.

Individual manufacturers have product-specific training which complements the more general training. Such training resources need to be provided in all cases where a product is used – both for new build but also as part of the long-term H&S/O&M information, ideally held as machine-readable data in the Asset information model to ensure maintenance teams have easy access to critical information.)

 Installation

Maintenance

  • Manufacturer-specific installation, commissioning, inspection, maintenance/repair, replacement and recycling requirements should be retained to inform future maintainers of the manufacturers’ recommendations.
  • Mandatory awareness training should be in place for all people working on site and carrying out maintenance in buildings
  • Training for the operational team should be required on Standards (BS, CEN etc.) plus to give a basic understanding of how to read drawings, commissioning certs and O&M’s
  • BSI Flex 8670 focuses on the competence of individuals and expects that organisations use this core criteria as part of their management of competency (planning, monitoring, reviewing etc.). This also enables the capture of the skills, knowledge, experience, and behaviors necessary to the undertaking of a defined role, function, activity or task.

Q5.  How are the changes from one product to another recorded?

(If information is not updated, it isn’t information anymore. It is misleading and, possibly, down-right dangerous. If the systems and processes to keep information current are not trusted, then the value of even correct information is compromised.

Robust Change Management requires an information baseline against which the different states – current, proposed, final and ongoing change – can be measured and reported.

The baseline information should contain the required performance in a machine-readable/actionable form and the Change Management process should enable that to be compared with:

  1. the actual performance of the designed solution (probably generic)
  2. the performance of the chosen product against the generic
  3. the performance of an alternative (value engineered?) product
  4. the record of what was used/installed.)

 Requirements and Suggestions

  • A schedule of safety critical elements for the building, to include products specified
  • Baseline against which to compare proposed alternative products (Some designers have expressed reluctance to propose (not specify) a specific manufactured product that will satisfy their design due to liability, procurement rules and fees)
  • This schedule would be “Locked” at a specific design stage, after which changes to products specified should not occur except for exceptional reasons
  • A formal change management system is required to ensure that any unavoidable changes are validated by a ‘responsible’ person e.g. original designer and/or fire engineer
  • There is a well-established change management process in construction called Technical Submissions in which requested changes from the specifications/recommendations, that were created by the designers (and selected manufacturers), need to be formally reviewed and approved. Design-and-Build procurement has affected that process and it should be reestablished in a way that the performance of a proposed product, and its constituent components, is easily compared with the proposed alternative and, if agreed, it is recorded as a Technical Deviation
  • Validation of changes would include verifying that the new product met all the requirements for the application with no detriment to the overall design, the details of which should be recorded (Changes in the product may be made between design and procurement, procurement and installation, handover and ongoing maintenance)
  • More onus needs to be on the client during the collation of Information Requirements and the updating of design models into ‘as installed’ content suitable for Asset/Facilities Management
  • Full Disclosure of the product is needed at handover so that after Work Stage 7, if a manufacturer goes out of business or products change the record is there in perpetuity
  • Asset database must be kept up to date with core data for new installs. Installation documents should be held in a centralised digital location. Once BIM/COBie level data is manageable within the asset management system then this will be used as the main source of data.
  • BIM, CAFM, Asset and Housing management systems must inform the change management process
  • H&S files for each building (cradle to grave) must be supplied, recorded, and be updated with notification of changes and the implications.
  • Warranty information of the existing and the proposed products should be provided to allow proper consideration to be made on the selection of an alternative or replacement. If a product has a shorter life than another, this information should be available to inform selection. Given some of the products will be in locations that are difficult to locate, the longevity of a product could have safety implications.
  • Compliance systems should be informed with the information from the AIM (Asset Information Model)
  • Asset tagging (barcode) systems and processes should be considered as forming part of the change management process.
  • Procurement should be included in the process, recording what was purchased and feeding that into the BIM process to locate where they were installed, or which products they are replacing.
  • Specification or design brief for the business (performance and or product) should be recorded in a machine-readable format to enable validation against the Golden Thread.
  • Record the compatibility and compliance of any ancillaries and confirm they comply with the test data? (Ironmongery, door access control systems, vision panels, vents)
  • Any adjustment, repair, addition to / removal of product, ironmongery or fittings must be recorded and should only be undertaken by a licensed / accredited contractor (this includes and modification to an existing asset)
  • The asset information needs to enable comparison but the original performance spec of the sprinkler and the related information such as Fire Strategy and Cause and Effect should form part of that Technical Deviation process. The FMs must be able to update the Asset Information Model with machine-readable data of the newly installed product
  • Recording who has worked on/replaced the component and their entitlement/competence to do so (an MEP consultant, for example, is not the designer and will sometimes get the rules confused)
  • Evidence that the component’s performance in relation to the part it plays in the system has been considered and is warranted
  • Manufacturers must provide a component list (e.g. ironmongery on a door) so if anything breaks, a direct replacement can be used.
  • Removal of certain products/materials must be undertaken by people who are on an approved list, certified by an accreditation body and should require advance notice to all certification holders, with signoff to ensure traceability.

APPENDIX 1

Additional Participant Input Question 5

Notes: from the PCSA

We have found that the MEP Consultant will have drawn an allowance for the Sprinkler System for the system to be tendered to the market. However, this will not sufficiently resolve the design to avoid negatively effecting the architectural or structural design at a very late stage. The information typically does not take in to account the following items:

  • The correct sprinkler head space allocations and setting out so RCPs can be fixed.
  • Coordination with other services as the allowances are indicative rather than actual.
  • The correct riser size allocations for the drain and isolation valves arrangements
  • The correct system high/low rise hydraulic design
  • The correct water storage requirements
  • The correct embedded ground floor slab drainage locations and size.
  • The correct incoming water utility size because of the storage
  • The correct wet or dry system requirements
  • Design approval from Building Control is achieved very late.

These items are not sufficiently developed on the MEP Consultants drawings, as only the sprinkler specialists, generally have the expert knowledge of all the relevant Technical Bulletins issued by Fire Protection Association (FPA) in order to achieve a clean certificate under the Loss Prevention Council Boards, Loss Prevention Scheme 1048 (LPS 1048)

APPENDIX 2

BIM4Housing Structure

APPENDIX 3

Participants

Alan Brinson                                     Eurosprinkler

David Peacock                                  TÜV SÜD

George Stevenson                           ActivePlan

Joanna Harris                                   Sodexo

Paul McSoley                                    Mace

Paul Oakley                                       ActivePlan

Paul Wooldridge                              Haringey

Pauline Tuitt                                     L&Q

Sarah Stevenson-Jones                  Swan Housing

BIM4H Emergency Lighting – Final GFS

BIM4H Emergency LightingBy Richard Freer

Below are recommendations that we, as BIM4Housing, are putting forward as the findings of Emergency Lighting experts.  We do not claim these findings to be definitive, but we would hope that they would provide ‘accountable’ and ‘responsible’ persons with some of the detail they would require to ensure that risks are mitigated.

Format

The structure of this set of information is designed to be consumed in various ways by different stakeholder groups doing different things. Therefore, information mentioned in one section may be repeated in another, so they can be applied to a particular activity.

Also, we have sought to organize the information to make it more machine-readable so, although the lists could be reduced by combining similar items, this would make them less easily used in applications.

Despite the need to edit and contextualise, we have tried to retain the authentic voice of our experts throughout. This is especially so in the Appendices, where no colloquialism is left unturned.

Terms of use

This document is not intended as an end-result, but as a snapshot of a dynamic, on-going piece of work being developed by Subject Matter Experts who represent the different interest groups.

We hope it is helpful but is not definitive because, as we have learned from our collaboration, no one knows everything. It should therefore be used to supplement other sources of information, all of which should be validated by a responsible person applying it to a project.

Comments and additional contributions are welcome and a panel of volunteer experts will review suggestions to assess/validate them and augment the guidance as required.

It will be available for free at www.bim4housing.com but should not be printed and used offline, because the information may be updated and be no longer valid.

INTRODUCTION

Structure

We have six Working Groups of experts who understand the individual Stakeholder needs of Development, Design, Construction, Manufacturing, Operations and the specialist Advisors who support the whole process. Each Working Group determines the problems they are experiencing that could be alleviated by better information, often from a different Stakeholder group and they collectively establish Workstreams to collaborate and share knowledge to come up with practical solutions.

They have established Workstreams for MMC, Data Standardisation, Sustainability and Fire Safety and the latter has, in turn, established Round Table workshops that bring together SMEs who really understand specific asset types.

(See Appendix 1 for Structure Diagram)

Fire Safety Methodology

It was determined to take individual fire-critical assets and examine impacts and influences through their lifecycle. A series of online discussions were held, along with one-on-one calls and an email gathering of views and inputs.  This culminated in a series of Roundtable discussions, each with a clear focus and targeted output.  BIM4Housing’s expert team was enhanced by guests from the GTI, along with other fire safety specialists throughout.

Phase 1 defined the over-arching questions that need to be answered, for each asset type, to deliver the BIM-plus solution necessary to the effective functioning of the Golden Thread in terms of Fire Safety.

The questions defined are:

  • What risks does the asset mitigate?
  • To what risks is the asset, itself, susceptible?
  • What information is needed about an asset, to ensure it performs as required?
  • What tasks/method statements/procedures are required to ensure the asset is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?
  • What level of competency/training needs to be in place? -How should product changes be recorded?

Phase 2 sought to answer those questions, offering a definitive guide to the delivery of The Golden Thread through the effective management of required information.

Phase 3 seeks to build on our ongoing learning and experience and include further assets in our process.

Emergency Lighting Methodology

The output from a Roundtable (17th September 2021) was collated and contextualized and combined with further subject matter expert input.  Significant participant engagement was achieved prior to the event.  The resulting report was then peer-reviewed.

What is Emergency Lighting?

Emergency lighting is installed in buildings in case of a mains power failure and provides sufficient illumination to allow occupants of the building to evacuate safely. Types of emergency lighting include emergency exit signs, recessed fluorescent lights, powerful halogen emergency spotlights for larger spaces, emergency ceiling lights and downlights, and so on.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that ’emergency routes and exits requiring illumination must be provided with emergency lighting of adequate intensity in the case of failure of their normal lighting.’

The requirement does not apply to domestic premises.

Approved document B defines emergency lighting as ‘lighting for use when the power supply to the normal lighting fails’. It defines escape lighting as ‘The part of the emergency lighting that is provided to ensure that the escape route is illuminated at all material times.’

Approved document L defines emergency escape lighting as ‘……that part of emergency lighting that provides illumination for the safety of people leaving an area or attempting to terminate a dangerous process before leaving.’

In addition to the requirement to illuminate emergency routes and exits, open area lighting may be provided to allow occupants to reach an escape route, and where occupants are involved in activities that may present some danger if they are not completed, there may be high-risk task area lighting. There may also be standby lighting to allow occupants to continue with their normal activities in the event of a power failure.

Emergency lights are powered by back-up batteries. The lights detect when mains power has failed and immediately switch to using the back-up battery. The battery should be capable of powering the light, for a defined period, but as a means of conserving power, the light output may be reduced, sometimes to just 10% of the normal output.

The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 and BS 5266 part 1 require that building owners

test emergency lighting regularly and maintain them in proper working order. Light fittings have a green LED indicator which shows they are charged and functional.          

FINDINGS

It was determined to look to ‘codify’ risks to enable teams to coalesce around tackling a problem, run scenarios to simulate what might happen and how collaboration can reduce the risk of them happening.

Two other GTI Working Groups, H&S and Standards, have been working with NBS to extend Uniclass to carry a more detailed set of risks and, those identified here, can form part of that.

Clearly, it is not desirable for the ‘Accountable Person’ to be absolved of responsibility for not anticipating a risk, simply because it was not on the list of suggested risks- which should be considered a ‘steer’ not an absolute. However, without that list, it becomes impossible to define and deliver the information needed.

What are the component elements of an Emergency Lighting system?

  • Low proximity way finding
  • Way finding escape signing
  • Batteries -central battery systems
  • Batteries – self-contained
  • Luminaires
  • Control gear
  • Transformers
  • Generators
  • Test Switches
  • UPS
  • Cables
  • Connectors
  • Cable ties – fixings that are fire resistant
  • Portable battery systems (e.g., torch)

 Are there any dependencies on other systems?

  • Back up electricity e.g., battery or generators
  • Perhaps links to fire alarm systems
  • Lighting System
  • Lighting Control System

Q1a. What risks does an Emergency Lighting system mitigate?

  • Trips, Slips and Falls in the event of power loss
  • Orientation of occupants with signage and direction in the event of power loss
  • Illumination for locating life safety equipment.
  • Highlighting location of panic hardware and security override
  • Illumination in the case of a stay-put strategy

Q1b. To what risks are Emergency Lighting systems susceptible?

  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Lack of effective testing and maintenance
  • Battery failure
  • Poor design, not correctly specified or located
  • Building churn without redesign
  • Delay of backup generators
  • Restrike of high-pressure lamps

Q2. What information is needed about Emergency Lighting systems to ensure they perform as required?

(It is important to understand how the information will be used and how the context will vary what information is required. Initially, this was the subject of quite a lot of debate – largely driven by a worry about ‘information overload’.  However, with a truly cross disciplinary team of SMEs, it was possible to drill down to understand the detail of why a role would need certain information. 

The aim was to collect all the information all stakeholders need against all products and leave it to each role to configure their software applications to see only the information they need for that individual task.)

  • Formal Fire Risk Assessment
  • Fire Safety Strategy
  • Location (inc x,y,z coordinates)
  • Manufacturer
  • Model number
  • Technical specification sheet
  • Designer
  • Installer
  • Installed date
  • Tested – type of test, date and result, by whom
  • Batteries – including replacement date(s), by whom
  • Other maintenance – what, when, by whom
  • Logbook and maintenance records
  • Emergency escape illumination
  • Emergency escape route illumination
  • High-risk task illumination
  • Number of lamps for emergency lighting systems – ensuring that the maximum number of

20 luminaires, supplied from any circuit protective device on a centrally powered systems pr EN 50172, is not exceeded

  • Electrical circuit identification
  • The % of redundancy built into an area (typically 10% for open plan offices and call centres}
  • Any central control system and location of controller
  • Input voltage
  • Input current
  • Battery duration
  • Charging voltage
  • Charging current
  • Lumen output
  • Input wattage
  • luminance effects of wall covering.

Q3. What tasks are required to ensure Emergency Lighting systems are installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?

(It should be a given that any work on fire safety critical assets should always be undertaken by competent people, probably 3rd party accredited. However, that person must be supported with any information that they might need to reduce the risk of an important step being missed and to provide an auditable record of what tasks were completed. This is common practice in M&E maintenance, where the industry has developed a significant library of standard procedures and tasks lists, along with roles/competency required.

An air-conditioning unit is maintained by a qualified air conditioning engineer, but the engineer is also issued with a check list for them to record what was done.

A similar industry-wide check list for installation, commissioning, handover, maintenance and recycling could be agreed.)

Installed:

Designer: to design the emergency lighting systems in accordance with the responsible person’s risk assessment using the Emergency lighting standards and best practice documentation as a baseline to ensure safe escape from the building. Follow the design with regular quality checks

Consideration should be given to the choice of wall and ceiling colors that enhance luminance performance within stairways and escape routes

Commissioned:

Installer: to install the emergency lighting system in accordance with the designer’s documentation to test and commission both photometrically and electrically (as necessary) the system and provide all as fitted documentation in line with the actually installed installation and to handover the system to the client.

BS 5266-1 Emergency Lighting PART 1: CODE OF PRACTICE FOR THE EMERGENCY LIGHTING OF PREMISES has the following:

Annex H (informative) Model completion certificate

Annex I (informative) Model certificate for completion of small new installations

Inspected and Maintained:

Maintainer: to be responsible for the ongoing inspection, testing and maintenance of the system and updating all emergency lighting revisions on to record information and maintaining the logbook.

BS5266-1 includes the following:

Annex J (informative) Emergency lighting logbook

Annex K (informative) Model certificate for verification of existing installations

Annex L (informative) Additional guidance on the compliance checklist and report for an existing site

Annex M (informative) Model periodic inspection and test certificate

The industry-standard maintenance instructions – extract from BESA’s SFG20.

Q4. What level of competency/training needs to be in place?

(Industry training courses are critical, but they must be complemented by additional knowledge transfer from people with many years real experience. 

Individual manufacturers have product-specific training which complements the more general training. Such training resources need to be provided in all cases where a product is used – both for new build but also as part of the long-term H&S/O&M information, ideally held as machine-readable data in the Asset information model to ensure maintenance teams have easy access to critical information.)

BS5266 refers to competency standards for the designer, installer, and the maintainer. The responsible person must ensure they engage competent people for all stages of procurement and operation of the emergency lighting system, from the time they first occupy the building until they leave.

The definition of competency is not established within BS 5266 Part 1. A full member of the Society of Light (MSLL) a CIBSE group, who has sufficient emergency-lighting knowledge through relevant experience, or the British Association of Fire Engineers (BAFE) has a competency qualification course that can be accessed through the mid-career college.

  • Manufacturers should offer installation training, either in their own right, or subcontracted out to a specialist to provide that service
  • Installer should have manufacturer-led product-specific installation training, in addition to any formal UKAS accreditation.
  • code of practice should include training materials

CIBSE

https://www.cibse.org/Training-Events/CIBSE-Training/Training-Topics/Lighting-Courses
https://www.cibse.org/training-events/cibse-training/training-topics/fire-safety-courses LIA/ICEL
https://www.thelia.org.uk/page/EmergencylightingICEL BAFE
https://www.bafe.org.uk/become-bafe-registered/bafe-sp203-4-assessment-and-registrationprocess

Maintenance

  • Manufacturer-specific installation, commissioning, inspection, maintenance/repair, replacement, and recycling requirements should be retained to inform future maintainers of the manufacturers’ recommendations.
    Mandatory awareness training should be in place for all people working on site and carrying out maintenance in buildings
    Training for the operational team should be required on Standards (BS, CEN etc.) plus to give a basic understanding of how to read drawings, commissioning certs and O&M’s
    BSI Flex 8670 focuses on the competence of individuals and expects that organisations use this core criteria as part of their management of competency (planning, monitoring, reviewing etc.).  This also enables the capture of the skills, knowledge, experience, and behaviors necessary to the undertaking of a defined role, function, activity, or task.

Q5.  How are the changes from one product to another recorded?

(If information is not updated, it isn’t information anymore. It is misleading and, possibly, down-right dangerous. If the systems and processes to keep information current are not trusted, then the value of even correct information is compromised. 

Robust Change Management requires an information baseline against which the different states – current, proposed, final and ongoing change – can be measured and reported.

The baseline information should contain the required performance in a machine-readable/actionable form and the Change Management process should enable that to be compared with:

  1. the actual performance of the designed solution (probably generic)
  2. the performance of the chosen product against the generic
  3. the performance of an alternative (value engineered?) product
  4. the record of what was used/installed.)

