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  • 22 Aug 2017
    Horrible looking drains, manhole covers and inspection chambers appear in driveways and footpaths everywhere. You can even find them in the middle of your lawn or garden! How do you hide ugly manhole covers and drains?                     There are several ways to pretty up these ugly necessities but, however you choose to do it, remember that water utility companies require access at all times. If they cannot be accessed when required they will be dug up and not only will you receive a bill for doing so, you will also be left with the expense of repairing any damage. A much better idea is to (where possible) replace the existing industrial looking cover with a removable recessed (or inset) tray. Then you have the option to either blend them in with the surface or make a feature out of them. Recessed tray options A quick internet search will show you just how many different types of recessed trays are available – too many to mention here! You choose depending on where they are and what material you are going to fill them with. Basically they fall into two categories: Standard recessed tray Currently the most popular choice, made from polypropylene, aluminium or stainless steel and can be suitable for use by both pedestrians and vehicles. Permeable recessed tray This more recent option from EcoGrid provides a load bearing surface that features membranes and a perforated base which allows water to slowly filter through to the drain underneath. Infill options Another internet search will result in a lot of options for infilling a recessed tray. Your final choice will depend on where the drain, manhole cover or inspection chamber is and what the surface will be used for. Here are a few of the most popular infill options: Block paving or bricks These are common choices and can be cut to either blend in or contrast with the surrounding surface. Resin bound paving This is the most popular choice for the seamless finish - created by infilling the recessed tray with the same colour aggregate. You can also create contrast by using a different colour or produce a logo or design in the recessed tray. Using a permeable recessed tray with resin bound paving creates a fully permeable surface. Loose gravel Probably the quickest and easiest way to infill a recessed tray is with loose gravel, but it will inevitably scatter. The fleeing gravel will need regular sweeping and replacing and your lawn mower won’t like it much either... Grass Whilst sowing grass seeds into a recessed tray blends in with a lawn it can be awkward to mow and unless it’s sown in a permeable recessed tray, it will dry out very quickly. Of course you could opt for artificial grass… Plants and flowers Infilling with flowers and/or plants can help disguise unsightly drains, manhole covers or inspection chambers. You can also create a spectacular feature, but as with grass they will dry out very quickly unless a permeable recessed tray is used. Useful links: How to build a recessed manhole cover : http://www.diy.com/help-ideas/how-to-build-a-manhole-cover/CC_npcart_400198.art An overview http://www.pavingexpert.com/recess01.htm  from the Paving Expert. We strongly recommend clarifying ownership and responsibility before modifying or carrying out maintenance to drains, sewers and manholes. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: www.sureset.co.uk Follow us: https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Horrible looking drains, manhole covers and inspection chambers appear in driveways and footpaths everywhere. You can even find them in the middle of your lawn or garden! How do you hide ugly manhole covers and drains?                     There are several ways to pretty up these ugly necessities but, however you choose to do it, remember that water utility companies require access at all times. If they cannot be accessed when required they will be dug up and not only will you receive a bill for doing so, you will also be left with the expense of repairing any damage. A much better idea is to (where possible) replace the existing industrial looking cover with a removable recessed (or inset) tray. Then you have the option to either blend them in with the surface or make a feature out of them. Recessed tray options A quick internet search will show you just how many different types of recessed trays are available – too many to mention here! You choose depending on where they are and what material you are going to fill them with. Basically they fall into two categories: Standard recessed tray Currently the most popular choice, made from polypropylene, aluminium or stainless steel and can be suitable for use by both pedestrians and vehicles. Permeable recessed tray This more recent option from EcoGrid provides a load bearing surface that features membranes and a perforated base which allows water to slowly filter through to the drain underneath. Infill options Another internet search will result in a lot of options for infilling a recessed tray. Your final choice will depend on where the drain, manhole cover or inspection chamber is and what the surface will be used for. Here are a few of the most popular infill options: Block paving or bricks These are common choices and can be cut to either blend in or contrast with the surrounding surface. Resin bound paving This is the most popular choice for the seamless finish - created by infilling the recessed tray with the same colour aggregate. You can also create contrast by using a different colour or produce a logo or design in the recessed tray. Using a permeable recessed tray with resin bound paving creates a fully permeable surface. Loose gravel Probably the quickest and easiest way to infill a recessed tray is with loose gravel, but it will inevitably scatter. The fleeing gravel will need regular sweeping and replacing and your lawn mower won’t like it much either... Grass Whilst sowing grass seeds into a recessed tray blends in with a lawn it can be awkward to mow and unless it’s sown in a permeable recessed tray, it will dry out very quickly. Of course you could opt for artificial grass… Plants and flowers Infilling with flowers and/or plants can help disguise unsightly drains, manhole covers or inspection chambers. You can also create a spectacular feature, but as with grass they will dry out very quickly unless a permeable recessed tray is used. Useful links: How to build a recessed manhole cover : http://www.diy.com/help-ideas/how-to-build-a-manhole-cover/CC_npcart_400198.art An overview http://www.pavingexpert.com/recess01.htm  from the Paving Expert. We strongly recommend clarifying ownership and responsibility before modifying or carrying out maintenance to drains, sewers and manholes. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: www.sureset.co.uk Follow us: https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    Aug 22, 2017 0
  • 02 Aug 2017
    In older reinforced concrete structures, particularly those in coastal locations with a prevalence of salty air, or ones exposed long-term to pollutants in towns and cities, some form of corrosion is inevitable. However, the visual signs of carbonisation and chlorides, such as cracks or spalling, can take months, possibly even years before appearing. By then, of course, serious damage could be done and repairs could prove costly. To protect and prolong the life of a structure, early corrosion diagnosis is vital. But how is this achieved when the surface gives no indication of a problem? A concrete condition survey offers a reliable test as to how a building is reacting to its surrounding environment. BS EN 1504 Standards stipulate a survey and interpretation of results is a prerequisite prior to work starting on concrete repair projects. This will reveal the overall state of the concrete and determine the type of remedial action required. Sika is in the process of launching an investigation service. In conjunction with our partner, Vector, the survey will identify the most appropriate corrosion management system to employ. This offering further demonstrates our all-round commitment to quality concrete refurbishment. A survey could include the following depending on the structure and condition of the concrete: Visual inspection: This offers a flexible and powerful form of testing. It can provide an immediate assessment of a concrete structure’s condition and identify causes of stress or other debilitating conditions. A visual inspection, however, is dependent on the competence and experience of the survey team carrying it out, therefore surveys of this kind should only be made by those qualified and experienced to do so. Hammer testing: A hammer test identifies hollow or spalled areas of concrete by assessing the sound difference using either a hammer or chain. Carbonation: A solution called Phenolphthalein is used to indicate levels of alkalinity which triggers the corrosion process. The substance, which is spray-applied, turns pink when it contacts alkaline in concrete. Break out: Break out testing sees areas of concrete broken away to assess the condition of the steel. This test acts as a validation measure against the other tests such as carbonation, chloride and half-cell measurements. Concrete cover: A cover meter survey identifies and records the minimum and average depths of concrete cover to the embedded steel to help determine the risk of corrosion. It is also used to identify where the steel is. Chloride analysis: This involves collecting concrete dust samples to test for the presence of chlorides. Half-cell potential mapping: Corrosion of reinforcing steel is an electro-chemical process and the deterioration of the steel can be assessed by measuring its half-cell potential. The greater the potential, the higher the risk that corrosion is taking place. Corrosion rate measurement: An electrochemical test carried out on the surface of the corroding metal to assess the causes of corrosion and predict the rate it will occur. Once a survey has taken place, results will determine the most suitable corrosion management system to employ. For example, where high levels of chlorides are detected within the concrete, the Sika® Galvashield® system, comprising embedded galvanic anodes, is recommended. The sacrificial anodes prevent the formation of new corrosion sites either adjacent to the refurbished concrete or to concrete which is visually sound but from the survey information identified as high risk. This simple, innovative anode system involves a small, circular-shaped cementitious shell encasing a zinc core which is quickly and easily fastened to exposed steel reinforcement. Once installed, the anode’s zinc core corrodes sacrificially to the surrounding rebar to therefore protect it. A concrete conditioning survey can help identify a potential problem before it takes hold, tying-in with the well-known saying, ‘prevention is better than cure’. The good news is, with the launch of our investigation service, alongside our existing Total Corrosion Management System, Sika has the means to provide both the prevention and a long-term cure. By Ronnie Turner, Infrastructure Manager – Refurbishment at Sika Limited  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In older reinforced concrete structures, particularly those in coastal locations with a prevalence of salty air, or ones exposed long-term to pollutants in towns and cities, some form of corrosion is inevitable. However, the visual signs of carbonisation and chlorides, such as cracks or spalling, can take months, possibly even years before appearing. By then, of course, serious damage could be done and repairs could prove costly. To protect and prolong the life of a structure, early corrosion diagnosis is vital. But how is this achieved when the surface gives no indication of a problem? A concrete condition survey offers a reliable test as to how