BS 8414 Cladding Testing
In response to the Hackitt Report, cladding testing has now become of the upmost importance. The recent Government warning to Building Control to only accept clear evidence that a BS8414 test has been conducted correctly has put a pressure on the industry to test at a greater level of detail.
Currently the UK has few facilities for this test to be conducted and even when a slot is available it can take months to receive results-the vital evidence needed to satisfy Building Control.
Two new 8414 testing rigs – now available at the Fire Protection Association
Experimental research conducted by the FPA and sponsored by the ABI in response to the Grenfell Disaster highlighted concerns with the 8414 test which intern led to the current review being undertaken by the BSI. As a result, the FPA built two test rigs at its Fire Experimental Unit in Gloucestershire.
The decision to fully open these for commercial use has been taken as a result of concerns about the lack of capacity in this market and it is hoped this will speed up the UK testing process. In addition, they have also built a half-sized rig that can be used for more bespoke elements surrounding a cladding test, for example the addition of a window or other opening to more closely replicate a real-life situation.
Plus, reporting is available after just two weeks of the test being conducted keeping the building process moving.
Why use the Fire Protection Association for testing?
- Very competitive prices - from a not for profit organisation
- Testing is completed in the UK FPA laboratory
- Two full sized and one half size rig
- Experienced laboratory staff
- Independent and impartial results
- Excellent reporting turnaround times
- Conforms with new legislation
Section 12 of Volume 2 of Approved Document B (Fire safety – buildings other than dwelling houses) sets out two ways for duty holders to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of Paragraph B4 of Schedule 1 (External Fire Spread) to the Building Regulations 2010 as amended, in relation to buildings with a storey 18m or more above ground level.
- For any insulation product, filler materials (not including gaskets, sealants and similar) etc used in the external wall construction to be of limited combustibility (as defined in Table A 7 of Appendix A of Volume 2 of Approved Document B); or
- For the external wall to meet the performance criteria given in the BRE report Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multi storey buildings (BR 135) for cladding systems using full scale test data from BS 8414 -1: 2002 or BS 8414-2: 2005.