Fire safety has received significant exposure over the past year following the aftermath of 2017's Grenfell Tower disaster. This publicity has bestowed the acute requirement for the Government to restore the faith of residents within high-rise tower blocks, re-establishing UK citizens' confidence in the safety and protection of both their homes and, more importantly, their lives. Considerable attention has been paid to the abolishment of combustible cladding here in the UK, however, one vital piece of life-saving equipment that requires further investigation is the installation of sprinklers within residences. During a 2016 refurbishment, Grenfell failed to have sprinkler systems fitted, which has prompted the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee – chaired by Clive Betts – to demand for the funding of sprinklers for retrofit installations within councils' and housing associations' high-rise residential blocks to circumvent a distressing repetition of the Grenfell tragedy.
Many within the construction realm have announced a bellowing call for change surrounding the fitting of sprinklers – the RIBA, National Fire Chiefs Council and London Planning Assembly are just a handful of organisations to display their feelings surrounding the subject. This month, FC&A has talked to Antony Corbett of Geberit Piping Systems on the mandatory installation of sprinkler systems within existing residential properties. "...Sprinkler systems save lives", Corbett plainly states on page 32 of this month's issue. Here, he studies current regulations and viability.
Meanwhile, on page 26, John Dunnington at Booth Muirie provides insight into the fire performance of rainscreen cladding systems over 18m. Dunnington reveals that many construction professionals lack confidence in rainscreen systems after last year's conflagration, and looks in detail at British Standard BS 8414 and the requirements of BR 135.
I hope you enjoy this edition. Don’t forget you can also access all of the magazine’s features, product news and supplier information at your fingertips via Future Constructor & Architect’s state-of-the-art app. To download your version free of charge, simply search ‘fc&a’ on Google Play or the App store.