a building is reacting to its surrounding environment. BS EN 1504 Standards stipulate a survey and interpretation of results is a prerequisite prior to work starting on concrete repair projects. This will reveal the overall state of the concrete and determine the type of remedial action required. Sika is in the process of launching an investigation service. In conjunction with our partner, Vector, the survey will identify the most appropriate corrosion management system to employ. This offering further demonstrates our all-round commitment to quality concrete refurbishment. A survey could include the following depending on the structure and condition of the concrete: Visual inspection: This offers a flexible and powerful form of testing. It can provide an immediate assessment of a concrete structure’s condition and identify causes of stress or other debilitating conditions. A visual inspection, however, is dependent on the competence and experience of the survey team carrying it out, therefore surveys of this kind should only be made by those qualified and experienced to do so. Hammer testing: A hammer test identifies hollow or spalled areas of concrete by assessing the sound difference using either a hammer or chain. Carbonation: A solution called Phenolphthalein is used to indicate levels of alkalinity which triggers the corrosion process. The substance, which is spray-applied, turns pink when it contacts alkaline in concrete. Break out: Break out testing sees areas of concrete broken away to assess the condition of the steel. This test acts as a validation measure against the other tests such as carbonation, chloride and half-cell measurements. Concrete cover: A cover meter survey identifies and records the minimum and average depths of concrete cover to the embedded steel to help determine the risk of corrosion. It is also used to identify where the steel is. Chloride analysis: This involves collecting concrete dust samples to test for the presence of chlorides. Half-cell potential mapping: Corrosion of reinforcing steel is an electro-chemical process and the deterioration of the steel can be assessed by measuring its half-cell potential. The greater the potential, the higher the risk that corrosion is taking place. Corrosion rate measurement: An electrochemical test carried out on the surface of the corroding metal to assess the causes of corrosion and predict the rate it will occur. Once a survey has taken place, results will determine the most suitable corrosion management system to employ. For example, where high levels of chlorides are detected within the concrete, the Sika® Galvashield® system, comprising embedded galvanic anodes, is recommended. The sacrificial anodes prevent the formation of new corrosion sites either adjacent to the refurbished concrete or to concrete which is visually sound but from the survey information identified as high risk. This simple, innovative anode system involves a small, circular-shaped cementitious shell encasing a zinc core which is quickly and easily fastened to exposed steel reinforcement. Once installed, the anode’s zinc core corrodes sacrificially to the surrounding rebar to therefore protect it. A concrete conditioning survey can help identify a potential problem before it takes hold, tying-in with the well-known saying, ‘prevention is better than cure’. The good news is, with the launch of our investigation service, alongside our existing Total Corrosion Management System, Sika has the means to provide both the prevention and a long-term cure. By Ronnie Turner, Infrastructure Manager – Refurbishment at Sika Limited  
    Aug 02, 2017 0
  • 29 Jul 2017
    FeRFA, the Resin Flooring Association, represents a wide range of leading manufacturers as well as contractors and other associated companies involved in resin flooring systems. For more than 45 years it’s been the recognised voice of the resin flooring industry, taking a leading role in developing global standards. FeRFA is a superb trade association because it is so active. One of its earliest accomplishments was to create a framework that put the various flooring systems on the market into some sort of context. Their classification system, which runs from one to eight and categorises floors according to durability and product type, enables contractors and specifiers to compare products on a like-for-like basis, helping to simplify the specification process. For instance, if a client has two manufacturers pitching a floor to them, all they’d need to ask is, ‘what FeRFA rating would this floor be’? If one says ‘four’ and the other says ‘three’, it then becomes clear different systems are being pitched. The chances are one of the systems being pitched will be thinner than the other and have a different build-up, making it inappropriate for the materials that it will have to withstand. The FeRFA classification system answers a number of important questions, such as: How do different products compare in terms of cost? What’s the likely durability of the floor? Is the floor appropriate for its intended environment? Loud and clear Ultimately, the FeRFA guide demystifies the specification process by cutting-through product marketing. If a contractor recommends a type of floor, you can see for yourself why it’s being specified. The whole process makes it easier for an educated contractor to guide an uneducated specifier as to what type of floor is suitable without changing the language because everyone’s essentially reading from the same page. Furthermore, the guidance document enables customers to generate an anticipated flooring life-time by comparing the flooring classifications with expected traffic loads.  This provides customers with an estimated figure – giving them the reassurance of an educated ‘guarantee’ in terms of number of years the system should last for. And this figure then allows Sika’s own flooring guarantees, something I believe is unique to UK manufacturers within the industry and potentially over and above the guidance, to be seen in context. It’s my opinion that FeRFA’s success is due to having the right people in the right positons. Its members, who have a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, are actively influencing how flooring standards are devised and how the industry is regulated. Manufacturers are very clear about what a floor will and won’t do. However, a FeRFA rating allows for easy comparison with floors of similar type, making it easier to see where your floor sits in the grand scheme of things, which is a very good thing indeed. by Simon Clark, Sika Flooring Product Manager