Requirements and Suggestions

  • A schedule of safety critical elements for the building, to include products specified
  • Baseline against which to compare proposed alternative products (Some designers have expressed reluctance to propose (not specify) a specific manufactured product that will satisfy their design due to liability, procurement rules and fees)
  • This schedule would be “Locked” at a specific design stage, after which changes to products specified should not occur except for exceptional reasons
  • A formal change management system is required to ensure that any unavoidable changes are validated by a ‘responsible’ person e.g., original designer and/or fire engineer
  • There is a well-established change management process in construction called Technical Submissions in which requested changes from the specifications/recommendations, that were created by the designers (and selected manufacturers), need to be formally reviewed and approved. Design-and-Build procurement has affected that process and it should be re-established in a way that the performance of a proposed product, and its constituent components, is easily compared with the proposed alternative and, if agreed, it is recorded as a Technical Deviation
  • Validation of changes would include verifying that the new product met all the requirements for the application with no detriment to the overall design, the details of which should be recorded (Changes in the product may be made between design and procurement, procurement and installation, handover, and ongoing maintenance)
  • More onus needs to be made by the client to ensure collation of Information Requirements and the updating of design models into ‘as installed’ content suitable for Asset/Facilities

Management. Compliance systems should be informed with the information from the AIM

  • Full Disclosure of the product is needed at handover so that after Work Stage 7, if a manufacturer goes out of business or products change the record is there in perpetuity
  • Asset database must be kept up to date with core data for new installs. Installation documents should be held in a centralised digital location. Once BIM/COBie level data is manageable within the asset management system then this will be used as the main source of data. Asset tagging (barcode) systems and processes should be considered as forming part of the change management process.
  • Procurement should be included in the process, recording what was purchased and feeding that into the BIM process to locate where they were installed, or which products they are BIM, CAFM, Asset and Housing management systems must inform the change management process. The asset information needs to enable comparison but the original performance spec of the Emergency Lighting and the related information such as Fire Strategy and Cause and Effect should form part of that Technical Deviation process. The FMs must be able to update the Asset Information Model with machine-readable data of the newly installed product
  • H&S files for each building (cradle to grave) must be supplied, recorded, and be updated with notification of changes and the implications.
  • Warranty information of the existing and the proposed products should be provided to allow proper consideration to be made on the selection of an alternative or replacement. If a product has a shorter life than another, this information should be available to inform selection. Given some of the products will be in locations that are difficult to locate, the longevity of a product could have safety implications.
  • Specification or design brief for the business (performance and or product) should be recorded in a machine-readable format to enable validation against the Golden Thread.
  • Recording who has worked on/replaced the component and their entitlement/competence to do so
  • Evidence that the component’s performance in relation to the part it plays in the system has been considered and is warranted

APPENDIX 1

BIM4Housing Structure

APPENDIX 2

Participants

Chris Watts                 Wavelength Fire Safety

George Stevenson `ActivePlan

Gordon Rolfe              Platinum Property Management

Jack White                  Clarion

Jim Creak                    Jalite Plc

Joanna Harris             Sodexo

Peter Thorns               Zumtobel Group

 

BIM4H Dry-Wet Riser Guidance

BIM4H Dry-Wet Riser GuidanceBy Richard Freer

Below are recommendations that we, as BIM4Housing, are putting forward as the findings of Dry-Wet Riser experts.  We do not claim these findings to be definitive, but we would hope that they would provide ‘accountable’ and ‘responsible’ persons with some of the detail they would require to ensure that risks are mitigated.

Format

The structure of this set of information is designed to be consumed in various ways by different stakeholder groups doing different things. Therefore, information mentioned in one section may be repeated in another, so they can be applied to a particular activity.

Also, we have sought to organize the information to make it more machine-readable so, although the lists could be reduced by combining similar items, this would make them less easily used in applications.

Despite the need to edit and contextualise, we have tried to retain the authentic voice of our experts throughout. This is especially so in the Appendices, where no colloquialism is left unturned.

Terms of use

This document is not intended as an end-result, but as a snapshot of a dynamic, on-going piece of work being developed by Subject Matter Experts who represent the different interest groups.

We hope it is helpful but is not definitive because, as we have learned from our collaboration, no one knows everything. It should therefore be used to supplement other sources of information, all of which should be validated by a responsible person applying it to a project.

Comments and additional contributions are welcome and a panel of volunteer experts will review suggestions to assess/validate them and augment the guidance as required.

It will be available for free at www.bim4housing.com but should not be printed and used offline, because the information may be updated and be no longer valid.

INTRODUCTION

Structure

We have six Working Groups of experts who understand the individual Stakeholder needs of Development, Design, Construction, Manufacturing, Operations, and the specialist Advisors who support the whole process. Each Working Group determines the problems they are experiencing that could be alleviated by better information, often from a different Stakeholder group and they collectively establish Workstreams to collaborate and share knowledge to come up with practical solutions.

They have established Workstreams for MMC, Data Standardisation, Sustainability and Fire Safety and the latter has, in turn, established Round Table workshops that bring together SMEs who really understand specific asset types.

(See Appendix 1 for Structure Diagram)

Fire Safety Methodology

It was determined to take individual fire-critical assets and examine impacts and influences through their lifecycle. A series of online discussions were held, along with one-on-one calls and an email gathering of views and inputs.  This culminated in a series of Roundtable discussions, each with a clear focus and targeted output.  BIM4Housing’s expert team was enhanced by guests from the GTI, along with other fire safety specialists throughout.

Phase 1 defined the over-arching questions that need to be answered, for each asset type, to deliver the BIM-plus solution necessary to the effective functioning of the Golden Thread in terms of Fire Safety.

The questions defined are:

  • What risks does the asset mitigate?
  • To what risks is the asset, itself, susceptible?
  • What information is needed about an asset, to ensure it performs as required?
  • What tasks/method statements/procedures are required to ensure the asset is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?
  • What level of competency/training needs to be in place?
  • How should product changes be recorded?

Phase 2 sought to answer those questions for 3 assets, offering a definitive guide to the delivery of The Golden Thread through the effective management of required information.

Phase 3 seeks to build on our ongoing learning and experience and include further assets in our process.

Dry-Wet Riser Methodology

The output from a Roundtable (20th September 2021) was collated and contextualized and combined with further subject matter expert input.  Significant participant engagement was achieved prior to the event.  The resulting report was then peer-reviewed.

What is a Dry-Wet Riser?

A dry riser is a normally empty pipe that can be externally connected by firefighters to a pressurised water source. It is a vertical pipe intended to distribute water to multiple levels of a building or structure as a component of the fire suppression systems.

Most buildings have a “wet riser” or “wet standpipe” system where the pipes are kept full of water for manual or automatic fire fighting operations. Dry risers are used when the water pressure of a building wouldn’t be enough for fire suppression and in unheated buildings where the pipes could freeze. In the UK, dry risers must allow fire engine access within 18 m of the dry riser inlet box. Dry risers in occupied buildings must be within a fire-resistant shaft, usually one of a building’s fire escape staircase enclosures. The riser is also where the gauges, valves, and alarm devices are located.

Depending on regional nomenclature, the term “dry riser” may refer to a standpipe, intended to provide water to fire hose connections, or a vertical main pipe in an automatic dry pipe fire sprinkler system. A dry standpipe has an external fire department connection at ground level, such as a  Storz coupling, through which water can be pumped from the fire engine pump to the fire hose attachments on each floor. A dry pipe fire sprinkler system is a network of pipes connected to fixed sprinklers inside a building, which is full of air until one of the sprinklers is triggered.

Wet risers are used to supply water within buildings for firefighting purposes. The provision of a built-in water distribution system means that firefighters do not need to create their own distribution system in order to fight a fire and avoids the breaching of fire compartments by running hose lines between them.

Wet risers are permanently charged with water. This is as opposed to dry risers which do not  contain water when they are not being used, but are charged with water by fire service pumping appliances when necessary.

Part B of the building regulations (Fire Safety) requires that fire mains are provided in all buildings that are more than 18 m tall. In buildings less than 50 m tall, either a wet riser or dry riser fire main can be provided. However, where a building extends to more than 50 m above the rescue service vehicle access level, wet risers are necessary as the pumping pressure required to charge the riser is higher than can be provided by a fire service appliance, and to ensure an immediate supply of water is available at high level.

Wet risers are charged with water from a pressurised supply, often pumped from a storage tank, with landing valves at specified locations on each floor.

It should be possible for fire service pumping appliances to supplement the supply to wet risers in the event of an emergency, such as storage tanks running low during long events. Pumping appliances should be able to access ‘…within 18 m and within sight of, a suitable entrance giving access to the main and in sight of the inlet.’

Generally, a wet riser supply system should be capable of maintaining a minimum running pressure at top outlet at roof level of 4 bar at a flow rate of 22.7l/s. the maximum running pressure permitted with only one outlet in operation is 5 bar.

Wet risers should be within fire-fighting shafts, and where necessary in protected escape stairs. Wet riser outlets, or ‘landing valves’ may be within in protected lobbies, stairs or enclosures where these are available.

Wet risers should be inspected and tested regularly to ensure equipment is functioning correctly and ready for use. Problems can be very serious in the event of a fire, and are typically caused by vandalism or theft, blockages or pipework failure or by connection failure or outlets being open.

FINDINGS

It was determined to look to ‘codify’ risks to enable teams to coalesce around tackling a problem, run scenarios to simulate what might happen and how collaboration can reduce the risk of them happening.

Two other GTI Working Groups, H&S and Standards, have been working with NBS to extend Uniclass to carry a more detailed set of risks and, those identified here, can form part of that.

Clearly, it is not desirable for the ‘Accountable Person’ to be absolved of responsibility for not anticipating a risk, simply because it was not on the list of suggested risks- which should be considered a ‘steer’ not an absolute. However, without that list, it becomes impossible to define and deliver the information needed.

What are the component elements of a Dry or Wet Riser system?

  • Pipework Materials and fittings
  • Pipework Supports
  • Valve types including breeching, landing, air release, pressure regulators
  • Primary Electric Pumps
  • Secondary Diesel/Electric Pumps
  • Drain down pipework/valves
  • In let Boxes/Outlet boxes/cabinets
  • Locks and Keys
  • Level alarms for the water tank
  • Cabinet / inlet boxes door hinges

Are there any dependencies on other systems?

  • Generator systems
  • Automatic Transfer Switches for electrical supply
  • Fire Alarm / interfaces
  • Sump and drain systems
  • Ventilation for diesel pumps (Combustion / Fresh air)
  • Water supply
  • Fire Fighting Shaft outlet location and compartmentation

Q1a. What risks does a Dry or Wet Riser system mitigate?

  • Fire growth
  • Fire temperature
  • Structural failure due to extreme temperatures
  • Property loss
  • Loss of life for persons in and amongst the property
  • Loss of fire services attendees lives
  • Spread of fire between buildings
  • Integrity of compartmentation within a building

Q 1b. To what risks are

Dry or Wet Riser systems susceptible?

  • Wrongly placed outlets or inlets
  • Vandalism
  • Incorrect hydraulic calculations
  • Undersized drainage systems for drain downs, i.e. floods the plant room.
  • Undersized power suppliers and /or generators for Star Delta start of motors/pumps
  • Undersized power suppliers and / or generators for rotor locks
  • Diesel pump ventilation system incorrectly sized or flue arrangement failure
  • Battery failure on the diesel pump
  • Poorly maintained alarm valves, pumps, control panels
  • Poorly maintained fire alarm interfaces
  • Incorrect power supply fuses and ratings
  • Wrong compartmentation of the outlet riser cupboard within the FFL shaft – horizontal and vertical Door being opened and compromises its fire integrity)
  • Pumps manually switch off
  • Not being operational during the construction phase
  • Poor water quality including Legionella risks

Q2. What information is needed about Dry or Wet Riser systems to ensure they perform as required?

  • Location (inc x,y,z)
  • Pump Manufacturer
  • Pump Model number
  • Installer
  • Installation date
  • Warranty
  • Time delays inherent in the design
  • Size of the water supply tank
  • Designed operational duration in fire conditions
  • Minimum Flow rates design and achieved in commissioning
  • Pressure design and achieved in commissioning
  • Schematic
  • Replacement strategy
  • Location of connection points and drain down points
  • Zones protected
  • Drop Drainage capacity (so the room does not flood)

Q3. What tasks are required to ensure Dry or Wet Riser systems are installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?

(It should be a given that any work on fire safety critical assets should always be undertaken by competent people, probably 3rd party accredited. However, that person must be supported with any information that they might need to reduce the risk of an important step being missed and to provide an auditable record of what tasks were completed. This is common practice in M&E maintenance, where the industry has developed a significant library of standard procedures and tasks lists, along with roles/competency required.

An air-conditioning unit is maintained by a qualified air conditioning engineer, but the engineer is also issued with a check list for them to record what was done.

A similar industry-wide check list for installation, commissioning, handover, maintenance and recycling could be agreed.)

Installed:

The current British Standard used for design, installation, testing and maintenance of Wet and Dry risers is BS9990:2015 Non-automatic fire-fighting systems in buildings Code of practice with Approved Document B (Fire Safety) of the Building  Regulations (England & Wales) stating the requirement of wet or dry depending on the height of the building.

Fire mains should be tested at appropriate stages during installation, as work progresses, and upon final completion. Records should be kept of the tests and their results

Commissioned:

Static pressure tests are required for both types of system. For wet mains a flow and pressure test is also required.

Prior to conducting tests, water should be allowed to flow through the fire main and be discharged via the topmost outlet to flush out any debris that might be present. Facilities should be provided for flushing out at the base of the main debris which is too large to be flushed to the top of the building.

While BS 9990 requires only that the system be pressure tested it is BAFSA’s view of industry best practice that all Wet and Dry systems should initially be static pressure tested to at least one and half times the system’s predicted maximum operating pressure for at least one hour.

Pumps and standby pumps should be tested, to include a test to determine if it will operate satisfactorily in the event of failure of the duty pump / power failure.

A permanent record of all initial inspections and acceptance tests should be kept by the responsible person. This should record:

  1. a) date and time of inspection or test;
  2. b) person carrying out the test;
  3. c) test results noted;
  4. d) any external factors significantly affecting the results (e.g. weather conditions);
  5. e) follow-up action required;
  6. f) work carried out as a result of e) with date, time and result of retest

Inspected and Maintained:

Maintenance frequency and procedures should be in accordance with BS 9991 or BS 9999 as appropriate.

All dry fire mains should be checked every six months to ensure that all valves are fully serviceable, and a wet pressure test should be carried out annually to ensure that there is no leakage.

Wet fire mains should be similarly checked and, in addition, the water storage tanks and booster pumps should be checked for operational serviceability.

Defects in equipment should be rectified as soon as possible by a competent person and if delay ensues, the fire service should be warned, and warning notices should be posted in the building at the appropriate place

Dry risers should be static pressure tested annually

Wet risers should be pressure tested and flow rate tested annually as well as:

  1. a) internal cleanliness, condition and water level of storage tanks, including the operation of float valves and any water level alarms;
  2. b) booster pumps and their associated mechanical and electrical equipment;
  3. c) electrical supplies and equipment to prevent freezing;
  4. d) operation of system monitoring and alarms.

Where pressure regulating valves are installed, the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations should be followed

There should be a signed and dated log of periodic inspections, maintenance and rectification of any defects, which should record:

  1. a) date and time of inspection or test;
  2. b) person carrying out the test;
  3. c) installation being inspected or tested;
  4. d) result of the inspection or test;
  5. e) any rectifications carried out or needed

The responsible person for the premises should complete routine periodic visual inspections of all fire main inlet and landing valves to ensure that they have not been subjected to vandalism or damage, and to ensure that all inlet and landing valve boxes and/or riser cupboards are suitably secure and clear of storage or debris. The frequency of this visual inspection should be determined by the responsible person as part of the building fire safety management strategy and/or fire risk assessment

The Industry-standard maintenance instructions – extract from BESA’s SFG20.

Task

It is recommended that the following tests are carried out annually as detailed in BS 9990: 2015: The following will be inspected, which should also be carried out every six months:

  • Inlet valves
  • Outlet valves
  • Drain valves
  • Door hinges
  • Locking arrangements to the inlet cabinets
  • Inlet cabinets to confirm that there are no obstructions.
  • Special attention should be given to all valves, spindles, glands, and washers to ensure that they are ready for immediate use.
  • If any leaks are identified, corrective action should be taken, and the system tested again.
  • Water should be passed through the system under pressure and readings taken of the flows and pressure.
  • The test should be carried out at the highest or furthest landing valve using the system pumps.
  • The Pump manufacturer recommends that the wet riser pumps are rotated weekly using the initiation panel to maintain readiness to fight fire in an emergency.

Q4. What level of competency/training needs to be in place?

(Industry training courses are vital, but they must be complemented by additional knowledge-transfer from people with many years real experience.

Individual manufacturers have product-specific training which complements the more general training. Such training resources need to be provided in all cases where a product is used – both for new build but also as part of the long-term H&S/O&M information, ideally held as machine-readable data in the Asset information model to ensure maintenance teams have easy access to critical information.)

BS 9990:205 requires competent persons to install and maintain with competence defined as:

competent person: person, suitably trained and qualified by knowledge and practical experience, and provided with the necessary instructions, to enable the required task(s) to be carried out correctly

BSI Flex 8670 focuses on the competence of individuals and expects that organisations use this core criteria as part of their management of competency (planning, monitoring, reviewing etc.).  This also enables the capture of the skills, knowledge, experience, and behaviors necessary to the undertaking of a defined role, function, activity, or task.

Commissioning and maintenance training:

  • BAFE operate a Scheme called BAFE SP105 which covers Dry and Wet Riser/Falling Installations. This Scheme exists to deliver independent evidence that providers are competent to deliver quality service and maintenance works for your dry riser or wet riser/falling installations. The training is delivered by UKAS Accredited Certification Bodies (licensed by BAFE)
  • Installer should have manufacturer-led product-specific installation training, in addition to any formal UKAS accreditation.
  • Manufacturers should offer installation training, either in their own right, or sub-contracted out to a specialist to provide that service

Q5.  How are the changes from one product to another recorded?

(If information is not updated, it isn’t information anymore. It is misleading and, possibly, down-right dangerous. If the systems and processes to keep information current are not trusted, then the value of even correct information is compromised.

Robust Change Management requires an information baseline against which the different states – current, proposed, final and ongoing change – can be measured and reported.

The baseline information should contain the required performance in a machine-readable/actionable form and the Change Management process should enable that to be compared with:

  1. the actual performance of the designed solution (probably generic)
  2. the performance of the chosen product against the generic
  3. the performance of an alternative (value engineered?) product
  4. the record of what was used/installed.)

