CHANGES TO BUILDING regulations have highlighted the importance of incorporating passive fire protection into buildings and ensuring that an effective fire stopping strategy is put in place. Cavity fire barriers play a fundamental role within an effective fire stopping strategy. That’s according to George Danzey-Smith TIFireE, commercial manager at ARC Building Solutions Ltd. “Customers will only be interested in products that are tried, tested and trusted so merchants should look to recommend cavity fire barriers that have been independently tested and certified by a third-party certification scheme to assure the product’s performance, quality, reliability and traceability,” he says. All of ARC’s products have been appraised by the Certifire independent third party accreditation scheme. The ARC T-Barrier®

effectively seals the

party wall cavity, achieving a zero U-value at the party wall junction. It provides a four- hour fire integrity at the party wall junction in masonry construction or one-hour fire integrity at the party wall junction in timber frame construction, meeting the Robust Detail’s requirement for a barrier where a separating party wall meets an external cavity. This minimises the effect of thermal bypass, as well as reducing thermal flanking noise in the cavity wall, significantly reducing sound transmission along the cavity.

Danzey-Smith explains that the ARC U-Barrier is compressed between the top of the spandrel panel and underside of the roof covering, creating a fire and thermal break. NHBC 7.2.16 recommends a 25mm gap between the separating wall and the top of adjacent roof trusses, which should be filled with mineral wool and the ARC solution satisfies this. ARC U-Barrier complies with building regulations for fire stopping at the pitched roof party wall detail, as well as NHBC 7.2.16.


When customers come in looking for brick ties, they will also need cavity barriers,he points out. “By understanding ARC’s portfolio of solutions, this presents the opportunity for staff to adopt a cross-selling approach and encourage


Passive fire protection has never been more newsworthy, or more important as BMJ finds out.

customers to purchase related products, whilst incorporating an effective fire stopping strategy. “Staff must understand if the customer is working on a masonry or timber frame project, as well as the location within the building, as this will determine the appropriate recommendation of cavity barriers. The party wall cavity must be fire stopped around its entire perimeter and fire stopping should be incorporated at any separating floor or wall junction. It can also be necessary to fire stop around openings, such as windows and doors.” Danzey-Smith says that ARCCavity Socks restrict the spread of smoke and flames within external masonry walls and TCBs are designed to do the same within a timber frame wall. “If a customer is interested in Cavity Socks or TCBs, it may be worth making them aware of ARC’s T-Barrier products. T-Barrier’s seal the party wall cavity at the junction where it meets the external cavity wall, providing a more effective edge seal than traditional solutions, helping to significantly reduce heat and sound transmission along the void,” he says. “For customers who opt for spandrel panels as part of the party wall construction, merchants should be recommending ARC’s Spandrel

Barrier and U-Barrier to be used in conjunction to provide complete fire stopping around the spandrel panel.”

Alternatively, to make it easier for staff to understand the different functions of cavity barriers and in turn, sell, a ‘one-stop-shop’ a single-branded system allows an easy and systematic approach, he adds. “Such systems bring together a number of products from a manufacturers’ portfolio and are designed and tested to work together, removing the need to meticulously verify that each element is compatible with the other.”

ARC Firestopping System for Party Wall & Eaves Area, for example, comprises eight key products in masonry construction and six key products for a timber frame construction, each product is installed as the build progresses and eases the installation process by providing a logical sequence.

“As the topic of fire safety and quality continues to mount in the industry, working together with a reputable supplier will allow merchants and their staff to adopt sufficient product knowledge surrounding cavity barriers, which is fundamental within an effective fire stopping strategy.” BMJ

38 November 2020

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