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • FeRFA, the Resin Flooring Association, represents a wide range of leading manufacturers as well as contractors and other associated companies involved in resin flooring systems. For more than 45 years it’s been the recognised voice of the resin flooring industry, taking a leading role in developing global standards. FeRFA is a superb trade association because it is so active. One of its earliest accomplishments was to create a framework that put the various flooring systems on the market into some sort of context. Their classification system, which runs from one to eight and categorises floors according to durability and product type, enables contractors and specifiers to compare products on a like-for-like basis, helping to simplify the specification process. For instance, if a client has two manufacturers pitching a floor to them, all they’d need to ask is, ‘what FeRFA rating would this floor be’? If one says ‘four’ and the other says ‘three’, it then becomes clear different systems are being pitched. The chances are one of the systems being pitched will be thinner than the other and have a different build-up, making it inappropriate for the materials that it will have to withstand. The FeRFA classification system answers a number of important questions, such as: How do different products compare in terms of cost? What’s the likely durability of the floor? Is the floor appropriate for its intended environment? Loud and clear Ultimately, the FeRFA guide demystifies the specification process by cutting-through product marketing. If a contractor recommends a type of floor, you can see for yourself why it’s being specified. The whole process makes it easier for an educated contractor to guide an uneducated specifier as to what type of floor is suitable without changing the language because everyone’s essentially reading from the same page. Furthermore, the guidance document enables customers to generate an anticipated flooring life-time by comparing the flooring classifications with expected traffic loads.  This provides customers with an estimated figure – giving them the reassurance of an educated ‘guarantee’ in terms of number of years the system should last for. And this figure then allows Sika’s own flooring guarantees, something I believe is unique to UK manufacturers within the industry and potentially over and above the guidance, to be seen in context. It’s my opinion that FeRFA’s success is due to having the right people in the right positons. Its members, who have a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, are actively influencing how flooring standards are devised and how the industry is regulated. Manufacturers are very clear about what a floor will and won’t do. However, a FeRFA rating allows for easy comparison with floors of similar type, making it easier to see where your floor sits in the grand scheme of things, which is a very good thing indeed. by Simon Clark, Sika Flooring Product Manager
    Jul 29, 2017 0
  • 23 Jul 2017
    It’s likely a building will undergo a number of changes in its lifetime. Commercial structures in particular are potentially subject to different loads, with the introduction of new, equipment, and new openings cut to take services. When this happens, the reinforced concrete structural elements are placed under new stress’s and therefore in need of strengthening to take the additional loadings This situation also happens when buildings change use and extra floors are added, and in fact can affect all sorts of building from healthcare to residential. As a solution, rather than use steel reinforcement to strengthen columns, beams, slabs, and walls, specifiers, clients and contractors are turning to carbon fibre. Flexible and versatile with a superior strength-to-mass ratio than traditional reinforcing methods, carbon fibre allows for a significant increase in performance without adding additional significant dead load. This solution is less intrusive and quicker and easier to install compared to traditional methods. Carbon fibre strengthening comes in many different forms, plates, rods, near surface mounted plates, fabrics and shear links and are fixed using a range of high performance structural adhesives. Its increasing popularity as a proven solution for not only for reinforced concrete but also steel, cast iron, wood and masonry structures  due to its strength, lightweight, easy-handling ability, durability, superb adhesion and rapid installation where downtime of a building is in short supply. The range of solutions and flexibility makes it ideal for all types of buildings and structures where there is an increase or change of loading and enhanced bending, shear or axial enhancement required. For external and internal use, its performance helps safeguard a building against issues such as long-term fatigue, blast loading and general stability. Carbon fibre strengthening, as well as offering greater weight resistance than traditional refurbishment processes, is also kinder to the environment. It requires fewer materials and less energy, labour and machinery to install than steel reinforcement. The prospect of future corrosion and costly, time-consuming refurbishment is also eliminated with the use of carbon fibre strengthening. Without heavy plant-based processes required to install it, fabric-based solutions are safer for onsite teams to apply.  Flexible, cost and time-effective and a proven performer in helping strengthen weakening structures worldwide, carbon fibre is shaping-up as a long-standing alternative to steel-based structural refurbishment.   Visit: http://www.sika.com/en/solutions_products/construction-markets/sika-structural-strengthening-solutions/construction-structural-strengthening/structural-strengthening.html