Requirements and Suggestions

  • A schedule of safety critical elements for the building, to include products specified
  • Baseline against which to compare proposed alternative products (Some designers have expressed reluctance to propose (not specify) a specific manufactured product that will satisfy their design due to liability, procurement rules and fees)
  • This schedule would be “Locked” at a specific design stage, after which changes to products specified should not occur except for exceptional reasons
  • A formal change management system is required to ensure that any unavoidable changes are validated by a ‘responsible’ person e.g. original designer and/or fire engineer
  • There is a well-established change management process in construction called Technical Submissions in which requested changes from the specifications/recommendations, that were created by the designers (and selected manufacturers), need to be formally reviewed and approved. Design-and-Build procurement has affected that process and it should be reestablished in a way that the performance of a proposed product, and its constituent components, is easily compared with the proposed alternative and, if agreed, it is recorded as a Technical Deviation
  • Validation of changes would include verifying that the new product met all the requirements for the application with no detriment to the overall design, the details of which should be recorded (Changes in the product may be made between design and procurement, procurement and installation, handover and ongoing maintenance)
  • More onus needs to be made by the client to ensure collation of Information Requirements and the updating of design models into ‘as installed’ content suitable for Asset/Facilities Management. Compliance systems should be informed with the information from the AIM
  • Full Disclosure of the product is needed at handover so that after Work Stage 7, if a manufacturer goes out of business or products change the record is there in perpetuity
  • Asset database must be kept up to date with core data for new installs. Installation documents should be held in a centralised digital location. Once BIM/COBie level data is manageable within the asset management system then this will be used as the main source of data. . Asset tagging (barcode) systems and processes should be considered as forming part of the change management process.
  • Procurement should be included in the process, recording what was purchased and feeding that into the BIM process to locate where they were installed, or which products they are replacing.
  • BIM, CAFM, Asset and Housing management systems must inform the change management process. The asset information needs to enable comparison but the original performance spec of the dry or wet riser and the related information such as Fire Strategy and Cause and Effect should form part of that Technical Deviation process. The FMs must be able to update the Asset Information Model with machine-readable data of the newly installed product
  • H&S files for each building (cradle to grave) must be supplied, recorded and be updated with notification of changes and the implications.
  • Warranty information of the existing and the proposed products should be provided to allow proper consideration to be made on the selection of an alternative or replacement. If a product has a shorter life than another, this information should be available to inform selection. Given some of the products will be in locations that are difficult to locate, the longevity of a product could have safety implications.
  • Specification or design brief for the business (performance and or product) should be recorded in a machine-readable format to enable validation against the Golden Thread.
  • Recording who has worked on/replaced the component and their entitlement/competence to do so.
  • Evidence that the component’s performance in relation to the part it plays in the system has been considered and is warranted

APPENDIX 1

BIM4Housing Structure

APPENDIX 2

Participants

Alan Brinson – Eurosprinkler

David Peacock – TÜV SÜD

George Stevenson – ActivePlan

Joanna Harris – Sodexo

Paul McSoley – Mace

Paul Oakley – ActivePlan

Paul Wooldridge – Haringey

Pauline Tuitt – L&Q

Sarah Stevenson-Jones                 Swan Housing

BIM4H Fire Alarm and Fire Detector System Guidance

BIM4H Fire Alarm and Fire Detector System GuidanceBy Richard Freer

Below are recommendations that we, as BIM4Housing, are putting forward as the findings of our Alarm and Fire Detector System experts.  We do not claim these findings to be definitive, but we would hope that they would provide ‘accountable’ and ‘responsible’ persons with some of the detail they would require to ensure that risks are mitigated.

Format

The structure of this set of information is designed to be consumed in various ways by different stakeholder groups doing different things. Therefore, information mentioned in one section may be repeated in another, so they can be applied to a particular activity.

Also, we have sought to organize the information to make it more machine-readable so, although the lists could be reduced by combining similar items, this would make them less easily used in applications.

Despite the need to edit and contextualise, we have tried to retain the authentic voice of our experts throughout. This is especially so in the Appendices, where no colloquialism is left unturned.

Terms of use

This document is not intended as an end-result, but as a snapshot of a dynamic, on-going piece of work being developed by Subject Matter Experts who represent the different interest groups.

We hope it is helpful but is not definitive because, as we have learned from our collaboration, no one knows everything. It should therefore be used to supplement other sources of information, all of which should be validated by a responsible person applying it to a project.

Comments and additional contributions are welcome and a panel of volunteer experts will review suggestions to assess/validate them and augment the guidance as required.

It will be available for free at www.bim4housing.com but should not be printed and used offline, because the information may be updated and be no longer valid.

INTRODUCTION

Structure

We have six Working Groups of experts who understand the individual Stakeholder needs of Development, Design, Construction, Manufacturing, Operations and the specialist Advisors who support the whole process. Each Working Group determines the problems they are experiencing that could be alleviated by better information, often from a different Stakeholder group and they collectively establish Workstreams to collaborate and share knowledge to come up with practical solutions.

They have established Workstreams for MMC, Data Standardisation, Sustainability and Fire Safety and the latter has, in turn, established Round Table workshops that bring together SMEs who really understand specific asset types.

(See Appendix 1 for Structure Diagram)

Fire Safety Methodology

It was determined to take individual fire-critical assets and examine impacts and influences through their lifecycle. A series of online discussions were held, along with one-on-one calls and an email gathering of views and inputs.  This culminated in a series of Roundtable discussions, each with a clear focus and targeted output.  BIM4Housing’s expert team was enhanced by guests from the GTI, along with other fire safety specialists throughout.

Phase 1 defined the over-arching questions that need to be answered, for each asset type, to deliver the BIM-plus solution necessary to the effective functioning of the Golden Thread in terms of Fire Safety.

The questions defined are:

  • What risks does the asset mitigate?
  • To what risks is the asset, itself, susceptible?
  • What information is needed about an asset, to ensure it performs as required?
  • What tasks/method statements/procedures are required to ensure the asset is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?
  • What level of competency/training needs to be in place?
  • How should product changes be recorded?

Phase 2 sought to answer those questions, offering a definitive guide to the delivery of The Golden Thread through the effective management of required information.

Phase 3 seeks to build on our ongoing learning and experience and include further assets in our process.

Fire Alarm and Fire detector system Methodology

The output from a Roundtable (20th September 2021) was collated and contextualized and combined with further subject matter expert input.  Significant participant engagement was achieved prior to the event.  The resulting report was then peer-reviewed.

What is a Fire Alarm and Fire Detector system?

Approved document B, Fire Safety, Volume 2, Buildings other than dwelling houses (2019 edition), defines a fire alarm system as a: '...combination of components for giving an audible and/or other perceptible warning of fire.'

Live investigations of false fire alarms, published by BRE in December 2015, suggests that a Fire Detection and Fire Alarm System is ‘…control equipment that utilises detectors, warning devices and other components to detect fires and provide warning.’

Most fire detection and alarm systems operate on the same basic principles. If a fire is detected, then an alarm is triggered. This warns building managers and occupants that there may be a fire and that evacuation may be necessary. Some systems include remote signalling equipment which can alert the fire brigade or a remote monitoring centre.

Fire can be detected by; heat detectors, flame detectors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and multi sensor detectors, or an alarm can be triggered at manual call points. Alarms may consist of bells, sirens, horns, lights or a combination these. Two power supplies are required, generally a mains supply and batteries providing 24 hours back up.

It is important that a thorough assessment of need is undertaken before a fire detection and alarm system is designed or purchased.

In the UK, fire alarm systems are categorised as:

L, (L1 to L5): automatic systems intended for the protection of life.

M: manual systems, fitted with sounders and call points.

P, (P1 and P2): automatic systems intended for the protection of property.

Fire detection and alarm systems can be divided into a number of general types:

  • Conventional systems.
  • Addressable systems.
  • Analogue addressable systems.
  • Wireless systems.
  • Self-contained units.

Conventional systems generally consist of a series of detectors and call points wired to a control panel which drives the detectors and a minimum of two sounder circuits, includes LED indicators and allows de-activation and resetting. Typically, separate circuits will be provided for each fire 'zone' (usually a floor of a building or a fire compartment). This separation into zones means that the approximate location of the fire is known and so the appropriate response can be instigated. It also allows for easier diagnosis of faults.

Addressable systems are similar to conventional systems, but the central control panel can identify exactly which detector or call point triggered the alarm (rather than just a zone), or whether communication has been lost with a detector. In this system the circuit is wired in a loop, with a number of detectors or call points on each loop. The loop can be powered from both ends, so that it continues to function even if there is a break in the loop (separate loops may still be provided for each zone).

The control panel can be programmed to show specific information or trigger specific responses for different detectors within the system. Addressable systems are generally used for larger or more complex installations because of the benefits of more accurate detection, and so fault finding, and the reduced wiring requirement.

Analogue addressable systems, or intelligent systems can include an analytical capability in each detector which can assess local parameters to determine whether there is a fire, a fault or a maintenance requirement. This can be useful in preventing the occurrence of false alarms. A pre-alarm warning may be indicated if a detector is approaching a trigger condition.

Wireless fire alarm systems connect detectors and call-points to the control panel using wireless signals.

Self-contained fire alarm units are generally only suitable for small installations. They consist of a single unit, including break glass contact, sounder, power supply, battery and charger.

FINDINGS

It was determined to look to ‘codify’ risks to enable teams to coalesce around tackling a problem, run scenarios to simulate what might happen and how collaboration can reduce the risk of them happening.

Two other GTI Working Groups, H&S and Standards, have been working with NBS to extend Uniclass to carry a more detailed set of risks and, those identified here, can form part of that.

Clearly, it is not desirable for the ‘Accountable Person’ to be absolved of responsibility for not anticipating a risk, simply because it was not on the list of suggested risks- which should be considered a ‘steer’ not an absolute. However, without that list, it becomes impossible to define and deliver the information needed.

What are the component elements of Fire detection and Fire Alarm Systems?

  • Fire alarm control panel
  • Associated relays/accessories
  • Fire detectors:
    • Manual call points
    • Point detectors:
      • Heat
      • Smoke
      • Carbon Monoxide
      • multisensor variants
      • Optical/multidetector
  • Aspirating air sampling very early smoke detectors
  • Linear heat detectors
  • Beam detectors
  • Video detectors
  • Wireless Detection
  • Fire alarm devices:
    • Wireless alarms
    • sounders & voice sounders
    • visual fire alarm devices
    • vibrating devices
  • voice alarm systems
  • Remote signalling
  • Fire resistant cables- type
    • FP200 & enhanced, FP400, FP600 rating from 30min – 2h
  • interfaces between fire detection and fire alarm systems with ancillary systems and equipment
  • remote data extraction
  • evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in buildings containing flats
  • Public address systems
  • containment and support system
  • Sounders, VADs, or voice alarms.
  • CIE (control and indicating equipment)
  • Fitting of protective covers on MCPs (manual call points).

Are there any dependencies on other systems?

  • Emergency lighting
    • Escape and anti-panic
  • Security CCTV
  • Door Access control
  • Mechanical Ventilation
  • Natural gas supply cut-off
  • Lifts
  • Communication – red care (tele care)
  • Sprinklers
  • Automatically Opening Vents and Smoke Control systems
  • Electrical supply
  • Electrical generator backup

Q1a. What risks does a Fire detection and Fire Alarm System mitigate?

  • Failure to detect fire early
  • Panic and confusion allowing early safe evacuation
  • Property loss
  • Loss of life

Q 1b. To what risks are Fire detection and Fire Alarm Systems, themselves, susceptible?

  • Incorrect initial design
  • Lack of weekly user tests
  • Lack of six-monthly maintenance
  • Changes to layout e.g., splitting rooms so automatic detection is not correctly sited
  • False alarms
  • Poorly designed cause and effect at the outset
    • unintended operation
    • difficulty in safe evacuation
  • Inconsistency in design
    • Residential Building - Cause & Effect when fire/smoke detected in communal area – Tennant’s within the Flats are being told to Stay put or elsewhere to evacuate – no consistency
    • Residential Building - Disconnect between common parts and residential areas detection systems
      • Often there is no connection for early warning
    • Vandalism
    • Detectors being muted or left in test
    • Removal of detectors
    • Covering over detectors
    • Painting over detectors
    • Incorrect location of detectors
    • Change of layout/use without modification of detector location
    • Failure to communicate with other systems (e.g. interfaces with automatic vents, smoke vents, ventilation)
    • Fireman lift including programming of lift position and provision of a secondary power supply
    • Power failure
    • Incorrect dB levels
    • Associated relays/accessories
    • Incorrect sensor/sensitivity setting
    • Cause and effects are not well documented or understood
    • Moving a large metal object may alter the radio environment and disrupt communications (e.g. Scaffolding).
    • Overcrowded corridors (furniture, rubbish etc.)
    • Inadequate earthing and protection against shock from exposed metal parts
    • Occupancy levels of a building
    • Breaking (or displacing) the glass on an MCP

Q2. What information is needed about Fire detection and Fire Alarm systems to ensure they perform as required?

  • Cause and effect matrix and description of operation
  • Location of interfaces
  • Location of control and indication panel(s) inc x,y coordinates.
  • Location of manual call points for user tests
  • Location of detectors inc x,y coordinates.
  • Contact details of maintenance contractor and call-out response time
  • Manufacturer
  • Model number
  • Installer
  • Commissioner
  • basic system information to residents and tenants
  • Ratings of the various cabling in the system
  • Zone details
  • The battery backup or life safety supply
  • Clear evacuation and alarm plan
  • Software version
  • Setting of sound pressure levels of the system sounders (dB levels recorded)
  • life cycle of components
  • Location of Deaf Alerter systems and any vibrating pillars etc inc x,y coordinates.
  • What standards the system complies with
  • Category and level of system design e. Property, Life, Manual
  • Grade of system design as per BS 5839-6 2019
  • Identification of high-risk areas
  • Fire strategy. Including, position of extinguishers, position of exit signage (illuminated and photoluminescent)
  • what certification & date of certification
  • Electrical power and secondary supply sources
  • Types and location of notification e.g. flashing lights
  • Location and DB test of refuge areas
  • Volume dispersal and reach where communal alarms are concerned for a stay put policy for internal flats
  • The riser strategy when vertical becomes horizontal.
  • The detection strategy changes. i.e. detection at every level inside the cupboard.
  • Approval by the authorities for the configuration of alarm zones
  • Siting of Control And Indicating Equipment (CIE)
  • Design, Installation, and commissioning certificates of the system
  • Agreed variations on the original system design specifications
  • System events, e.g., Fire alarm / fault signals, routine maintenance visits.
  • Certificate of acceptance
  • A model verification certificate, that can be sued to confirm compliance with the recommendations of BS 5839-1

Q3. What tasks are required to ensure Fire detection and Fire Alarm are installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?

(It should be a given that any work on fire safety critical assets should always be undertaken by competent people, probably 3rd party accredited. However, that person must be supported with any information that they might need to reduce the risk of an important step being missed and to provide an auditable record of what tasks were completed. This is common practice in M&E maintenance, where the industry has developed a significant library of standard procedures and tasks lists, along with roles/competency required.

An air-conditioning unit is maintained by a qualified air conditioning engineer, but the engineer is also issued with a check list for them to record what was done.

A similar industry-wide check list for installation, commissioning, handover, maintenance and recycling could be agreed.)

BS 5839-6:2019 Provides the details for Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings. Code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in domestic premises (+A1:2020)

Installed:

As per BS 5389 and in line with manufacturers specifications for their equipment.

Consider the requirement to have 15lux in an event of emergency (emergency lighting) near Fire Fighting equipment. Location of such equipment should be established early and included in fire strategy, including illuminated and photoluminescent exit signage

The installer should ensure that all control, indicating and power supply equipment that is likely to need routine attention for maintenance is sited in readily accessible locations that facilitate safe maintenance access

Documentation and information including system drawings are completed reflecting as built status.

Commissioned:

Test of the full cause and effects

Sound pressure levels recorded in all areas

User training and system handover completed

Entire system should conform to the requirements of BS 7671, issue certificate of compliance and completion – independent verification if required

Issue a certificate for the electrical supply

Log book is issued

Maintained:

Weekly user test

Monthly standby supply verification checks

6 monthly inspections and tests

12 monthly inspections and tests

The user should record all faults or damage in the system logbook and should arrange for repair to be carried out as soon as possible.

Industry-standard maintenance instructions – extract from BESA’s SFG20.

Addressable Fire Alarm System

Smoke Detector

Gas Detector

Q4. What level of competency/training needs to be in place?

(Industry training courses are vital, but they must be complemented by additional knowledge-transfer from people with many years real experience.

Individual manufacturers have product-specific training which complements the more general training. Such training resources need to be provided in all cases where a product is used – both for new build but also as part of the long-term H&S/O&M information, ideally held as machine-readable data in the Asset information model to ensure maintenance teams have easy access to critical information.)

Installation

  • Those involved in the design and installation should be able to demonstrate training /qualifications relevant to the systems they design/install and be members of a recognised organisation with accreditation through the likes of
  • Competency of individual installers demonstrated through certification with a suitable 3rd party accreditation provider. This should include the provision of the manufacturer’s fitting instructions
  • Specification of which third party accreditations are acceptable
  • BAFE SP203 for commercial fire alarms
  • Electrical Certificates to be as the current version BS 7671 or as amended
  • SDI19 for smoke control systems
  • BAFE SP207 for evacuation alert systems
  • Domestic fire - Qualified Electrician NAPIT, SELECT etc.
  • Aico Expert Installer training
  • Installer should have manufacturer-led product-specific installation training, in addition to any formal UKAS accreditation.
  • Manufacturers should offer installation training, either in their own right, or sub-contracted out to a specialist to provide that service
  • code of practice should include training materials
  • Organisational acceptance for compliance of the installation.

Maintenance

  • Building Safety Managers - Competency training. BSI Flex 8670 focuses on the competence of individuals and expects that organisations use this core criteria as part of their management of competency (planning, monitoring, reviewing etc.). This also enables the capture of the skills, knowledge, experience, and behaviours necessary to the undertaking of a defined role, function, activity or task.
  • Manufacturer-specific installation, commissioning, inspection, maintenance/repair, replacement and recycling requirements should be retained to inform future maintainers of the manufacturers’ recommendations.
  • Mandatory awareness training should be in place for all people working on site and carrying out maintenance in buildings
  • Training for the operational team should be required on Standards (BS, CEN etc) plus to give a basic understanding of how to read drawings, commissioning certs and O&M’s
  • Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) be carried out by a competent person to identify areas of high fire risk

Testing

  • Voice alarms should be tested weekly in line with BS 5839-8
  • Operate one MCP during normal working hours at approximately the same time each week
  • Additional tests at least once a month for any staff who are not usually present during the weekly test
  • A different MCP to be tested each week so that all tested over time
  • The alarm should not sound for more than a one minute so that the occupants can distinguish between tests and a real fire alarm
  • If the standby power supply includes an automatically started emergency generator, this should be tested every month
  • If the standby power supply has vented batteries, these should be inspected visually. Also, all vented batteries and their connections should be examined every three months by a person competent in battery technology

Q5.  How are the changes from one product to another recorded?

