Architects and developers are under increased pressure to design safer residential buildings that deliver predictable performance. Steve Thompson, Managing Director for light steel framing specialists EOS makes a strong case for robust testing and certification.
The Hackitt report highlights the failings within the construction industry and sets out recommendations for a major shakeup of the current regulatory framework governing building control and fire safety in residential buildings.
Our products, processes and whole business philosophy show that as a manufacturer, we take our responsibilities extremely seriously. At the heart of this is rigorous testing, technically competent people and a systems approach to our solutions.
Information and record-keeping around construction projects is often fragmented – I believe ‘the golden thread’ is a step towards true transparency. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is now acknowledged as crucial in the design and construction process, but it goes beyond that – it provides a significant and lasting legacy of digital information from all those involved.
EOS operate to BIM Level 2 and this technology is seen as fundamental to not only our business operation but how we collaborate with our construction partners. In addition to BIM, with our Etex group partners we consider taking a systems approach, as recommended in the Hackitt report – backed by rigorous testing regimes and certification is also a critical factor in determining building performance and safety across the medium to highrise residential sectors.
As part of Etex, together with Group partners – Siniat, Promat and FSi – we have invested considerable time and research in developing a range of non-combustible walling and flooring systems. We are committed to technical excellence and understand the challenges faced by architects and through Etex Group, have some of the best fire experts in the UK on our team. Up until now there has been a lack of a systems-based approach to eradicate the pitfalls surrounding specification decisions.
By eliminating uncertainty through rigorous testing regimes, EOS deliver light steel frame systems with certified and predictable performance. Recently presented with Best External Product at the 2021 Housebuilder Product Awards, Thrubuild® is an all-in-one non-combustible certified system exploiting the latest products, technical know-how and manufacturing excellence of the combined Etex team. Providing crucial safety, time and cost benefits, the Thrubuild® range has multiple loadbearing applications for low and medium rise developments and can be used for external or internal walls together with internal and separating floors.
In addition to the Thrubuild® loadbearing range, we have researched and developed Thruwall® – a fully engineered custom-designed non-loadbearing infill system manufactured offsite and supplied as a certified kit of parts that can be used with concrete and steel main frames.
Following the outstanding success of Thruwall®, EOS has taken factory prefabrication and preassembly to another level. Developed and rigorously tested, pre-assembled frames (PAF) are an evolution of Thruwall® which are delivered to site as a unitised non-loadbearing infill system encapsulating light steel framing and external sheathing.
All components and products in the Thrubuild®, Thruwall® and PAF system range have been rigorously tested together for fire, acoustic, weathering, airtightness, durability and mechanical performance. Fire resistance periods of 60, 90 and 120 minutes are achievable. When walling and flooring systems are built with Etex Group components and materials, following a validation process — Etex award a 30-year warranty.
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