London – PIR insulation with flame-retarded aluminium composite cladding passes tests for use in high buildings, said the UK government’s Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The DCLG’s website said ‘that the results [of the fifth test] show that this combination of materials can be compliant when installed and maintained properly.
DCLG advice for building owners of buildings with large-scale wall systems with ACM with A2 filler with polyisocyanurate foam insulation said: ‘This wall system passed the test, which means it adequately resisted the spread of fire over the wall to the standard required by the current Building Regulations guidance and which is set out in BR135.
Separately, the DCLG continued: While government has not been informed of any tall buildings over 18 metres in England using this particular combination of materials in their wall system, it could offer a possible solution for some buildings with other cladding systems which have been identified as a fire hazard through previous large-scale tests.
British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturers Association (BRUFMA) continued: ‘This test confirmed what experts across the industry expected, and now provides a PIR solution to the many buildings that have been identified with a mixture of cladding and insulation that do not meet current regulations,’ said the association.
Speaking after the test result was announced, Simon Storer chief executive of BRUFMA said ‘with the test now drawing to a conclusion, we have a confirmation of a mix of materials that provides a fire-safe cladding and insulation system using PIR insulation.
‘The next stage is to assess what each building, that the government has identified a need re-cladding, requires in terms of refurbishment. It is important that we work with the government to ensure a holistic approach to any fire risk assessment is undertaken to prioritise any work that needs to be carried out.
‘Individual components and build-up of rainscreen systems will affect the individual performance of any system, but with this result, we now know that it will not be necessary for any PIR insulation to be removed from buildings.’ He added that this would ‘make the government’s task of ensuring buildings meet safety fire standards easier.’
He added ‘in the meantime, it is important to know that PIR, for use in all of applications, meets both the fire and thermal performance requirements of the building regulations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.’
The tests, which took place at BRE on 10 August 2017, showed that an aluminium sandwich cladding system with a limited combustibility mineral filler contained within two sheets of aluminium achieved Class 1 fire performance.