(If information is not updated, it isn’t information anymore. It is misleading and, possibly, down-right dangerous. If the systems and processes to keep information current are not trusted, then the value of even correct information is compromised.

Robust Change Management requires an information baseline against which the different states – current, proposed, final and ongoing change – can be measured and reported.

The baseline information should contain the required performance in a machine-readable/actionable form and the Change Management process should enable that to be compared with:

  1. the actual performance of the designed solution (probably generic)
  2. the performance of the chosen product against the generic
  3. the performance of an alternative (value engineered?) product
  4. the record of what was used/installed.)

Requirements and Suggestions

  • A schedule of safety critical elements for the building, to include products specified
  • Baseline against which to compare proposed alternative products (Some designers have expressed reluctance to propose (not specify) a specific manufactured product that will satisfy their design due to liability, procurement rules and fees)
  • This schedule would be “Locked” at a specific design stage, after which changes to products specified should not occur except for exceptional reasons
  • A formal change management system is required to ensure that any unavoidable changes are validated by a ‘responsible’ person e.g. original designer and/or fire engineer
  • There is a well-established change management process in construction called Technical Submissions in which requested changes from the specifications/recommendations, that were created by the designers (and selected manufacturers), need to be formally reviewed and approved. Design-and-Build procurement has affected that process and it should be re-established in a way that the performance of a proposed product, and its constituent components, is easily compared with the proposed alternative and, if agreed, it is recorded as a Technical Deviation
  • Validation of changes would include verifying that the new product met all the requirements for the application with no detriment to the overall design, the details of which should be recorded (Changes in the product may be made between design and procurement, procurement and installation, handover and ongoing maintenance)
  • Listed as a part of draft Building Safety Case content is Cost .v. Quality with Evidence of Competency
  • More onus needs to be made by the client to ensure collation of Information Requirements and the updating of design models into ‘as installed’ content suitable for Asset/Facilities Management. Compliance systems should be informed with the information from the AIM
  • Full Disclosure of the product is needed at handover so that after Work Stage 7, if a manufacturer goes out of business or products change the record is there in perpetuity
  • Asset database must be kept up to date with core data for new installs. Installation documents should be held in a centralised digital location. Once BIM/COBie level data is manageable within the asset management system then this will be used as the main source of data. . Asset tagging (barcode) systems and processes should be considered as forming part of the change management process.
  • Procurement should be included in the process, recording what was purchased and feeding that into the BIM process to locate where they were installed, or which products they are replacing.
  • BIM, CAFM, Asset and Housing management systems must inform the change management process. The asset information needs to enable comparison but the original performance spec of the dry or wet riser and the related information such as Fire Strategy and Cause and Effect should form part of that Technical Deviation process. The FMs must be able to update the Asset Information Model with machine-readable data of the newly installed product
  • H&S files for each building (cradle to grave) must be supplied, recorded and be updated with notification of changes and the implications.
  • Warranty information of the existing and the proposed products should be provided to allow proper consideration to be made on the selection of an alternative or replacement. If a product has a shorter life than another, this information should be available to inform selection. Given some of the products will be in locations that are difficult to locate, the longevity of a product could have safety implications.
  • Specification or design brief for the business (performance and or product) should be recorded in a machine-readable format to enable validation against the Golden Thread.
  • Recording who has worked on/replaced the component and their entitlement/competence to do so
  • Evidence that the component’s performance in relation to the part it plays in the system has been considered and is warranted
  • Evidence of commissioning – cause & effect at completion
  • Evidence of re-commissioning – cause and effect after change
  • Cause and effect check list
  • Use of the fire logbook to capture changes.

APPENDIX 1

BIM4Housing Structure

APPENDIX 2

Comply with BS 5839-8

Section 7: User’s responsibilities

43      Premises management

43.1      Commentary

The user needs to appoint a single, named member of the premises management to supervise all matters pertaining to the fire detection and fire alarm system. The role of this person is to ensure that the system is tested and morn trained in accordance with the recommendations of this part of BS 5839, that appropriate records are kept and the I relevant occupants in the protected premises are aware of their roles and responsibilities in connection with the fire detection and fire alarm system. This person also needs to ensure that necessary steps are taken to avoid situations that are detrimental to the standard of protection afforded by the system and to ensure that the level of false alarms is minimized.

43.2      Recommendations

A single, named member of the premises management should be appointed to supervise all matters pertaining to the fire detection and fire alarm system.

This person should normally be the keeper of the documentation as described in Clause 40, and should be given sufficient authority to carry out the following duties.

  1. Ensuring that the CIE is checked at least once every 24 h to confirm that there are no faults on the system.
  2. Ensuring that arrangements are in place for testing and maintenance of the system in accordance with Section 6 of this standard.
  3. Ensuring that the system logbook (see Clause 48) is kept up-to-date and is available for inspection by any authorized person (e.g. representatives of enforcing authorities and property insurers).
  4. Ensuring that all relevant occupants of the protected premises are instructed in the proper use of the system.

Particular care should be taken to ensure that relevant occupants are able to interpret fire, pre-alarm (see 47.3) and fault indications, and that they are adequately familiar with the appropriate controls, including those associated with initiation of fire alarm signals, silencing of fire alarm signals and resetting the system.

It should also be ensured that all occupants are aware of the measures necessary to avoid the generation of false alarms.

Relevant occupants should also be instructed in the facilities for disablement and the circumstances in which they should, and should not, be used.

In premises in multiple occupation, it should be ensured that sufficient representatives of each occupier are instructed.

NOTE 1  Different levels of instruction might be necessary for different occupants.

  1. Ensuring that appropriate action is taken to limit the rate of false alarms [see 30.2g), 30.2h) and 35.2.7.3].
  2. Ensuring that a clear space of at least S00 mm is preserved in all directions around and below every fire detector, and that all manual call points remain unobstructed and conspicuous.
  3. Establishing a liaison between those responsible for changes in, or maintenance of, the building fabric (including redecoration, etc.) to ensure that the work does not unnecessarily compromise the protection afforded by the system, create system faults or cause false alarms (see Section 3). If structural or occupancy changes occur or are planned, it should be ensured that any necessary changes to the fire alarm system are considered at an early stage.
  4. Ensuring that, when changes are made to the system, record drawings and operating instructions, supplied in accordance with 40.2b) and TO.2c j respectively, are updated.
  5. Ensuring that, where necessary, a suitable zone plan is displayed and is kept up-to-date [see 23.2.2e)].
  6. Ensuring that the following spare parts are held within the premises:
  • six frangible elements and appropriate tools for manual call points, unless there are less than twelve manual call points in the protected premises, in which case only two spare frangible elements with appropriate tools need be held; and
  • such other spare parts agreed between the user and the organization responsible for servicing the system.

NOTE 2  It would be of value for the premises management to be aware of the policy of the relevant fire and rescue service with regard to response to calls from the premises and/or any ARC, in the event of operation of the fire detection and fire alarm system.

43.3      Action in the event of pre-alarms

A pre-alarm can be a response to a slow growing fire or to indicate detector contamination. Whatever the reason, the following actions should be taken:

  1. determine and thoroughly inspect the area from whence the pre-alarm has originated;
  2. if a fire is discovered, carry out the predetermined fire routine; and
  3. if no fire is discovered, record the events or activities near the suspect detector in the logbook and, if there is need for work to be undertaken on the fire detection and fire alarm system, inform the maintenance company.

44      Logbook

44.1      Commentary

A logbook needs to be kept for the purpose of recording all events that occur in respect of the system, including fire signals, fault signals and work on the system. This information can be of value to the organization that services the system and if special action is taken to address false alarm problems. The logbook might provide evidence of compliance with certain fire safety legislation (such as the Regulatory Reform {Fire Safety) Order 2005 [12], the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 [13], the Fire Safety {Scotland) Regulations 2006 [14], the Fire and Rescue Services {Northern Ireland) Order 2006 [lS] and the Fire Safety Re9ulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 [16]).

44.2      Recommendations

NOTE 1  A model format for a logbook is contained in Annex F.

The following information should be recorded in the logbook:

  1. the name(s) of the member(s) of the premises management to whom responsibility for the fire detection and fire alarm system is delegated;
  2. brief details of maintenance arrangements;
  3. dates and times of all fire alarm signals (regardless of whether the signal is a false alarm or is initiated as the result of a test, fire drill or genuine fire); if the fire alarm signal has resulted from the operation of a manual call point or fire detector, the device and its location should be recorded;
  4. causes, circumstances surrounding and category of all false alarms (see Section 3);
  5. dates, times and types of all tests;
  6. dates, times and types of all faults and defects; and
  7. dates and types of all maintenance (e.g. service visit or non-routine attention).

NOTE 2  The logbook may be kept in electronic form but needs to be accessible for all interested parties.

BS EN 54-1 Fire detection and fire alarm systems - Introduction

BS EN 54-2 Control and indicating equipment

BS EN 54-3 Fire Alarm Sounders

BS EN 54-4 Power supplies

BS EN 54-5 Point Heat Detectors

BS EN 54-7 Point Smoke Detectors

BS EN 54-10 Point flame detectors

BS EN 54-11 Manual Call Points

BS EN 54-12 Line fire detectors

BS EN 54-13 Compatibility

BS EN 54-14 Installation (BS 5839-8 in UK)

BS EN 54-16 Voice Alarm Control & Indicating Equipment

BS EN 54-17 Short circuit isolators

BS EN 54-18 Input Output Units

BS EN 54-20 Aspirating smoke detectors

BS EN 54-21 Alarm and Fault Routing

BS EN 54-22 Resettable Line heat detectors

BS EN 54-23 visual alarm devices

BS EN 54-24 Loudspeakers

BS EN 54-25 Components using radio links

BS EN 54-26 CO Detectors

BS EN 54-27 Duct Detectors

BS EN 54-28 Non-resettable line-type heat detectors

BS EN 54-29 smoke & heat multisensor point fire detector

BS EN 54-30 CO & Heat multisensor point fire detector

BS EN 54-31 smoke, CO (and heat) multisensor point fire detector

APPENDIX 3

(For detectors)

How about we follow the BSI Fire. Vocabulary BS 4422:2005

3.313

fire detection system

system by which an alarm of fire initiated by a fire detector is given automatically at a central control panel

Be very wary of anything closed protocol!

3.282

fire alarm system

combination of components for giving an audible and/or other perceptible alarm of fire

Closed protocol weakens your procurement strategy and achieving best value.

APPENDIX 4

Participants

Andrew Scott                    C-Tec

Debbie                                Dynamic Knowledge

George Stevenson               ActivePlan

Gordon Rolfe                    Platinum Property Management

Ian Doncaster                   Fire And Smoke Solutions Ltd

Jack White                         Clarion

Jarek Wityk                       Winter Electrical

Joanna Harris                    Sodexo

Luke Hazelwood              L&Q

Paul McSoley                    Mace

Paul Oakley                       ActivePlan

Paul Wooldridge               Haringey

Pauline Tuitt                     L&Q

Philip Wroot                     Hydrock

Tina Mistry                        Aico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 5

A Summary of BS 5839-1 (2017)

 

BS 5839-1:2017 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings – Part 1: Code of practice for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems in non-domestic premises

Writer’s notes

1 The term ‘premises management’ is used to describe the individual or organisation that is responsible for the premises rather than ‘responsible person’ (which has a legal meaning) or building safety manager (which doesn’t yet formally exist).

2 Codes of practice are not intended to be prescriptive and so include recommendations rather than requirements. However, this does not mean that the recommendations can be ignored, and variations need to be justified and formally agreed with relevant people.

3 BS 5839-1 Clause 7, Variations from the recommendations of this standard, describes how variations should be handled. However, in practice, installers tend not to include variations, no matter how sensible, because:

Someone has to take responsibility, and this is rarely forthcoming.
Variations may be used as an excuse to withhold payment.

4 Text in BS 5839-1 in italics is explanatory commentary and does not make recommendations – hence some odd phrases are used to avoid saying ‘should’.

5 Fire alarms for dwellings are covered in BS 5839-6, but this does not include the common areas of general needs blocks of flats. These areas are not dwellings and so are within the scope of BS 5839-1.

6 Voice alarm systems, which are a type of fire alarm that is normally connected to a fire detection system, are covered by BS 5839-8.

7 Emergency voice communication systems, which are two-way speech systems for use by firefighters or for management to communicate with people in refuges, are covered by BS 5839-9.

8 Evacuation alert systems for residential buildings, which are a fire alarm for use only by the fire and rescue service as a last resort, and do not incorporate manual call points or automatic fire detectors, are covered by BS 8629.

When are fire detection and fire alarm systems needed?

The Foreword says “national building regulations[1] require fire detection and fire alarm systems to be installed in many buildings at the time of construction. In addition, legislation requires that, where necessary to safeguard relevant persons in case of fire, existing premises are equipped with "appropriate fire detection and fire alarm systems””.

There are several references to residential care premises but there is no mention of general needs residential buildings, so it is not clear exactly what equipment, if any, should be installed in common areas of residential buildings[2].

Annex A, Choice of appropriate category of fire detection and fire alarm system, lists types of non-domestic premises including places of work such as shops, offices, factories and warehouses; hotels, schools, hospitals; places of assembly such as cinemas, theatres and churches; residential care homes, shopping centres, etc. Absence from the list does not mean that a fire detection and fire alarm system is not needed.

In all cases, a fire risk assessment should be carried out to determine whether a fire detection and fire alarm system is required and, if so, what type of system to install.

What are fire detection and fire alarm systems?

Fire detection and fire alarm systems range from manually operated systems with no automatic detection, through to sophisticated, digitally controlled networks. BS 5839-1, which also applies to extensions and alterations to existing systems says: "the term fire detection and fire alarm systems ... includes systems that range from those comprising only one or two manual call points and sounders to complex networked systems that incorporate a large number of automatic fire detectors, manual call points and sounders, connected to numerous inter-communicating control and indicating panels".

Clause 3 is a list of definitions, from "addressable system" to "zone plan".

Clause 4, Need for a fire detection and fire alarm system and type of system, gives guidance on whether a fire alarm is needed and clause 5, Categories of system talks about the different types of coverage for life protection (M for manual and L for automatic) and property protection (P) systems needed for different types of premises. It is OK for a system to use a mixture of categories to achieve the necessary outcome.

Category L and M - Life Protection

Category M

Category M systems rely on humans to operate manual call points (MCPs) and are useful for places where occupants are likely to notice a fire quickly, or where automatic fire detection would not be reliable, such as workshops. All Category M installations need fire alarm devices such as sounders and visual alarm devices (VADs), to warn people who may be present.

Example of a manual call point

Category L

Category L systems are designed to protect life and so focus on installing automatic fire detectors in escape routes and areas with a high fire risk. There are five categories, L4 gives the least cover and L1 gives total cover. L5 is an ‘engineered’ solution designed to suit specific risks. Category L installations should have fire alarm devices such as sounders, VADs, or voice alarms throughout the building regardless of the requirements for detection devices.

Example of a sounder VAD (beacon)

 

Category L4

Category L4 has MCPs throughout the building and at all final exits and automatic fire detection (AFD) in all escape routes, including stairwells.

A typical optical smoke detector

 

Category L3

L4 plus AFD in all rooms, corridors and compartments that open onto escape routes.

Category L2

L3 plus specified areas of high fire hazard level and/or high fire risk.

Category L1

L1 recommend MCPs and AFD throughout the entire premises. Care should be taken to choose the detector types according to not only the fire risks in each room, but also the persons at risk. For example, heat detectors should not be the primary detector type in bedrooms as they will not provide quick enough warning to protect the occupant's life.

Category L5

Category L5 is used to meet special fire safety objectives, often in variation to the recommendations of BS 5839-1. In common areas of residential buildings this might mean omitting MCPs due a perceived risk of misuse.

Category L5/M

This is a combination of a category M system (MCPs and fire alarm devices throughout) with AFD or other specialised systems with the intention of protecting life in specific areas.

Category P - Property Protection

Although intended to protect property, most Category P systems will provide some protection for life and will be used in addition to Category L requirements. Category P systems are usually provided in response to assessments made by insurance companies.

Category P1

P1 is intended to protect the entire building, and thus requires AFD throughout the premises. However, it is focused on the protection of property so alarm devices (sounders, VADs, voice alarms, etc) are only required where people are likely to be present such as a manned office.

Category P1/M

This means that a full Category M system should be combined with a full Category P1 system and there should be AFD, MCPs, and alarm devices throughout the building.

Category P2

Category P2 uses AFDs in high-risk areas only and are commonly used when combining with a life protection system other than Category M. For example, a building may have L3 protection for escape routes and adjoining rooms, with additional AFD in a server room that is not directly connected to an escape route.

Category P2/M

AFDs as specified for P2 with MCPs and alarm devices throughout the building as per a Category M installation.

SECTION 2, Design considerations

The main design considerations for a fire detection and fire alarm system

Section 2 covers the design process from defining the system category and its fire safety requirements to electrical earthing. Each clause is presented in a clear and easy to follow format, with a commentary on each design aspect, followed by a list of recommendations.

This is a very basic guide so here are important topics.

System type

The commentary in 8.1.1, says " The appropriate extent of automatic fire detection is normally determined by a fire risk assessment, rather than a rigid application of system category to every building of a specific type or occupancy.

System components

It is important that system components, e.g., MCPs, automatic fire detectors, sounders, control and indicating equipment (CIE) and other devices conform to relevant British Standards or are third-party certified to the EN 54 series of European Standards.

Monitoring, integrity and reliability of circuits external to control equipment

The design should limit the effect of faults or maintenance work. A fault (but not fire) signal needs to be given at the CIE in the event of any failure in a critical signal path, which comprises all the components and interconnections between every manual or automatic fire alarm initiation point and the input terminals of each fire alarm device, as well as transmission equipment within the premises for routing of signals to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC).

Detection zones

Sub-dividing a building into detection zones of MCPs and / or AFDs, is recommended for all but the smallest premises. This ensures that those responding to a fire alarm are directed to the location of the fire.

Alarm zones

Most premises have a simple ‘one-out all-out’ evacuation procedure in the event of fire. When an MCP or AFD is activated, an alarm sounds throughout the building to warn everyone to leave. However, in more complex buildings a phased evacuation policy might be appropriate, in which case separate alarm zones will be required. In this case it is recommended that the boundaries of every alarm zone are of fire-resisting construction. As this means that people in some parts of the building will not hear the alarm unless the fire spreads the configuration of alarm zones might require approval by the authorities.

Communication with the fire and rescue service

If fire breaks out it is important that the fire and rescue service is alerted as quickly as possible. Depending on the category of system this can be achieved manually via a telephone call or automatically via a 24-hour manned alarm receiving centre. Category M and category L systems are acceptable in buildings without sleeping accommodation, but category L systems in buildings with sleeping accommodation and category P are likely to benefit from automatic transmission of alarm signals.

