Passive first Blog

Todays Fire Walls

Friday, September 27, 2013

Over the years we have seen development of panel wall systems that speed up the installation time. As a result of these time saving measures, I have personally witnessed an increase of defects around services such as fire dampers and pipe services.

In Sydney, its common practice to have services such as pipes and mechanical ducting installed before the wall panel. Traditional brick wall systems allow the installer to resize bricks and at the same time provide a proper seal around services.

Wall panel systems are large and simple. However, fire stopping becomes an issue and ultimately is an afterthought. The wall panel is one piece where the installer must cut a larger hole. Sealing up this particular system is difficult because the panels don’t allow the ability to negotiate. The workable service area is located too close to slab soffits or concrete walls (as evident in photos below)

Is it because project deadlines can’t be met if the wall installer returns to repair the wall with additional materials? Is it the job of the of the service contractors to come back and reseal their own penetration? Can we rely on certification alone (these little pieces of paper) that confirm everything is compliant? Is it reasonable to leave the installation of fire rating systems with various trades at the time of construction? Or should the principal contractor bring in specialised companies who make it their business to deal with the fire stopping around services?

Which method do you think is more cost effective? 













Aldo Pena

Cert IV – Fire Technology | AMCA Accredited in Fire damper installation and certification

Cert II – Asset Maintenance of Fire Protection Equipment 































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