Fire Rated Decking

 

Gripsure is an authorised distributor of SHERA decking, a long-lasting and low maintenance fibre cement deck board achieving A2-S1,D0 and A1fl ratings against BS EN13501-1. As the market-leading supplier of non-slip decking products across Europe, Gripsure already has a heritage of supplying the balcony market before the updated fire regulations came into force in 2018. We have supplied sites requiring 200+ balconies, including the likes of Berkeley Homes, Crest Nicholson and Bovis Homes, to name just a few. 

 

What is Fibre Cement Technology? 

Fibre cement construction materials have been around for over 100 years but the technology to create better fibre cement products has been improving since that time. Fibre cement products are composed of Portland cement, silica, water and wood pulp and are manufactured using the Hatschek process.  

 

 

                   

 

As part of the Hatscheck process, cellulose fibres (from wood) are pulped in warm water then mixed with cement, silica, and other additives. The fibre cement mixture is transferred onto a conveyor belt, then a laminating roll. This process is repeated and multiple layers of fibre cement are laminated to the required thickness.

The laminated fibre cement sheet is cured using an autoclave process which combines intense heat and pressure to enhance chemical reaction between cement and silica to form fibre cement composites, which form extremely tough building materials. The curing process results in fibre cement products with high strength and toughness, stable, water resistance, non-combustible and easy to work with using standard tools.

Colour pigments are added in the process to create colour through deck boards with a choice of four different hardwood tones to create an inviting outdoor space in your home which also complies with UK building regulations.

 

 

Benefits of SHERA

 

Fire Performance

 

 

Current building regulations

In response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the government commissioned dame Judith Hackitt to independently review the UK’s building regulations and fire safety. An impact assessment was presented to parliament in November 2018 and set out over 50 recommendations to ensure a more robust approach to managing higher risk residential buildings. The full report can be found on this link.

One of the recommendations within the report, was to ban all but non-combustible materials (a minimum classification of Euroclass A2-S1, d0) from being used on residential buildings over 18 metres in height.

These recommendations were accepted and formed the new building regulations when they were updated in December 2018. Even with the new regulations, we are seeing housing associations and specifiers chose a non-combustible product even if the building is below 18 metres in height to ensure they comply with any future amendments to the regulations.

 

Anticipated update of regulations

An industry consultation was launched early in 2020 to review the ban on combustible materials in and on the external walls of buildings. One of the proposals in the consultation is to reduce the building height of buildings banning combustible materials from 18 metres to 11 metres. The decision to future proof projects seems to be a wise one with this consultation potentially leading to a regulation change in the near future.

 

Replacing combustible decking

As well as new build projects, the most recent advice note from the ministry of housing also states that the removal of combustible decking from existing buildings is the clearest way to prevent external fire spread and should occur as soon as practical following a major fire in Barking which engulfed the building. Further information on replacing combustible decking on existing buildings can be found here. Councils as early as 2019 started replacing traditional decking materials such as timber and composite decking for non-combustible options.

 

What are the standards?

BS EN 13501-1 is the European standard for reaction to fire performance of construction products. Products are rated from Euroclass A1 to F based on ignitability, radiant heat and combustion. In addition to the A1 to F classifications there are also two additional classifications for classes A2 to D which look at two other fire safety critical factors. These classifications look at smoke production rated from S1 to S3 (S1 – very limited amount of combustion gases) and the development of burning droplets and/or particles from D0 to D2 (D0 – no burning droplets or particles emitted).

 

 

 

 

Within the standard there are three classifications – construction products, floorings and linear pipes. SHERA deck boards have been independently tested for the construction products and floorings classifications and achieved non-combustible ratings for both classifications.

 

Construction product classification – A2-S1, D0

Flooring classification – A1fl

 

Fire test certificates of SHERA deck boards can be found on the links below.

 

 

                                                               

                                          A2-S1, D0 Fire Test Certificate                 A1fl Fire Test Certificate

                                                        Download here                                          Download here

 

 

 

 

You can view the SHERA product range here.

Download more information, including technical specification, here.

To request a sample or request a quote please get in touch with us on 01726 219299 or email tom@gripsure.co.uk