Strangely, power supplies, cable types and cable routing for alarm routing equipment that do not comply with BS 5839-1 need not be regarded as a variation in the minimum standby battery capacity and any cable(s) between the CIE and the alarm routing equipment must conform to the recommendations.

Fire alarm devices

It is essential that alarm signals can warn all those for whom they are intended. In some situations, e.g., in noisy spaces or in spaces where people with impaired a hearing will often be alone, such as toilets and hotel bedrooms, it may be necessary to supplement the audible alarm with a flashing light from a VAD, although it is not normally recommended that only a visual alert is used.

In sleeping accommodation such as residential care homes, additional tactile alarm devices that can be placed under pillows or mattresses may also be appropriate. The Standard also gives recommendations relating to portable equipment (pagers) carried by staff or hearing-impaired occupants, usually controlled by radio.

A typical vibrating “pillow pad”

Manual call points

MCPs need to be prominently sited, easily distinguishable from non-fire alarm call points, and distributed so that it is not possible to leave the floor or building without passing one. They should also be enough to ensure that the time between the discovery of a fire and the alarm being sounded is as short as possible. Breaking (or displacing) the glass on an MCP should result in an alarm signal being sent to the CIE immediately, although protective covers may be fitted.

Types of fire detector and their selection

Automatic fire detectors detect one or more of the four main components of a fire, which are: heat, smoke, carbon monoxide; and infrared and / or ultraviolet radiation from flames.

Multi-sensor fire detectors are increasingly available and contain more than one sensor type, each of which responds to a different characteristic of fire. Signals from Multisensors can be analysed by algorithms so that, for instance, a smoke detector will normally be relatively insensitive and so avoid false alarms. However, if the temperature is increasing, the smoke sensitivity is also increased, and a fire alarm signal will be sent very quickly. It is important to make sure that multisensors are certified to the relevant EN 54 standards, which are:

BS EN 54-29 smoke & heat multisensor point fire detector

BS EN 54-30 CO & Heat multisensor point fire detector

BS EN 54-31 smoke, CO (and heat) multisensor point fire detector

 

 

Example of a fire detector and fire alarm device comprising smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detection with an alarm sounder and visual alarm device.

 

The choice of AFD for each space is governed by three main considerations: the speed of response required, as determined by the fire risk assessment and fire safety objectives; the need to minimize false alarms; and the nature of fire hazard. Other issues such as cost and maintenance requirements may also be significant. It is important that all factors are considered at the design stage as no one type of fire detector is suitable for all applications.

The spacing and siting of fire automatic fire detectors is very technical and is covered in detail in sub-section 22.

Control and indicating equipment (CIE); networked systems

The CIE, which is normally installed in an entrance lobby where it can be accessed by the FRS, performs the following main functions: supply of power and automatic monitoring and control of external circuits external; indication of fire and fault signals and their location; and manual controls to enable actions such as routine testing and resetting the system.

In networked systems, the functions of the CIE are distributed amongst several "sub-panels" that are located around the building and interconnected by means of a network. Some sub-panels may only act "repeat indicators", while others may be fully functional control and indicating panels that will continue to operate normally even if the communications link between the sub-panels fails

The rest of Section 2 covers topics such as power supplies; cables, wiring, radio-linked systems and electromagnetic compatibility with other equipment such as mobile phones. The final clause (29) concerns electrical earths with attention drawn to maintenance issues and the need to ensure the adequate earthing and protection against shock from exposed metal parts.

The main installation issues

Fire alarms are electrical systems that need to be connected to the mains electricity supply by an electrician who can issue an electrical safety certificate. According to the IET, an electrician is generally someone who has completed an apprenticeship and holds a Level 3 technical and vocational qualification or Level 3 Diploma.

However, there are no legal requirements for installers of fire alarms to have any formal qualifications, but there are several schemes for demonstrating competence that will help responsible clients ensure that work is of an acceptable standard, such as BAFE SP203.

Limiting false alarms

It is vital that MCPs or AFDs are sited so that the possibility of false alarms is limited as much as possible: for example, smoke detectors should never be fitted in kitchens (cooking fumes) or bathrooms (steam). Clause 21, Types of fire detector and their selection, describes the fundamental design considerations when using point AFDs and optical beam smoke detectors, and offers an example of the issues that might be picked up and flagged to the designer or end user at the installation stage.

BS 5839-1 makes it clear that, unless the installer is also the designer, "the identification of design shortcomings is not generally the responsibility of an installer", however, best practice is that "if the installer is aware of such shortcomings, particularly those arising from features of the building that might not have been known to the designer, they be drawn to the attention of the designer, user or purchaser".

Responsibility for compliance

It is important that, before the installation of a fire detection and fire alarm system starts, one organisation accepts responsibility for compliance of the installation. This is emphasised because more than one organisation may be involved from design through to installation, commissioning and handover.

For example, following the risk assessment, a designer may specify the system for quotation. The successful bidder is likely to be a main electrical contractor, who may sub-contract the work to a specialist fire alarm contractor, who may, in turn, employ sub-contractors for running cables. In this case, it is likely that the specialist fire alarm contractor will accept the responsibility and issue the relevant certificates

What happens once the installation is complete?

Commissioning

Commissioning involves testing the installation for compliance with BS 5839-1 and the specification. This should be carried out by a "competent person", who possesses the relevant current training, experience and capability to perform the task in accordance with all the relevant drawings and reference materials.

The purpose of commissioning is to ensure the installation was carried out and that the system operates correctly as designed, and that, for example, the audibility of the sounders is acceptable.

Documentation

Adequate records and other documents must be provided to purchaser of the fire detection and fire alarm system. It is particularly important to include accurate "as-fitted" drawings and operation and maintenance manuals describing operational details of the system. Also, design, installation and commissioning certificates and records of any agreed variations from the design specification.

A logbook should be provided for the user to record all system events, such as weekly tests, fire alarm and fault signals, routine maintenance visits, etc. Annex F gives an example of the layout of an acceptable logbook.

Certification

Once a system has been commissioned, certificates must be provided for design, installation and commissioning. Certification can be carried out more than one organisation but, "it is essential that the person who signs these certificates is competent to verify whether the recommendations of this Standard in respect of the process to which the certificate refers have, or have not, been satisfied".  Annex G gives examples of model certificates.

Following satisfactory certification, the system should be formally handed over to the purchaser. At this point, the organisation that has accepted responsibility for the system should issue a certificate of acceptance for the purchaser to complete.

On large or complex installations, the purchaser may commission an optional independent check of the system, in which case Annex G also includes a model verification certificate, that can be sued to confirm compliance with the recommendations of BS 5839-1.

Once the handover has been completed, responsibility for the day-to-day running and maintenance of the system passes to the premises management, which is covered by Section 6, Maintenance.

Maintenance

Regardless of the system’s built-in fault monitoring, this cannot be relied on to ensure that a fire detection and fire alarm system will always be fully operational and that no changes have taken place to the building that will prevent this happening.

There are three main reasons for routine maintenance and testing

  1. To identify any faults and make sure they are rectified
  2. To ensure there have been no major failures of the system
  3. To familiarise occupants of the building with the fire alarm signal(s)

It is important that the premises management to institutes set up  a schedule of weekly and monthly tests, and record them in the logbook (Annex F).

Weekly user tests

  1. Operate one MCP during normal working hours at approximately the same time each week
  2. Additional tests at least once a month for any staff who are not usually present during the weekly test
  3. A different MCP to be tested each week so that all tested over time.
  4. The alarm should not sound for more than a one minute so that the occupants can distinguish between tests and a real fire alarm.

Voice alarms should be tested weekly in line with BS 5839-8, which recommends that, because the meaning of a voice alarm is very clear, it is likely that occupants will respond in less than a minute, weekly tests should be done out of hours with one test every three months when the building is occupied.

Monthly user tests

  1. If the standby power supply includes an automatically started emergency generator, this should be tested every month
  2. If the standby power supply has vented batteries, these should be inspected visually. Also, all vented batteries and their connections should be examined every three months by a person competent in battery technology

Inspection and servicing by a specialist

It is important that regular inspection and servicing of is carried out to identify and rectify any faults, including causes of false alarms. The user should be notified of any changes made to the building such as extensions, alterations, or remedial work that might affect the fire alarm. Changes in use and or occupancy levels can also alter the effectiveness of the fire alarm so this must also be considered.

Inspection and servicing visits should not be more than six months apart and failure to implement this recommendation will result in the system no longer being compliant with BS 5839-1, with no allowance for variation.

Because of the specialist nature of the work, inspections are usually contracted out to a fire alarm service organisation, whose competence can be assured by third-party certification such as BAFE SP203.

Functions included in the periodic inspection and testing of the system include an examination of the logbook including following up on any recorded faults, and a visual inspection of all the MCPs, AFDs and fire alarm devices, Clause 45.3 gives recommendations for periodic system inspection and testing as well as some annual tasks. As this is a labour-intensive, some elements can be spread over two or more service visits during each twelve-month period.

Clause 45.3 also recommends that all types of detectors be tested in such a way that the stimulus they are designed to measure (normally smoke) passes into each detector and is detected. This is normally done with a special test ‘pole’ that injects a tiny amount of stimulus into the detector.

Clause 45.4.j. gives recommendations for the testing of multi-sensor detectors.

There are several recommendations related to non-routine attention to the fire alarm. These range from the appointment of a new servicing organisation, which will need a special inspection of the system, through fault repair and system modifications to inspection and test of the system following a fire.

User's responsibilities and premises management

Fire detection and fire alarm system are intended to protect life and or property and so it is essential that maintenance, inspection and testing of are carried out on a regular, scheduled basis.

This is a complex process that can involve several different parties, so BS 5839-1 recommends that the system user appoints "a single, named member of the premises management to supervise all matters pertaining to the fire detection and fire alarm system". This places responsibility firmly in the hands of one individual whose role is "to ensure that the system is tested and maintained in accordance with the recommendations of this part [Section 7: User's responsibilities] of BS 5839”.

These responsibilities include: the keeping the system records and relevant documents, ensuring that occupants of the protected premises are aware of any role or responsibility assigned to them in respect of the fire detection and fire alarm system; and that the system itself is protected from any development that might negatively affect the standard of protection or contribute to false alarms.

The logbook is important and should contain details of the person responsible for the fire detection and fire alarm system and a record of all events, whether scheduled or not, such as tests, routine maintenance visits, fault signals, alarm signals, etc). This information can be invaluable to whoever services the system and might also provide evidence of compliance with fire safety legislation, should the need arise.

List of EN 54 product standards

BS EN 54-1 Fire detection and fire alarm systems - Introduction

BS EN 54-2 Control and indicating equipment

BS EN 54-3 Fire Alarm Sounders

BS EN 54-4 Power supplies

BS EN 54-5 Point Heat Detectors

BS EN 54-7 Point Smoke Detectors

BS EN 54-10 Point flame detectors

BS EN 54-11 Manual Call Points

BS EN 54-12 Line fire detectors

BS EN 54-13 Compatibility

BS EN 54-14 Installation (BS 5839-1 in UK)

BS EN 54-16 Voice Alarm Control & Indicating Equipment

BS EN 54-17 Short circuit isolators

BS EN 54-18 Input Output Units

BS EN 54-20 Aspirating smoke detectors

BS EN 54-21 Alarm and Fault Routing

BS EN 54-22 Resettable Line heat detectors

BS EN 54-23 visual alarm devices

BS EN 54-24 Loudspeakers

BS EN 54-25 Components using radio links

BS EN 54-26 CO Detectors

BS EN 54-27 Duct Detectors

BS EN 54-28 Non-resettable line-type heat detectors

BS EN 54-29 smoke & heat multisensor point fire detector

BS EN 54-30 CO & Heat multisensor point fire detector

BS EN 54-31 smoke, CO (and heat) multisensor point fire detector

 

Disclaimer

This guide is an overview of the main recommendations of BS 5839-1 2017, and, of necessity, a lot of detail is missing so it must not be relied on. If you need to understand details of the standard, a copy can be bought from the BSI https://shop.bsigroup.com.

BIM4H Cavity Barriers Guidance

BIM4H Cavity Barriers GuidanceBy Richard Freer

Below are recommendations that we, as BIM4Housing, are putting forward as the findings of our subject matter experts. We do not claim these findings to be definitive, but we would hope that they would provide ‘accountable’ and ‘responsible’ persons with some of the detail they would require to ensure that risks are mitigated.

Format

The structure of this set of information is designed to be consumed in various ways by different stakeholder groups doing different things. Therefore, information mentioned in one section may be repeated in another, so they can be applied to a particular activity.

Also, we have sought to organize the information to make it more machine-readable so, although the lists could be reduced by combining similar items, this would make them less easily used in applications.

Despite the need to edit and contextualise, we have tried to retain the authentic voice of our experts throughout. This is especially so in the Appendices, where no colloquialism is left unturned.

Terms of use

This document is not intended as an end-result, but as a snapshot of a dynamic, on-going piece of work being developed by Subject Matter Experts who represent the different interest groups.

We hope it is helpful but is not definitive because, as we have learned from our collaboration, no one knows everything. It should therefore be used to supplement other sources of information, all of which should be validated by a responsible person applying it to a project.

Comments and additional contributions are welcome, and a panel of volunteer experts will review suggestions to assess/validate them and augment the guidance as required.

It will be available for free at www.bim4housing.com but should not be printed and used offline, because the information may be updated and be no longer valid.

INTRODUCTION

Structure

We have six Working Groups of experts who understand the individual Stakeholder needs of Development, Design, Construction, Manufacturing, Operations, and the specialist Advisors who support the whole process. Each Working Group determines the problems they are experiencing that could be alleviated by better information, often from a different Stakeholder group and they collectively establish Workstreams to collaborate and share knowledge to come up with practical solutions.

They have established Workstreams for MMC, Data Standardisation, Sustainability and Fire Safety and the latter has, in turn, established Round Table workshops that bring together SMEs who really understand specific asset types. Outputs from the workshops will feed into the GTI.

(See Appendix 1 for Structure Diagram)

Fire Safety Methodology

It was determined to take individual fire-critical assets and examine impacts and influences through their lifecycle. A series of online discussions were held, along with one-on-one calls and an email gathering of views and inputs. This culminated in a series of Roundtable discussions, each with a clear focus and targeted output. BIM4Housing’s expert team was enhanced by guests from the GTI, along with other fire safety specialists throughout.

Phase 1 defined the over-arching questions that need to be answered, for each asset type, to deliver the BIM-plus solution necessary to the effective functioning of the Golden Thread in terms of Fire Safety.

The questions defined are:

  • What risks does the asset mitigate?
  • To what risks is the asset, itself, susceptible?
  • What information is needed about an asset, to ensure it performs as required?
  • What tasks/method statements/procedures are required to ensure the asset is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?
  • What level of competency/training needs to be in place?
  • How should product changes be recorded?

Phase 2 sought to answer those questions, offering a definitive guide to the delivery of The Golden Thread through the effective management of required information.

Cavity Barriers Methodology

The outputs from a first Roundtable (20th July 2021) were finessed at a second Roundtable (3rd August 2021). In each case, significant participant engagement was achieved prior to each event, with each Roundtable having different participants.

What is a Cavity Barrier?

Cavity Barriers are there to decrease the spread of smoke and flames between fire compartment separations within hidden voids and uninterrupted cavities withing buildings, such as external cavity walls, raised access floors or suspended ceilings. They support the essential delay of fire spread to allow people to safely evacuate a building, as required by building regulations, while contributing to some level of property protection. They are a hidden, yet critical part of the passive fire protection components within a building. However, the term “cavity barrier” also applies to other barriers used in different locations. Approved Document B gives some added clarity (See Appendix 2)

FINDINGS

It was determined to look to ‘codify’ risks to enable teams to coalesce around tackling a problem, run scenarios to simulate what might happen and how collaboration can reduce the risk of them happening.

Two other GTI Working Groups, H&S and Standards, have been working with NBS to extend Uniclass to carry a more detailed set of risks and, those identified here, can form part of that.

Clearly, it is not desirable for the ‘Accountable Person’ to be absolved of responsibility for not anticipating a risk, simply because it was not on the list of suggested risks- which should be considered a ‘steer’ not an absolute. However, without that list, it becomes impossible to define and deliver the information needed.

1a. What risks do Cavity Barriers mitigate?

  • Risk of smoke build-up
  • Risk of heat build-up
  • Risk to fire-fighter’s access
  • The risk of the spread of fire and products of fire (fire, smoke, heat) via cavities in external and internal walls, along with other concealed cavities (such a roof and ceiling voids)
  • The risk of spread of fire, smoke, and heat between building compartmentations.
  • Risk of speed of fire and smoke spread
  • Risk of number of uncontained areas
  • Risk of inhibiting safe exit from the building
  • Risk of fire brigade not having enough time to attend before fire spread
  • Risk of system failure.
  • Risk of Injury/harm/loss of life to residents/occupants.
  • Risk of smoke damage and subsequence.
  • Risk of compromising security, both for the building and individual apartments, when doors don’t close properly or are propped open.
  • Risk of reduced thermal efficiency
  • Risk of degraded acoustics.
  • Risk of damage to property, building or structure

1b. To what risks are Cavity Barriers, themselves, susceptible?

