In the latest test results issued by DCLG, PIR (polyisocyanurate) insulation in conjunction with a wall cladding system, consisting of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) with a limited combustibility filler (category 1 in screening tests) has comfortably passed the full-scale BS 8414 fire test and is cleared to be used in buildings above 18 metres.
This test was one of the seven BS 8414 tests requested by the government in the aftermath of the Grenfell fire tragedy and commissioned through BRE, using a combination of materials including the make-up of the outer cladding system.
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. These buildings will need remedial work to bring their cladding systems up to an acceptable and safe standard, to reassure tenants and owners and this latest successful test gives the opportunity to ensure building improvements can meet a range of criteria, including fire safety as well as excellent thermal performance.
Speaking after this latest test result was announced, Simon Storer, Chief Executive of BRUFMA said; ‘With the tests now drawing to a conclusion, we have confirmation of a mix of materials that provides a fire safe cladding and insulation system using high quality PIR insulation.
‘The next stage is to assess what each building, that the government has identified as in need of recladding, requires, in terms of refurbishment. Therefore, it is important that we work with government to ensure a holistic approach to any fire risk assessment is undertaken in order that building owners and managers can prioritise any work that needs to be carried out.
‘Individual components and build-up of rainscreen systems will affect the individual performance on any system, but with this result, we now know that it will not be necessary for any PIR insulation to be removed from buildings, therefore making the government’s task of ensuring buildings meet safety and fire standards, easier.
‘In the meantime it is important to know that PIR, for use in other all other applications, continues to meet both the fire and thermal performance requirements of the Building Regulations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, offering the optimum insulation solution for building projects.’