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It’s likely a building will undergo a number of changes in its lifetime. Commercial structures in particular are potentially subject to different loads, with the introduction of new, equipment, and new openings cut to take services. When this happens, the reinforced concrete structural elements are placed under new stress’s and therefore in need of strengthening to take the additional loadings This situation also happens when buildings change use and extra floors are added, and in fact can affect all sorts of building from healthcare to residential. As a solution, rather than use steel reinforcement to strengthen columns, beams, slabs, and walls, specifiers, clients and contractors are turning to carbon fibre. Flexible and versatile with a superior strength-to-mass ratio than traditional reinforcing methods, carbon fibre allows for a significant increase in performance without adding additional significant dead load. This solution is less intrusive and quicker and easier to install compared to traditional methods. Carbon fibre strengthening comes in many different forms, plates, rods, near surface mounted plates, fabrics and shear links and are fixed using a range of high performance structural adhesives. Its increasing popularity as a proven solution for not only for reinforced concrete but also steel, cast iron, wood and masonry structures  due to its strength, lightweight, easy-handling ability, durability, superb adhesion and rapid installation where downtime of a building is in short supply. The range of solutions and flexibility makes it ideal for all types of buildings and structures where there is an increase or change of loading and enhanced bending, shear or axial enhancement required. For external and internal use, its performance helps safeguard a building against issues such as long-term fatigue, blast loading and general stability. Carbon fibre strengthening, as well as offering greater weight resistance than traditional refurbishment processes, is also kinder to the environment. It requires fewer materials and less energy, labour and machinery to install than steel reinforcement. The prospect of future corrosion and costly, time-consuming refurbishment is also eliminated with the use of carbon fibre strengthening. Without heavy plant-based processes required to install it, fabric-based solutions are safer for onsite teams to apply.  Flexible, cost and time-effective and a proven performer in helping strengthen weakening structures worldwide, carbon fibre is shaping-up as a long-standing alternative to steel-based structural refurbishment.   Visit: http://www.sika.com/en/solutions_products/construction-markets/sika-structural-strengthening-solutions/construction-structural-strengthening/structural-strengthening.html
    Jul 23, 2017 0
  • 07 Jul 2017
    The tragic events of the Grenfell Tower fire have led to a nationwide debate around fire safety, especially concerning building materials, sprinklers and regulatory reform. One of the key questions which has emerged is why, after the Lakanal House fire in 2009, the government has not prioritised an update to building regulations. At the recent FIREX International event (pictured above), held at London’s ExCel Centre, the Fire Sector Federation (FSF) hosted a panel to discuss the lessons learned and to debate why building regulations need to reviewed.   The panel expressed major concerns about the apparent disconnect in the processes which aim to ensure fire safety within the built environment, as well as concerns about the combustibility of certain modern building materials and techniques. Speaking at the event, Dennis Davis, FSF Vice Chair, summed up the feelings of many in the panel of UK fire safety experts: “We are on record as saying time and time again that we are desperately worried that our building regulations have been falling behind the scale and scope of what has been going on in the built environment.” The construction environment has changed dramatically in the past 10 years and will continue to change.  It is imperative regulations are aligned with new developments, a thought echoed by Jim Glockling, Technical Director at the Fire Protection Association: “There is a failure of the regulations to respond to the changes in the built environment.  The way we are constructing buildings, the methods, the materials deployed to pursue the sustainability of the type we are seeing – these are completely unrecognisable compared to when the regulations were last approved.” The panel also raised concerns around fragmentation within the construction industry, as panellist Niall Rowan, Chief Operations Officer at the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) explained: “We are working with architect’s to get fire protection into the RIBA plan of works. Part of this would include sign off by the responsible third party at each stage”. This move from the ASFP is a response to the weaknesses in a building’s “chain of custody” when it comes to fire protection. What was clear from the panel is that there has been a worrying complacency on the issue of fire protection, highlighted by the government’s inaction towards updating guidance. The stable door legislative process which has relied on the influence of fatal fires, such as the one we have seen at Grenfell, needs to be reviewed. We believe a wide ranging review of the building regulations relating to