  • Risk of additional items having been placed into an escape route (such as a sofa), not having been considered at design stage, could provide fuel for a fire and have the potential to counteract the AOV/smoke extraction system
  • Risk of incorrect replacement components having been installed
  • Risk of human intervention on ancillary assets, such as smoke detectors, impacting on asset performance
  • Risk of information on an individual asset being incomplete, inaccurate or absent
  • Risk of information on an individual asset not being supplied in both digital and physical format
  • Risk that the asset has not been tested against the ‘Cause and Effect’ document
  • Risk of other trades and employees not appreciating the asset’s function and so compromising its performance
  • Risk of non-appreciation of the differences between performance of assets in compartmentalised areas versus performance of asset’s in shared circulation areas
  • Risk of vandalism or simply misuse

Materials

  • Building movement–
  • In service and under fire load / shrinkage
  • Excessive water damage
  • Some Laboratory testing not covering real-life scenarios

Installation

  • Refurbishments and upgrades, which (unknowingly and unchecked) Puncture of the cavity barrier during refurbishment or upgrade, such as:
    1. External Façade treatment – addition of new wall panels or disturbing the cavity barrier in situ
    2. Thermal improvement installations within the building
  • Installation of new services through the ceiling space and walls, and partitions without an understanding of the role/duty of the above elements in the general arrangements, and reinstatement to functionality
    1. Installation of new fixtures and fittings
    2. Lack of appropriate remedial /replacement fire-stopping or reinstating of cavity barrier after refurbishments, repairs and renewals.
  • Foil tape obscuring missing elements in installation

Inspection

  • Foil tape obscuring missing elements due to insufficient inspection

2. What information is needed about Cavity Barriers to ensure they perform as required?

  • Type of Cavity Barrier
  • Size of cavity
  • Manufacturer
  • Design life
  • ‘As Built’ drawings and documentation should be made a requirement of the contract

Specification

  • Cavity seal material
  • Insulation type
  • Product composition
  • Product integrity rating
  • Evidence that the design has been carried out appropriately by competent persons
  • Evidence of the design is suitable

Performance

  • Product insulation rating
  • Minutes/hours of fire resistance
  • integration and insulation ratings
  • Evidence the right product has been used (to include demonstration of suitability for intended use, product specification and limitations, use-specific test evidence.)
  • Performance characteristics,
  • The responsibility of the cavity barrier towards enabling the building element to perform its role as needed
  • Projected movements and tolerances of walls and floors
  • Projected wind/snow load

Materials

  • Surrounding substrates
  • Fitted vertically or horizontally
  • Cavity trays fitted
  • Weep vents
  • Record of batch numbers, purchase orders and delivery notes to ensure traceability

Construction

  • Position of wall ties
  • Party walls
  • Mobility of cavity barrier– can it be repositioned?
  • Wall type (brick, concrete, light wall etc.) and fire rating

Installation

  • Specific location
  • Evidence that the installation has been carried out appropriately by competent persons
  • Evidence that the installation methods are suitable
  • Evidence that the product is specified in design documents and site-specific methods of installation have been considered by designers
  • Dated site images of the installation alongside written records (taking note of elements that will be covered up in the final build)
  • End use certification
  • Installer and their certification
  • Documentation confirming its having been installed in accordance with installation instructions
  • Installation date
  • The general arrangement of building element that the cavity barrier is to be installed in.
  • The role /duty that the said building element (that is to receive the cavity barrier) is playing in the general arrangement of the building
  • A listing of all components and accessories of the cavity barrier and the part each one plays in ensuring that the cavity barrier performs as required
  • Immediate vicinity (electric, duct etc.)
  • Traceability of “hidden” cavity barriers.
  • Time of installation/mounting (over time some cavity barriers tend to “age” with the building)

Inspection

  • If it is to be inspected; how?
  • Evidence that the inspection has been carried out appropriately by competent persons

Maintenance

  • Maintenance requirements
  • Contact for replacement materials
  • Evidence that the maintenance and servicing has been carried out appropriately by competent persons

3. What tasks/method statements/procedures are required to ensure a Cavity Barrier is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?

(It should be a given that any work on fire safety critical assets should always be undertaken by competent people, probably 3rd party accredited. However, that person must be supported with any information that they might need to reduce the risk of an important step being missed and to provide an auditable record of what tasks were completed. This is common practice in M&E maintenance, where the industry has developed a significant library of standard procedures and tasks lists, along with roles/competency required.

An air-conditioning unit is maintained by a qualified air conditioning engineer, but the engineer is also issued with a check list for them to record what was done.

A similar industry-wide check list for installation, commissioning, handover, maintenance and recycling could be agreed.)

Correct installation is critical to the success of the cavity barrier. Buildings will ‘move’ over time and its performance must be assessed against a potential fire in a building that could happen years after installation.

Requirements

  • Legislation/standards it complies with
  • Warranty conditions/service life statement

Specification

  • Specification of the cavity barrier must not be changed from that specified for the external wall system
  • Fire engineering assessments might be acceptable from a competent Chartered Fire Engineer. The client’s consultants and contractors should appreciate the limitations in the direct field of application (DIAP) for product tests

Materials

  • Do not make substitutions of products when system tested (which might be LPS 1501 system testing for Modular) unless extended field of application (EXAP) rules have been established by the system test standard. For BS 8414 there are substitution rules in BS 9414

Installation

  • As built / O&M manuals to show the locations of the cavity barriers that have been installed.
  • Application of the barriers including compatible components (manufacturers guidance and test evidence that they can be installed within that guidance)
  • Product lifespan within the specific system it is being used within (if installed within an external facia having a 2-year product lifespan would not be suitable. This may be within the manufacturer’s guidelines)
  • 100% photographic records of installation for Cavity Barriers that are permanently inaccessible
  • Preferably third-party certified materials, products and systems should be installed by third party certified installers, under UKAS accreditation

Inspection

  • Proof of competency of inspectors
  • Ensure that system tests are representative of the building
  • Post work inspection
  • Ensure access to cavity barriers is always possible

4. What level of competency/training needs to be in place?

(Industry training courses are critical, but they must be complemented by additional knowledge-transfer from people with many years real experience.

Individual manufacturers have product-specific training which complements the more general training. Such training resources need to be provided in all cases where a product is used – both for new build but also as part of the long-term H&S/O&M information, ideally held as machine-readable data in the Asset information model to ensure maintenance teams have easy access to critical information.)

Installation

  • Those involved in the design and installation should be able to demonstrate training /qualifications relevant to the systems they design/install and be members of a recognised organisation such as the Smoke Control Association with accreditation through the likes of the UKAS Approved IFC SDI 19 Smoke Control System Installer Accreditation Scheme
  • Competency of individual installers demonstrated through certification with a suitable 3rd party accreditation provider. This should include the provision of the manufacturer’s fitting instructions
  • Specification of which third party accreditations are acceptable (e.g. Trada, Firas, BM Trada, IFC etc.) should be required
  • Ongoing demonstrable CPD of installer (not simply the company they work for). For example, operatives installing products should have achieved L2 NVQ Diploma in Wood Occupations (Construction) – Site Carpentry (CSCS blue card) or L2 NVQ Diploma in Associated Industrial Services Occupations – Passive Fire Protection (Construction), both with the mandatory module for Installing Fire Resisting Timber Door sets in the Workplace
  • Supervisors should have achieved L3 NVQ Diploma in Wood Occupations (Construction) -Site Carpentry (CSCS gold card), or IFE Level 3 Certificate in Passive Fire Protection or be named as a competent supervisor in the company UKAS accreditation (see https://essentialsiteskills.co.uk/course-index)
  • Installer should have manufacturer-led product-specific installation training, in addition to any formal UKAS accreditation.
  • Manufacturers should offer installation training, either in their own right, or sub-contracted out to a specialist to provide that service
  • code of practice should include training materials
  • Competence of trainers needs to be determined

Maintenance

  • Manufacturer-specific installation, commissioning, inspection, maintenance/repair, replacement, and recycling requirements should be retained to inform future maintainers of the manufacturers’ recommendations.
  • Mandatory awareness training should be in place for all people working on site and carrying out maintenance in buildings
  • Training for the operational team should be required on Standards (BS, CEN etc.) plus to give a basic understanding of how to read drawings, commissioning certs, O&M’s,
  • BSI Flex 8670 focuses on the competence of individuals and expects that organisations use this core criteria as part of their management of competency (planning, monitoring, reviewing etc.). This also enables the capture of the skills, knowledge, experience, and behaviors necessary to the undertaking of a defined role, function, activity, or task.

5. How should product changes be recorded?

If information is not updated, it isn’t information anymore. It is misleading and, possibly, down-right dangerous. If the systems and processes to keep information current are not trusted, then the value of even correct information is compromised.

Robust Change Management requires an information baseline against which the different states – current, proposed, final and ongoing change – can be measured and reported.

The baseline information should contain the required performance in a machine-readable/actionable form and the Change Management process should enable that to be compared with:

  1. the actual performance of the designed solution (probably generic)
  2. the performance of the chosen product against the generic
  3. the performance of an alternative (value engineered?) product
  4. the record of what was actually used/installed.

Requirements and Suggestions

  • A schedule of safety critical elements for the building, to include products specified
  • Baseline against which to compare proposed alternative products (Some designers have expressed reluctance to propose (not specify) a specific manufactured product that will satisfy their design due to liability, procurement rules and fees)
  • This schedule would be “Locked” at a specific design stage, after which changes to products specified should not occur except for exceptional reasons
  • A formal change management system is required to ensure that any unavoidable changes are validated by a ‘responsible’ person e.g. original designer and/or fire engineer
  • There is a well-established change management process in construction called Technical Submissions in which requested changes from the specifications/recommendations, that were created by the designers (and selected manufacturers), need to be formally reviewed and approved. Design-and-Build procurement has affected that process and it should be reestablished in a way that the performance of a proposed product, and its constituent components, is easily compared with the proposed alternative and, if agreed, it is recorded as a Technical Deviation
  • Validation of changes would include verifying that the new product met all the requirements for the application with no detriment to the overall design, the details of which should be recorded (Changes in the product may be made between design and procurement, procurement and installation, handover and ongoing maintenance)
  • More onus needs to be on the client during the collation of Information Requirements and the updating of design models into ‘as installed’ content suitable for Asset/Facilities Management
  • Full Disclosure of the product is needed at handover so that after Work Stage 7, if a manufacturer goes out of business or products change the record is there in perpetuity
  • Asset database must be kept up to date with core data for new installs. Installation documents should be held in a centralised digital location. Once BIM/COBie level data is manageable within the asset management system then this will be used as the main source of data.
  • BIM, CAFM, Asset and Housing mgt systems must inform the change management process
  • H&S files for each building (cradle to grave) must be supplied, recorded and be updated with notification of changes and the implications.
  • Warranty information of the existing and the proposed products should be provided to allow proper consideration to be made on the selection of an alternative or replacement. If a product has a shorter life than another, this information should be available to inform selection. Given some of the products will be in locations that are difficult to locate, the longevity of a product could have safety implications.
  • Compliance systems should be informed with the information from the AIM
  • Asset tagging (barcode) systems and processes should be considered as forming part of the change management process.
  • Procurement should be included in the process, recording what was purchased and feeding that into the BIM process to locate where they were installed, or which products they are replacing.
  • Specification or design brief for the business (performance and or product) should be recorded in a machine-readable format to enable validation against the Golden Thread.
  • Record the compatibility and compliance of any ancillaries and confirm they comply with the test data? (Ironmongery, door access control systems, vision panels, vents)
  • Any adjustment, repair, addition to / removal of product, ironmongery or fittings must be recorded and should only be undertaken by a licensed / accredited contractor (this includes and modification to an existing asset)
  • The asset information needs to enable comparison but the original performance spec of the AOV and the related information such as Fire Strategy and Cause and Effect should form part of that Technical Deviation process. The FMs must be able to update the Asset Information Model with machine-readable data of the newly installed product
  • Recording who has worked on/replaced the component and their entitlement/competence to do so
  • Evidence that the component’s performance in relation to the part it plays in the system has been considered and is warranted
  • Manufacturers must provide a component list (e.g. ironmongery on a door) so if anything breaks, a direct replacement can be used.
  • Removal of certain products/materials must be undertaken by people who are on an approved list, certified by an accreditation body and should require advance notice to all certification holders, with signoff to ensure traceability

(See Appendix 8 for Additional Participant Input)

APPENDIX 1

BIM4Housing Structure

APPENDIX 2

 

APPENDIX 3

Additional Participant Input Question 1a

 

BUILDING REGS DEAL WITH LIFE SAFETY – NOT PROPERTY

There is always a risk of a fire in a flat or building. the risk is to life and property and depending on the audience will depend on interpretation of that risk and the risk appetite. A fire in a flat which doesn’t spread beyond the flat of origin can kill the occupants and destroy the home. The legal enforcers (HSE and Fire Brigade) are only interested in fires that spread beyond the flat of origin because it relates to the law on which they enforce. The risk to life or injury or property damage is real from any fire, but the consequence and risk appetite of that risk depends on the audience, owner, occupier, business, enforcer.

The law says:

B3 Internal fire spread (structure)

B3-(4)

“The building shall be designed and constructed so that the unseen spread of fire and smoke within concealed spaces in its structure and fabric is inhibited.”

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/2214/schedule/1/made

In Approved Document Part B Appendix A: Key terms the definition of Cavity Barrier is:

“A construction within a cavity, other than a smoke curtain, to perform either of the following functions.

  • Close a cavity to stop smoke or flame entering.
  • Restrict the movement of smoke or flame within a cavity.”

This is in contrast to the ADB Appendix A: Key terms definition for Fire Stopping, which is:

“A seal provided to close an imperfection of fit or design tolerance between elements or components, to restrict the spread of fire and smoke.”

ADB makes a clear distinction between cavity barriers and fire stopping as:

ADB Volume 1 – Diagram 8.1 Provisions for cavity barriers (Flats)

ADB Volume 2 – Diagram 9.1 Provisions for cavity barriers

There are four distinct categories of cavities:

    1. Cavities concealed by non-fire resisting internal construction
      ADB Diagram 8.1/9.1 expects 30(E)15(I) cavity barriers internally below raised floors, behind wall linings and above suspended ceilings, or above ceilings below a roof.
    2. Cavities within external cavity walls
      ADB excludes double-leaf masonry cavity walls with leaves of a minimum of 75mm, which is also applied to double-leaf concrete cavity walls or combinations of masonry and concrete leaves. Otherwise ADB Diagram 8.1/9.1 expects minimum 30(E)15(I) cavity barriers within external cavity walls. But ADB allows the external wall to have no minimum fire resistance and does not require a protected zone at the edges of internal compartment walls and floors, which might also be a party wall condition.
    3. Cavities within roof construction
      ADB Diagram 8.1/9.1 does not graphically recognise this category. ADB allows the roof to have no minimum fire resistance and does not require a protected zone at the edges of internal compartment walls, which might also be a party wall condition.
    4. Cavities within internal compartment walls and floors
      ADB Diagram 8.1/9.1 does not graphically recognise this category. Cavities are present within internal compartment walls or floors in any building that is not solid wall and floor construction, which is frequently the case in Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). It is important to control cavities of this category and ADB should be augmented. In this category it is better to think of fire stopping relating to compartmentation, rather than cavity barriers.

APPENDIX 4

Additional Participant Input Question 1b

As an installer, we are asked to certify installations, yet they should be installed to manufacturers’ tested solutions and then certified by us as installing to that – if there are not tested solutions, and Building Control will not accept this.

Significant Water ingress can also contaminate the product and therefore could create respiratory issues within the building over time. Curtain Walling fixing details do not always allow a full installation of slab edge products, yet it is not always possible to install from mast climbers. There is no one ‘passing’ buildings, it just needs to be inspected as you go

If extensive cavities within internal compartment walls and floors include combustible materials, that fire load may be vulnerable to fire penetrating through building services or as gaps open in the deflecting primary or infill structures, allowing flame, heat and hot or cold smoke to spread unseen and inaccessibly beyond the compartment of origin. In the case of Permanent Stacked Modular Buildings that can mean horizontally and vertically.

Open State Cavity barrier products as standard, are often tested within a laboratory in with a clear uninterrupted cavity. Often these cavities are populated with bracketry which means the contractor has to install the barriers in 2 pieces or cut around the element. This is as standard, not tested, especially with open state cavity barriers where handy angle which supports cladding panels where a clear cavity for drainage and ventilation is required. It is possible and quite common for individual manufacturers to design and develop project specific tests, based on EN and other applicable standards, that replicate, as far as is practicable the end use condition. Supplementary Evidence of performance can also be gained using data from BS 8414 or equivalent tests, which are system tests, and therefore can assess the role/performance of cavity barriers in more realistic end use conditions. Manufacturers undertaking product tests are obliged to follow the procedures mandated by the standards, EN/BS/ASTM/industry sponsored that they test to, and these focus on the performance of the product in isolation. When they adapt the test for an alternative construction other than mandated, the output is considered “ad hoc” and whilst useful in terms of understanding, is not considered bona fide under the rules of the test standard itself.

This also includes the increasing use of steel masonry support angles which are fixed the edges of concrete slabs and create a lot of spatial congestion in terms of their depth and content. The ideal positioning for a cavity barrier is away from this congestion in external walls, so that a clear uninterrupted barrier is formed

Foil faced stone wool slab cavity barrier systems use foil tape to seal abutting joints. I have found that foil tape hides elements of barriers which are missing due to workmanship/practical installation issues. Not sure how you can combat this without getting rid of the foil face systems or increasing the frequency of inspections to mitigate.

 

APPENDIX 5

Additional Participant Input Question 2

 

There is currently no published harmonised EN test for Cavity Barriers. The promised BS EN 1364-6 from 2016 has failed to be completed. Until that impasse is resolved:

 

      • EOTA TR 031 Fire Resistance Tests for Cavity Barriers – 2008 and ETAG 026 Fire Stopping and Fire Sealing Products – Part 5 Cavity Barriers – 2011 are the only guidance available for “Closed State” cavity barriers in all four categories of cavity construction. EOTA TR 031 considered that Intumescent materials have a service life of 10 or 25 years, but no longer is proven as a state of the art. At the time of the development of the EOTA standard in 2011, 10 years ago, 10/25 years was considered sufficient, and reflected industry requirements more than it did the potential physical capabilities of the intumescent itself, in relevant exposure conditions. Recent multiple exposures/weathering using the nominated tests in EOTA TR 031 of OSCB (open state cavity barriers) by some manufacturers, have proven that service lives of 60 years are available. Individual manufacturers should be consulted for their positions on service life and the appropriate evidence to support any claims

 

      • 16/30324104 DC BS EN 1364-6. Fire resistance tests for non-loadbearing elements. Part 6. Cavity Barriers can be read for “Open State” cavity barriers in the external wall, which in practice are fixed horizontally only.

 

It was never the intention of the technical committee that OSCB thinking could be applied to the category of cavities within internal compartment walls and floors. The use of OSCB is primarily now in ventilated cavities within external walls.

 

It is possible and current industry practice to use the BS EN 1366-4:2006+A1:2010 Fire resistance tests for service installations. Linear joint seals as fire stopping in the BS EN 1366 series that relate to Building Services. This test is primarily for unventilated, aka “Full fill” cavity barrier types, where no ventilation is required and intumescent are generally not required. This is a test is carried out between two rigid fixed concrete sides to a furnace aperture, as are most of the product level tests of this nature, as they are designed to assess the performance of the product “in isolation” If the substrate into which cavity barriers are fitted are neither concrete and are affected by movements and tolerances, a fire engineering assessment is required for their application, or evidence from tests such as BS 8414 or similar ad hoc tests.

 

ETAG 026 GUIDELINE FOR EUROPEAN TECHNICAL APPROVAL of Fire Stopping and Fire Sealing Products Part 5 Cavity Barriers

CE marking/UKCA certification attested against a product standard for fire seal products identifies a number of essential characteristics a fire seal must provide in addition to its fire performance including reaction to fire, durability, environmental use and content, release or emission of dangerous substances.

These properties are essential for selecting the correct product. I know that some open state cavity barriers can be exposed to the elements for a long number of weeks before being closed in. This is quite common, and the individual manufacturer should be consulted to provide assurance/comment on the exposure of the products to the elements.

New building method, such as the use of SFS and sheathing boards are not always thought through properly. Although the SFS wall construction may be classified for a specified fire resistance, that is from one side of a room to another.

What happens if the sheathing boards run continuously with the edge of the concrete slab, for a cavity barrier between floors?

