Posted: Tuesday 21st January 2020

With 2019 alone seeing five serious incidents of fire in multiple occupancy residences, a leading supplier of polymer building services solutions is advising that contractors consider fire safety regulations more closely alongside acoustic performance when specifying soil and waste drainage solutions for high-rise developments.

Following incidents such as the Cube student accommodation fire in Bolton and the release of Phase I of the Grenfell Inquiry, there have been calls for more careful selection of materials and systems for high-rise developments, with an emphasis on adhering to fire regulations.

With internal building services such as soil and wastage drainage systems constituting vital parts of a high-rise development, REHAU is highlighting how these solutions can play a key role in preventing fire from spreading through pipework. Specifically, the polymer solution providers are advocating contractors to consider fire protection properties in conjunction with acoustic performance and cost when selecting an appropriate solution for their projects.

Though building fire safety and acoustic performance standards are detailed separately in The Building Regulations as part of Approved document B and E, a clear link between both is not set out. Yet by specifying drainage solutions with correctly-installed fire collars, contractors can offer a further line of defence against fire without compromising on acoustic performance.

“Recent incidences of fire in multiple-occupancy buildings have rightfully called into question all aspects of high-rise multiple occupancy developments with regards to fire regulations and prevention measures,” said Franz Huelle, Head of Technical at REHAU Building Solutions. “We at REHAU want to champion fire safety and resistance and have developed solutions such as RAUPIANO PLUS with this in mind.

“With acoustic soil and waste drainage systems, many contractors still regard acoustic performance and fire safety regulations as separate concerns. We want to stress the importance of considering these factors together when specifying drainage systems, because, if a system doesn’t adhere to Building Regulations, it may put residents at risk and require a costly re-installation.”

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