fire, particularly the guidance contained in Approved Document ‘B’ (ADB) is overdue. It is needed to protect people and property from fire and to help business and building owners better understand the threat that fire poses to their infrastructure and future. This information is sorely needed as we now know from a recent YouGov survey that 69% of the businesses polled thought that following ADB guidance means that their business premises will be adequately protected from fire events. It doesn’t, but it should. The fire sector is calling for the government and the construction industry to work together in supporting a review of the current fire safety regulations, to include consideration of existing buildings. We are also appealing to both parties to take greater responsibility for the design and correct installation of fire protection systems across the built environment. We have long campaigned for more robust solutions to be explored within the regulations which should protect life and property and we strongly believe that systems such as automatic sprinklers should be considered more readily as a viable option across the built environment, whether that it is existing high-rise residential blocks, care homes, or commercial and industrial buildings. Now is the time for our government to look at current regulations and recommendations with fresh eyes and provide a clear answer for tragedies such as Grenfell Tower, ensuring that we can prevent them in the future. For more information about the Business Sprinkler Alliance visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org Iain Cox, Chairman of the Business Sprinkler Alliance
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The tragic events of the Grenfell Tower fire have led to a nationwide debate around fire safety, especially concerning building materials, sprinklers and regulatory reform. One of the key questions which has emerged is why, after the Lakanal House fire in 2009, the government has not prioritised an update to building regulations. At the recent FIREX International event (pictured above), held at London’s ExCel Centre, the Fire Sector Federation (FSF) hosted a panel to discuss the lessons learned and to debate why building regulations need to reviewed.   The panel expressed major concerns about the apparent disconnect in the processes which aim to ensure fire safety within the built environment, as well as concerns about the combustibility of certain modern building materials and techniques. Speaking at the event, Dennis Davis, FSF Vice Chair, summed up the feelings of many in the panel of UK fire safety experts: “We are on record as saying time and time again that we are desperately worried that our building regulations have been falling behind the scale and scope of what has been going on in the built environment.” The construction environment has changed dramatically in the past 10 years and will continue to change.  It is imperative regulations are aligned with new developments, a thought echoed by Jim Glockling, Technical Director at the Fire Protection Association: “There is a failure of the regulations to respond to the changes in the built environment.  The way we are constructing buildings, the methods, the materials deployed to pursue the sustainability of the type we are seeing – these are completely unrecognisable compared to when the regulations were last approved.” The panel also raised concerns around fragmentation within the construction industry, as panellist Niall Rowan, Chief Operations Officer at the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) explained: “We are working with architect’s to get fire protection into the RIBA plan of works. Part of this would include sign off by the responsible third party at each stage”. This move from the ASFP is a response to the weaknesses in a building’s “chain of custody” when it comes to fire protection. What was clear from the panel is that there has been a worrying complacency on the issue of fire protection, highlighted by the government’s inaction towards updating guidance. The stable door legislative process which has relied on the influence of fatal fires, such as the one we have seen at Grenfell, needs to be reviewed. We believe a wide ranging review of the building regulations relating to fire, particularly the guidance contained in Approved Document ‘B’ (ADB) is overdue. It is needed to protect people and property from fire and to help business and building owners better understand the threat that fire poses to their infrastructure and future. This information is sorely needed as we now know from a recent YouGov survey that 69% of the businesses polled thought that following ADB guidance means that their business premises will be adequately protected from fire events. It doesn’t, but it should. The fire sector is calling for the government and the construction industry to work together in supporting a review of the current fire safety regulations, to include consideration of existing buildings. We are also appealing to both parties to take greater responsibility for the design and correct installation of fire protection systems across the built environment. We have long campaigned for more robust solutions to be explored within the regulations which should protect life and property and we strongly believe that systems such as automatic sprinklers should be considered more readily as a viable option across the built environment, whether that it is existing high-rise residential blocks, care homes, or commercial and industrial buildings. Now is the time for our government to look at current regulations and recommendations with fresh eyes and provide a clear answer for tragedies such as Grenfell Tower, ensuring that we can prevent them in the future. For more information about the Business Sprinkler Alliance visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org Iain Cox, Chairman of the Business Sprinkler Alliance
    Jul 07, 2017 0