 

Intumescent materials embedded within compartment floors and walls cannot be accessed. Permanent Stacked Modular Buildings: Technical Checklist for England – Issue 01

https://www.riscauthority.co.uk/public-resources/documents/resource/iq8-technical-checklist-for-england-permanent-stacked-modular-buildings-753

https://www.riscauthority.co.uk/resource-download/753

IQ8 Building System Questionnaire: Permanent Stacked Modular Buildings – Version 1.0

https://www.riscauthority.co.uk/public-resources/documents/resource/iq8-buildings-system-questionnaire-permanent-stacked-modular-buildings-interactive-748

https://www.riscauthority.co.uk/resource-download/748

Is this Uniclass or Uniclass 2015, which is the proprietary version monetised by NBS.

What about CAWS classifications available in NBS Chorus?

Most contractors are still using Common Arrangement of Work Sections as an alphanumeric. Can they be doubly defined to CAWS and Uniclass?

 

As a sub-contractor the issue we have with BIM, and the language you referred to, means that we need to wait until this has been agreed – or we end up buying a Betamax and everyone else is on VHS!

 

 

Risk to cavity barrier – testing procedure for PVC cavity closers filled with stonewool and are tested as linear joint seals. They are never tested as a 3D seal, and you will find in all PVC cavity closers that there is a hole with no barrier in each corner.

 

Testing of cavity barriers – if a cement/other sheathing board over sails a concrete floor slab 2 cavities are formed: 1 between the board and floor slab and one between sheathing board and cladding.

No testing has been done on the integrity of a single sheet of cement or sheathing board; boards are tested as walls fitted to a metal/timber stud from one side of a room to the other. There is industry work underway to test cavity barriers and the performance of same within SFS constructions.

 

 

 

APPENDIX 6

Additional Participant Input Question 3

 

 

There is test data on cavity barriers attached to different internal substrates – Steel Frame and Timber Frame, plus numerous BS 8414 tests. If your opinion of BS 8414 is not positive that’s a choice, but the data exists, so to say there is no test data is not correct

 

Insurers in future may require proof that Cavity Barriers or Fire Stopping were installed to all joints to satisfy Requirement B3-(4) of Schedule 1. of the 2010 Building Regulations, which is a life safety requirement under Regulation 8 of the 2010 Building Regulations and Section 1 of the 1984 Building Act.

 

In Approved Document Part B Appendix, A: Key terms the definition of Cavity Barrier is:

“A construction within a cavity, other than a smoke curtain, to perform either of the following functions.

      • Close a cavity to stop smoke or flame entering.
      • Restrict the movement of smoke or flame within a cavity.”

This is in contrast to the ADB Appendix A: Key terms definition for Fire Stopping, which is:

“A seal provided to close an imperfection of fit or design tolerance between elements or components, to restrict the spread of fire and smoke.”

ADB makes a clear distinction between cavity barriers and fire stopping as:

ADB Volume 1 – Diagram 8.1 Provisions for cavity barriers (Flats)

ADB Volume 2 – Diagram 9.1 Provisions for cavity barriers

​There are four distinct categories of cavities:

      1. Cavities concealed by non-fire resisting internal construction

ADB Diagram 8.1/9.1 expects 30(E)15(I) cavity barriers internally below raised floors, behind wall linings and above suspended ceilings, or above ceilings below a roof.

      1. Cavities within external cavity walls

ADB excludes double-leaf masonry cavity walls with leaves of a minimum of 75mm, which is also applied to double-leaf concrete cavity walls or combinations of masonry and concrete leaves. Otherwise ADB Diagram 8.1/9.1 expects minimum 30(E)15(I) cavity barriers within external cavity walls. But ADB allows the external wall to have no minimum fire resistance and does not require a protected zone at the edges of internal compartment walls and floors, which might also be a party wall condition.

      1. Cavities within roof construction

ADB Diagram 8.1/9.1 does not graphically recognise this category. ADB allows the roof to have no minimum fire resistance and does not require a protected zone at the edges of internal compartment walls, which might also be a party wall condition.

      1. Cavities within internal compartment walls and floors

ADB Diagram 8.1/9.1 does not graphically recognise this category. Cavities are present within internal compartment walls or floors in any building that is not solid wall and floor construction, which is frequently the case in Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). It is important to control cavities of this category and ADB should be augmented. In this category it is better to think of fire stopping relating to compartmentation, rather than cavity barriers.

​If extensive cavities within internal compartment walls and floors include combustible materials, that fire load may be vulnerable to fire penetrating through building services or as gaps open in the deflecting primary or infill structures, allowing flame, heat and hot or cold smoke to spread unseen and inaccessibly beyond the compartment of origin. In the case of Permanent Stacked Modular Buildings that can mean horizontally and vertically.

​There is no test for Cavity Barriers. The promised BS EN 1364-6 from 2016 has failed to be completed. Until that impasse is resolved:

      • EOTA TR 031 Fire Resistance Tests for Cavity Barriers – 2008 and ETAG 026 Fire Stopping and Fire Sealing Products – Part 5 Cavity Barriers – 2011 are the only guidance available for “Closed State” cavity barriers in all four categories of cavity construction. EOTA TR 031 considers that Intumescent materials have a service life of 10 or 25 years, but no longer is proven as a state of the art.
      • 16/30324104 DC BS EN 1364-6. Fire resistance tests for non-loadbearing elements. Part 6. Cavity Barriers can be read for “Open State” cavity barriers in the external wall, which in practice are fixed horizontally only.

It was never the intention of the technical committee that “Open State” cavity barrier thinking could be applied to the category of cavities within internal compartment walls and floors.

It is possible to use the BS EN 1366-4:2006+A1:2010 Fire resistance tests for service installations. Linear joint seals as fire stopping in the BS EN 1366 series that relate to Building Services. But this test is carried out between two rigid fixed concrete sides to a furnace aperture.

 

There is a plethora of training schemes being commissioned to instruct on how to install passive fire protection measures. For our part, we offer the following:

      • Training on installation to anyone that requests it.
      • The training is assessed to an ISO standard, not so much for its technical contact, which is unique, but for its ability to pass on the instructions in a uniform, consistent, and understandable format. The training session comes in 3 parts, pre training assessment, the training phase, and post training assessment. You have to complete all 3 to have completed the training. The last phase is a practical inspection of an installation by the trainees
      • Thereafter we offer access to our inspection App, supplemented by with physical visits from our own engineers. The premise is that we offer as much practical support as we can to ensure that the products are installed as they should be, to a standard that is acceptable to all stakeholders.

We are also part of the early adopters of the BSI Identify scheme which allows , via the scanning of a QR code affixed to the product, access to vital data in perpetuity https://identify.bsigroup.com/ the intent here is to ensure that anyone at any time has access to data in the years to come that will not be interrupted by “Error 404” or by broken web page links.

Cold Work Permits

We recommend all our clients, to protect our passive works and that they record all works following original installation. Something as simple as giving a marked-up drawing to site, noting anywhere that works have taken place and then hand this to the FM, Estates, etc allowing someone to investigate after those works and thus determine if any passive measures have been compromised. We use large triangular warning signs on walls that have been designated a fire wall, stating Do not Penetrate, even this hasn’t worked.

 

Permanent Stacked Modular Buildings are best provided with a photographic record of every installed product in the stack, installed to fire testing (which might be LPS 1501 system testing) and reported as part of the Regulation 38 Information Exchange.

 

On many projects, we have approached the main contractor to advise that they should not proceed with works, such as a fixed ceiling, as our works are incomplete in an area or have finished an installation to be advised that follow on trades shall be penetrating the barrier and we monitor this to ensure we can repair this before leaving site. Previously, there had been some sign off/milestone/checklist to ensure all works were completed before the next stage of works commenced, this is more evident with the reduced labour on sites with the pandemic limiting occupancy.

 

The current CSCS cards show the trade qualification on the back of the card, but not clearly advising what has been achieved, unlike the previous listing of all modules. The passive fire NVQ is achieved after completing a core module surrounding health and safety etc and then you only need to complete two of the 5 modules available to achieve the card.

 

Facilities Managers and the “Responsible Person” under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 need the Regulation 38 Fire Safety Information handover. ADB Volume 1 and 2 has a list of Regulation 38 information.

No product test for cavity barriers then how can there be a Regulation 38 handover.

​Leaks and water damage from sanitary facilities may require replacement of Cavity Barriers and Fire Stopping to get fire Insurance.

APPENDIX 7

Additional Participant Input Question 4

 

 

There is an art in training. Many have jumped on the band wagon of seeming to provide something, which in reality is often lacking and creates more problems than it solves. You would not use a Sony TV manual to operate an LG TV, in my experience many of these courses are potentially useful grounding, but the onus should be in the supplier of the product to supply the training on installation, and help determine what is good and what is bad?

You also have the complication that some cavity barriers, say for Rainscreen, are often installed by the cladding contractor, and not by a specialist. This does not necessarily mean that they are liable to be installed incorrectly, and many cladding contractors have sought their own competency scheme accreditation to achieve compliance, but most of them also seek product manufacturer training IN ADDITION to any general appreciation they may have had from a course that is general in nature.

Using specialists does not, in my experience confer compliance, but it will add cost, and slow down the installations. In some areas, specialists can be useful, but most cavity barriers are relatively simple to install, and competence can be achieved by “non specialists” . you will have vested interests who want to promote a greater market for themselves by creating an air of mystery around installation and wear their installing badges to support that mystique.

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 8

Additional Participant Input Question 5

 

 

With FRA’s with one big issue being that the Risk Assessor are often not qualified or do not come from a Fire background, I would say that a detailed risk assessment that goes above and beyond the PAS79 is needed that would ensure that even if someone doesn’t understand fire that they do the correct checks. e.g. checking lift cavities and getting into attic spaces.

 

The sub-contractor or main contractor should have to provide evidence that the system they are proposing is ‘fit for purpose’ rather than the usual specification clause similar or approved. A proforma should be generated identifying the key points that need to be addressed and all parties manufacturer, architect, fire consultant, main contractor and sub-contractor should sign this off so that they all take responsibility.

The insurance industry have a better control on what needs to be built that the construction industry, if the insurance policy specifies that XYZ is required, you would achieve greater engagement.

 

The client sets the terms of the design in Work Stage 0 and 1 as they assemble their consultant team by Work Stage 2. It is the client that has to define the design for life safety as the minimum requirement in Section 1 of the 1984 Building Act, or do they want to go further to achieve a degree of property protection in consultation with Insurers. Some clients are happy to let the building burn to the ground provided everyone can escape and no Fire and Rescue Service personnel are injured. Moorfield Hotel, Brae, Shetland 27 July 2020 fire is an example. Great success. No injuries. Total asset loss

 

Mechanisms exist to deal with specification changes – the issue is often that a good specification is compromised by a spec change that is driven by monetary concerns. The client or whoever procures the building needs to accept that safety cannot be sacrificed on the alter of cost

 

Why is there no Gateway in the Golden Thread at Work Stage 1 for the client’s brief? Why wait until Planning?

How will the Building Safety Regulator’s minions check that what is built by Gateway 3 is what was technically designed at Gateway 2 in the Cavity Barriers they can’t see any longer?

Of course, Gateways are only HRRBs

Most buildings with most Cavity Barriers are not falling under HSE regulatory scrutiny.

 

the regulator wont check between gate 2 & 3 it is up to contractor/client to evidence that they built what was designed

 

The decision to include Cavity Barriers happens at Work Stage 3, 2, 1 or 0 as soon as the client adopts a form of MMC. If you make a distinction between compartmentalisation and the elements that actually make up a compartment wall and floor you will get very confused.

 

 

​Thinking ahead generally requires investment by the building procurer. Contractors need to understand that consultants have thought ahead.

 

For new build, there should be a Fire Strategy at an early stage of design as just like proper services co-ordination. The Fire Strategy will determine compartments and the need for fire stopping.

 

Installers arrive on site and are often asked to design based on what has been installed by others – therefore we can only install what is possible, this may differ from spec.

 

https://landingpage.bsigroup.com/LandingPage/Series?UPI=BS%20ISO%2015686

 

Fire strategy provided to an installer at an early stage will also allow monitoring the building project develop and can allow us to cause a pause in project programme where we feel that we can see a clash /issue, but we are not always on-site full time, subject to size of project/site team engagement

The RIBA did a huge amount of work on a Fire Safety Overlay on the RIBA Plan of Work 2020. Then didn’t publish it. Why not?

​Housing Associations can aggregate client demand for Cavity Barrier and Fire Stopping good manufacturing, design, construction, and Regulation 38 handover practice.

 

Why is there no fire resistance required in the external wall when the Cavity Barriers externally are specified by ADB to be 30(E)15(I)?

​Shouldn’t the external wall have the same minimal fire resistance?

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 9

Participants

 

Andrew Taylor Association for Specialist Fire Protection

Audrey Hesse Chartered Architect

Bradley Cooper SH Group

Chris Hall Siderise

Duncan Alabaster Polyseam

Edward Coster Clarion

Emma Murphy Thrive Homes

Gavin Pierson The Guinness Partnership

George Stevenson ActivePlan

Ian Abley FPA

Johnny Furlong L&Q

Johnny Furlong L&Q Group

Jonathan Evans Ash and Lacy

Michael Strömgren Briab

Mike Richardson PRP

Neil Yeomans Orbit

Nick Haughton Sapphire Balconies

Patrick Wilson PW Architects

Pauline Tuitt L&Q

Peacock, Dave TÜV SÜD

Peter Brierley Sovereign

Rick Burgess PRP

Scott Sanderson PRP

Sharon McClure Avesta group

Steve Aldridge ACMS-UK

Steve McAlinden Thrive Homes

Stewart Bailey Virtual Viewing

Suzanne Whitehead Clarion

Tim Vincent Rockwool

Tom Cannon Hill Group

BIM4H Firedoors Guidance GS

BIM4H Firedoors Guidance GS By Richard Freer

Below are recommendations that we, as BIM4Housing, are putting forward as the findings of our Firedoors matter experts. We do not claim these findings to be definitive, but we would hope that they would provide ‘accountable’ and ‘responsible’ persons with some of the detail they would require to ensure that risks are mitigated.

Format

The structure of this set of information is designed to be consumed in various ways by different stakeholder groups doing different things. Therefore, information mentioned in one section may be repeated in another, so they can be applied to a particular activity.
Also, we have sought to organize the information to make it more machine-readable so, although the lists could be reduced by combining similar items, this would make them less easily used in applications.

Despite the need to edit and contextualise, we have tried to retain the authentic voice of our experts throughout. This is especially so in the Appendices, where no colloquialism is left unturned.

Terms of use

This document is not intended as an end-result, but as a snapshot of a dynamic, on-going piece of work being developed by Subject Matter Experts who represent the different interest groups.

We hope it is helpful but is not definitive because, as we have learned from our collaboration, no one knows everything. It should therefore be used to supplement other sources of information, all of which should be validated by a responsible person applying it to a project.

Comments and additional contributions are welcome, and a panel of volunteer experts will review suggestions to assess/validate them and augment the guidance as required.

It will be available for free at www.bim4housing.com but should not be printed and used offline, because the information may be updated and be no longer valid."

INTRODUCTION

Structure

We have six Working Groups of experts who understand the individual Stakeholder needs of Development, Design, Construction, Manufacturing, Operations and the specialist Advisors who support the whole process. Each Working Group determines the problems they are experiencing that could be alleviated by better information, often from a different Stakeholder group and they collectively establish Workstreams to collaborate and share knowledge to come up with practical solutions.

They have established Workstreams for MMC, Data Standardisation, Sustainability and Fire Safety and the latter has, in turn, established Round Table workshops that bring together SMEs who really understand specific asset types. Outputs from the workshops will feed into the GTI.

(See Appendix 1 for Structure Diagram)
Fire Safety Methodology

It was determined to take individual fire-critical assets and examine impacts and influences through their lifecycle. A series of online discussions were held, along with one-on-one calls and an email gathering of views and inputs. This culminated in a series of Roundtable discussions, each with a clear focus and targeted output. BIM4Housing’s expert team was enhanced by guests from the GTI, along with other fire safety specialists throughout.

Phase 1 defined the over-arching questions that need to be answered, for each asset type, to deliver the BIM-plus solution necessary to the effective functioning of the Golden Thread in terms of Fire Safety.
The questions defined are:

  • What risks does the asset mitigate?
  • To what risks is the asset, itself, susceptible?
  • What information is needed about an asset, to ensure it performs as required?
  • What tasks/method statements/procedures are required to ensure the asset is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?
  • What level of competency/training needs to be in place?
  • How should product changes be recorded?

Phase 2 sought to answer those questions, offering a definitive guide to the delivery of The Golden Thread through the effective management of required information.

Fire Doors Methodology

The outputs from a first Roundtable (16th July 2021) were finessed at a second Roundtable (27th July 2021). In each case, significant participant engagement was achieved prior to each event, with each Roundtable having different participants.

What is a Fire Door?

A distinction should be made between “fire doors”, just the door leaf, and “fire door sets”, which are a complete assembly of door, frame, seals, hinges, and other door furniture which have been tested together.

For our purposes, we will be looking at Fire Door Sets, which comprise the following components:

  • Door leaf – the door itself
  • Door frame – must be compatible with the door leaf
  • Smoke seals – fitted around the edges of the door leaf or frame
  • Intumescent strips – fitted around the edges of the door leaf or frame
  • Hinges – must have a minimum of 3 hinges
  • Door closer – a facilitator to ensure the door closes automatically
  • Latch/lock - fitted within intumescent protection for fire/smoke resistance
  • Threshold seals – closes the gap underneath the door leaf when closed
  • Signage - indicating it is a fire door and should be kept shut/locked
  • Glazing - glazed panels in fire doors (must be suitably fire resistant and fitted with intumescent glazing seals)
  • Air grilles - used where extra ventilation is required
  • Additional ironmongery - such as push bars and push pads on some fire doors

FINDINGS

It was determined to look to ‘codify’ risks to enable teams to coalesce around tackling a problem, run scenarios to simulate what might happen and how collaboration can reduce the risk of them happening.

Two other GTI Working Groups, H&S and Standards, have been working with NBS to extend Uniclass to carry a more detailed set of risks and, those identified here, can form part of that.

Clearly, it is not desirable for the ‘Accountable Person’ to be absolved of responsibility for not anticipating a risk, simply because it was not on the list of suggested risks- which should be considered a ‘steer’ not an absolute. However, without that list, it becomes impossible to define and deliver the information needed.

Below are recommendations that we, as BIM4Housing, are putting forward as the findings of our subject matter experts. We do not claim these findings to be definitive, but we would hope that they would provide ‘accountable’ and ‘responsible’ persons with the detail they would require to ensure that risks are mitigated.

1a. What risks does a Fire Door mitigate?

  • Risk of smoke build-up
  • Risk of heat build-up
  • Risk of spread of smoke (if smoke seals fitted), risking smoke inhalation and suffocation, along with impaired visibility
  • Risk to fire-fighter’s access
  • The risk of the spread of fire and products of fire (fire, smoke, heat) via cavities in external and internal walls, along with other concealed cavities (such a roof and ceiling voids)
  • The risk of spread of fire, smoke, and heat between building compartmentations.
  • Risk of speed of fire and smoke spread
  • Risk of number of uncontained areas
  • Risk of inhibiting safe exit from the building
  • Risk of fire brigade not having enough time to attend before fire spread
  • Risk of system failure.
  • Risk of Injury/harm/loss of life to residents/occupants.
  • Risk of smoke damage and
  • Risk of compromising security, both for the building and individual apartments, when doors don’t close properly or are propped open.
  • Risk of reduced thermal efficiency
  • Risk of degraded acoustics.
  • Risk of damage to property, building or structure

1b. To what risks is a Fire Door, itself, susceptible?

  • Risk of additional items having been placed into an escape route (such as a sofa), not having been considered at design stage, could provide fuel for a fire and have the potential to counteract the AOV/smoke extraction system
  • Risk of incorrect replacement components having been installed
  • Risk of human intervention on ancillary assets, such as smoke detectors, impacting on asset performance
  • Risk of information on an individual asset being incomplete, inaccurate or absent
  • Risk of information on an individual asset not being supplied in both digital and physical format
  • Risk that the asset has not been tested against the ‘Cause and Effect’ document
  • Risk of other trades and employees not appreciating the asset’s function and so compromising its performance
  • Risk of non-appreciation of the differences between performance of assets in compartmentalised areas versus performance of asset’s in shared circulation areas
  • Risk of vandalism or simply misuse Materials
  • Building movement / shrinkage causing, for example, gaps
  • Excessive water damage
  • Some Laboratory testing not covering real-life scenarios
  • Being blocked
  • Being propped open
  • Modifications to the door e.g. because it has dropped or that there is a new carpet in the flat, adding a cat flap, new glazing, adding sound-softening strips, ring doorbells
  • Where something adjacent to the door is modified e.g. a new floor surface in the corridors that is of a different depth, creating a gap
  • Damage or degradation that comprises the integrity of the door, seals, hinges or closure
  • Inadequate fire stopping between frame and structure
  • Being painted over Installation
  • Refurbishments and upgrades

2. What information is needed about a Fire Door to ensure it performs as required?

(It is important to understand how the information will be used and how the context will vary what information is required. Initially, this was the subject of quite a lot of debate – largely driven by a worry about ‘information overload’. However, with a truly cross disciplinary team of SMEs, it was possible to drill down to understand the detail of why a role would need certain information.
The aim was to collect all the information all stakeholders need against all products and leave it to each role to configure their software applications to see only the information they need for that individual task.)

Requirements

• Type of door
• Age of door (manufacture date / installation date)
• Likely frequency of use
• Nature of its day-to-day operation
• Door location including x,y,z coordinates
• Door relation to Spaces
• Door number
• Fire Doors to be clearly marked as such both sides, to avoid referring to a fire plan to identify doors and ratings
• Tenure of resident (for flat entrance doors)

Specification

• Certification of manufacturing by UKAS accredited body, to provide assurance that what was tested is what is being made
• Global assessment by UKAS accredited body, but not in lieu of test report
• Test report to confirm fire resistance performance to BS 476-22 or BS EN 1634-1, carried out by an UKAS accredited test facility
• Smoke control
• Seals (Intumescent, Brush, Both)
• Test report to confirm control of the passage of cold smoke to BS 476-31.1 or BS EN 1634-3, carried out by an UKAS accredited test facility
• Has the door has been lab tested to meet the standard both sides - and with evidence supplied
• Ironmongery details – CE marked Hinges (need to know there are three hinges), handles, cylinder, locks dand latches (need to be CE marked to BS EN 12209), fire rated door viewer, emergency escape (push bars/pull pads).
• Compatibility confirmation of fire door ironmongery and door attachments (by Fire Engineer and door manufacturers)
• Glazing within the door leaf or door set needs to be CE marked indicating the level of fire resistance it provides

• Product Test Data for the linear gaps seal, Fire sealant and build up in line with BS 8214:2012 (Mastic and expanded foam materials should be approved for use as a linear gap seal successfully tested according to BS 476-20 or BS EN 1366-4.)
• What construction was the door tested within and does the proposed construction meet or exceed the tested parameters?

• Door closer type
• Door closer suitability for size and weight of door
• Door closer suitability for users
• Door closer delay, for elderly
• Door closer method of operation
• Door closer hold-open devices, “fail” mechanisms
• Smoke test certificate
• Smoke control performance
• Acoustic properties
• U value properties
• Security properties
• Weather proofing properties (if installed externally)
• Fire Door set manufacturers installation Instructions, including allowable gaps
Materials
• Material of core
• Dimensions of core
• Material of facings
• Dimensions of facings
• Material of edge lippings
• Dimensions of edge lippings
• Materials of frame
• Dimensions of frame
• Door thickness, weight, leaf size
• Details on intumescent strips, smoke seals and any components that form the assembly, to enable those maintaining the asset in coming years to do so safely
• Glazing type and fire rating (should be at least the fire rating of the door unit)

Construction

• If supplied as one unit, if full door set was produced and tested together and has Product certification / Test data for door set to BS 476-22:1987 or BS 1634-1:2014.
• Q Mark Plug
• Is the signage adequate (for a communal door)
• Full and unambiguous installation instructions covering:
o Gap tolerances between frame and structural opening
o Gap tolerances between frame and door
o Gap tolerances between at base of door, with clear instruction for cold smoke control

o Fixing of frame to walls
o Suitable products for filling gaps between frame and wall
• Insulation and integrity rating relevant to its immediate location
• Documentation from the fire doors manufacturer
• Manufacturer details and contact information
Installation
• Whether the door was installed correctly (packed and sealed) by a competent person (third party accreditation) with evidence (including name of installer)
• Supervisor competence – Firas, BM Trada, IFC or be named as a competent supervisor in the company UKAS accreditation.
• Installation training, manufacturer training and/or toolbox talk
• Installation records/photos
• Quality Checklists – Fire Door Installation
• Any third-Party Inspection Records (FDIS or Similar where applicable)
• As-Built drawings showing the Fire Strategy drawings indicating the fire performance of compartments, along with a door schedule
• Product model, batch number and any other unique information required to obtain replacement
• Evidence of training provided to the customer (attendance records and ideally a video)
• Details of any automation that has been added to doors (this can be added at install but also retro. E.g. Hold open magnets, fail safe open connections.)
• Details of anything else that has been added that might connect into the fire alarm systems-not all are on sound
• Cause and effect diagram
• Warranty information
Inspection
• Required frequency
• Whether the door has been recently inspected by a competent person (all door furniture: hinges, seals, closers, gaps, glass etc.)
• Does it close correctly and when it should do (closer force, auto closers)?
• Accreditation of inspectors

Maintenance

• A record of any changes to the door, either modification or replacement
• Any issues raised by persons occupying the building
• Maintenance and inspection requirements, both at an industry level and at a manufacturer-specific level, to allow for the need to inform future maintainers of the manufacturers’ recommendations
• Maintenance requirements of the doors, including the compatible components that could be purchased as replacements in the future (E.g. for wear and tear / leaking of hinges, letter boxes, strips and seals)
• Accreditation of maintainer
• Maintenance/inspection/defects/repair logs

3. What tasks or procedures are required to ensure a Fire Door is installed, commissioned, inspected, and maintained properly?

(It should be a given that any work on fire safety critical assets should always be undertaken by competent people, probably 3rd party accredited. However, that person must be supported with any information that they might need to reduce the risk of an important step being missed and to provide an auditable record of what tasks were completed. This is common practice in M&E maintenance, where the industry has developed a significant library of standard procedures and tasks lists, along with roles/competency required.

An air-conditioning unit is maintained by a qualified air conditioning engineer, but the engineer is also issued with a check list for them to record what was done.

A similar industry-wide check list for installation, commissioning, handover, maintenance and recycling could be agreed.)

Specification

• Method statements/procedures for fitting to include:
o Gap tolerances between frame and structural opening
o Gap tolerances between frame and door
o Gap tolerances between at base of door, with clear instruction for cold smoke control
o Fixing of frame to walls
o Suitable products for filling gaps between frame and wall
• Specification linked to fire strategy of the building to ensure door specified correctly

Installation
• A clear competency regime for installation and record at handover / commissioning of the door set that should include full details of the inspection regime to complete the manufacturer’s warranty. This should be commercially and or contractually linked to the installer / supply chain to incentivise the right behaviour.
• Method statements/procedures for repairing all components of door-sets
• Method statements/procedures for inspecting all components of door-sets
• Method statements/procedures for maintaining all components of door-sets
• Details of approved code of practice being adhered at each stage, such as UKAS accreditation
• Evidence of training of those undertaking any work with the ACOP being adhered to.
• Third party accreditations
• Specific product/s system to be used together that are specified in MSDS sheets or systems by manufacturers

• Details of permitted modifications
• Manufacturer-specific installation, commissioning, inspection, maintenance/repair, replacement, and recycling requirements to inform future maintainers of the manufacturers’ recommendations.
• Specific method statement to ensure the fitting around the door meeting the fabric meets the same fire resistance as the door
• Appropriate evidence of installation (pre, during and post)
• Certification and O&M manuals

Inspection
• Audit inspections from a third party

• Detailed methodology for inspection:

o Does the fire door shut fully and tightly into the frame manually and on its own using its self-closing device?
o Is the self-closing device damaged in any way? (e.g. is the arm secure and functional?)

o Is the gap between the door leaf and frame less than 4mm?

o Are the glazed vision panes and the beading around the door undamaged and secure?

o Is the door leaf and frame in good condition and undamaged?

o Are there 3 hinges installed, with all screws in place and not painted over?

o Do the hinges appear to be loose or damaged?

o Are the door handles secure and undamaged?

o Are the intumescent strips and smoke seals in good condition (e.g. not missing, damaged or painted over)?

o Is the appropriate signage displayed on both sides of the door indicating it is a fire door?

o Are any fire doors being obstructed or left open?

Maintenance

BESA’s excellent SFG20 provides a good level of guidance but tasks should also include site-specific requirements and checks should be addressed on each component of a fire door to cover the manufacturer’s specific maintenance instructions.

Industry-standard maintenance instructions – extract from BESA’s SFG20.

(See Appendix 2 for Additional Participant Input)

4. What level of competency/training needs to be in place

(Industry training courses are critical, but they must be complemented by additional knowledge-transfer from people with many years real experience.
Individual manufacturers have product-specific training which complements the more general training. Such training resources need to be provided in all cases where a product is used – both for new build but also as part of the long-term H&S/O&M information, ideally held as machine-readable data in the Asset information model to ensure maintenance teams have easy access to critical information.)

Installation

• Competency of individual installers demonstrated through certification with a suitable 3rd party accreditation provider. This should include the provision of the manufacturer’s fitting instructions
• Specification of which third party accreditations are acceptable (e.g. Trada, Firas, BM Trada, IFC etc.) should be required
• Ongoing demonstrable CPD of installer (not simply the company they work for). For example, operatives installing products should have achieved L2 NVQ Diploma in Wood Occupations (Construction) - Site Carpentry (CSCS blue card) or L2 NVQ Diploma in Associated Industrial Services Occupations - Passive Fire Protection (Construction), both with the mandatory module for Installing Fire Resisting Timber Door sets in the Workplace
• Supervisors should have achieved L3 NVQ Diploma in Wood Occupations (Construction) -Site Carpentry (CSCS gold card), or IFE Level 3 Certificate in Passive Fire Protection or be named as a competent supervisor in the company UKAS accreditation (see https://essentialsiteskills.co.uk/course-index)
• Installer should have manufacturer-led product-specific installation training, in addition to any formal UKAS accreditation.
• Manufacturers should offer installation training, either in their own right, or sub-contracted out to a specialist to provide that service
• code of practice should include training materials

Maintenance

• Manufacturer-specific installation, commissioning, inspection, maintenance/repair, replacement, and recycling requirements should be retained to inform future maintainers of the manufacturers’ recommendations.
• Mandatory awareness training should be in place for all people working on site and carrying out maintenance in buildings
• Training for the operational team should be required on Standards (BS, CEN etc.) plus to give a basic understanding of how to read drawings, commissioning certs, O&M’s,
• BSI Flex 8670 focuses on the competence of individuals and expects that organisations use this core criteria as part of their management of competency (planning, monitoring, reviewing etc.). This also enables the capture of the skills, knowledge, experience, and behaviors necessary to the undertaking of a defined role, function, activity, or task.

(See Appendix 3 for Additional Participant Input)

5. How should product changes be recorded?

(If information is not updated, it isn’t information anymore. It is misleading and, possibly, down-right dangerous. If the systems and processes to keep information current are not trusted, then the value of even correct information is compromised.

Robust Change Management requires an information baseline against which the different states – current, proposed, final and ongoing change – can be measured and reported.

The baseline information should contain the required performance in a machine-readable/actionable form and the Change Management process should enable that to be compared with:

a) the actual performance of the designed solution (probably generic)
b) the performance of the chosen product against the generic
c) the performance of an alternative (value engineered?) product
d) the record of what was used/installed.)

Requirements and Suggestions

• A schedule of safety critical elements for the building, to include products specified
• Baseline against which to compare proposed alternative products (Some designers have expressed reluctance to propose (not specify) a specific manufactured product that will satisfy their design due to liability, procurement rules and fees)
• This schedule would be “Locked” at a specific design stage, after which changes to products specified should not occur except for exceptional reasons
• A formal change management system is required to ensure that any unavoidable changes are validated by a ‘responsible’ person e.g. original designer and/or fire engineer
• There is a well-established change management process in construction called Technical Submissions in which requested changes from the specifications/recommendations, that were created by the designers (and selected manufacturers), need to be formally reviewed and approved. Design-and-Build procurement has affected that process and it should be reestablished in a way that the performance of a proposed product, and its constituent components, is easily compared with the proposed alternative and, if agreed, it is recorded as a Technical Deviation
• Validation of changes would include verifying that the new product met all the requirements for the application with no detriment to the overall design, the details of which should be recorded (Changes in the product may be made between design and procurement, procurement and installation, handover and ongoing maintenance)
• More onus needs to be on the client during the collation of Information Requirements and the updating of design models into ‘as installed’ content suitable for Asset/Facilities Management

• Full Disclosure of the product is needed at handover so that after Work Stage 7, if a manufacturer goes out of business or products change the record is there in perpetuity
• Asset database must be kept up to date with core data for new installs. Installation documents should be held in a centralised digital location. Once BIM/COBie level data is manageable within the asset management system then this will be used as the main source of data.
BIM, CAFM, Asset and Housing mgt systems must inform the change management process
• H&S files for each building (cradle to grave) must be supplied, recorded and be updated with notification of changes and the implications.
• Warranty information of the existing and the proposed products should be provided to allow proper consideration to be made on the selection of an alternative or replacement. If a product has a shorter life than another, this information should be available to inform selection. Given some of the products will be in locations that are difficult to locate, the longevity of a product could have safety implications.
• Compliance systems should be informed with the information from the AIM
• Asset tagging (barcode) systems and processes should be considered as forming part of the change management process.
• Procurement should be included in the process, recording what was purchased and feeding that into the BIM process to locate where they were installed, or which products they are replacing.
• Specification or design brief for the business (performance and or product) should be recorded in a machine-readable format to enable validation against the Golden Thread.
• Record the compatibility and compliance of any ancillaries and confirm they comply with the test data? (Ironmongery, door access control systems, vision panels, vents)
• Any adjustment, repair, addition to / removal of product, ironmongery or fittings must be recorded and should only be undertaken by a licensed / accredited contractor (this includes and modification to an existing asset)
• The asset information needs to enable comparison but the original performance spec of the AOV and the related information such as Fire Strategy and Cause and Effect should form part of that Technical Deviation process. The FMs must be able to update the Asset Information Model with machine-readable data of the newly installed product
• Recording who has worked on/replaced the component and their entitlement/competence to do so
• Evidence that the component’s performance in relation to the part it plays in the system has been considered and is warranted
• Manufacturers must provide a component list (e.g. ironmongery on a door) so if anything breaks, a direct replacement can be used.

• Removal of certain products/materials must be undertaken by people who are on an approved list, certified by an accreditation body and should require advance notice to all certification holders, with signoff to ensure traceability

(See Appendix 4 for Additional Participant Input)

APPENDIX 1
BIM4Housing Structure

APPENDIX 2
Additional Participant Input Question 3

We need to have a common task model and move to what the military call task performance statement to support competent actors

SFG20 is great, you can codify it and feed this into your management activity. This needs to be done with caution as some manufacturers will stipulate maintenance regimes which are in conflict with (in excess of) SFG recommendations, invalidating warranty.

Interested in intelligent data on fire doors and how we can maintain them with inspections but how we can get access to check doors and utilise sensors etc. to give us off site information in real time.

I feel we are clearly heading for visual inspections under Fire Safety Act 2021 for FEDs, closer, frame etc. I feel this is weak and therefore anything like movement, condition, and overall integrity there should be a full access inspection annually which- as we know how difficult access is - could be dual annual appointment for the FED & LGSR: options are to include tenancy verification, all sorts depending on the org - one access per annum.

APPENDIX 3
Additional Participant Input Question 4

Direct Works, of which many HAs are members and they are working to create a new Standard for competence. There is also the Retrofit academy that seems to be working on this, as is the Fire Industry Association and the Architectural and Specialist Door Manufacturers Association.
There is an Interim Industry Competence Committee working with the HSE and MHCLG . I will ask for their progress and also what coverage this will have as it appears to be going towards the Building Safety Bill & Fire Safety Act in which competency is a requirement for the approval of Appointments by the Accountable Person.
As Architects I’m mindful of how complicated it is to achieve the myriad of performance / aesthetic requirements of doors. For example, certain types of doors such as timber / steel, when combined with Access Control systems, don’t achieve security ratings or fire ratings – or at least not that have a test certificate against them. So as Architects we need to upskill ourselves about what the industry can actually deliver – so we design with this knowledge from the beginning.

APPENDIX 4
Additional Participant Input Question 5

Payment for work undertaken contingent on updating “base” record of work carried out, validated by Work Order/in-place code on door/construction

A schedule of safety critical elements should be in place for the building, which would include products specified. This would be considered “Locked” at a specific stage in design, after which changes to products specified should not occur except for exceptional reasons. A formal change management system is required to ensure that any changes, which are unavoidable at times, are fully considered by those qualified to do so. Typically, this would be the original designer and/or fire engineer appointed, and the regulator. The checks would involve verifying the new product met all the requirements for the application with no detriment to the overall design, the details of which should be recorded.

Asset Managers need to be part of the procurement team to be able to own the handed-over building/project. They would then understand the reasons for the original product specifications.