Author Topic: Fire performance of Timber Frame new homes.  (Read 6271 times)

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Fire performance of Timber Frame new homes.
« on: November 23, 2011, 10:26:25 am »
In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of non-traditional forms of residential construction.
This has been the result of the need to achieve both construction efficiency and better energy performance from the finished building.

The NHBC Foundation commissioned a study into the fire performance of residential buildings with regard to the increasing use of combustible thermal insulating products that may result in some forms of construction being more susceptible to disproportionate damage in the event of fire.
Medium rise multi occupancy residential buildings present the greatest risk from fire both in terms of life safety and property protection.
This type of building was the primary focus for this study

The study found that recent data provided by both the insurance industry and the Fire and Rescue Service contained detailed information on issues such as type of construction and failure of compartmentation.
Initial implications suggest that certain forms of construction may contribute towards the extent of fire spread and the increase in large claims when the overall trend is in decline.

The use of combustible materials either as principal framing elements or within the fabric of the building, both found in TIMBER FRAME CONSTRUCTION may provide a route for either internal fire spread through cavities or external fire spread via the facade. It has been shown that the potential increased fire load, should the fabric or structure of the building become involved, is significant.

Compartmentation may be prematurely breached in the event of a fire either by poor workmanship, incorrect specification of linings, or inadequate supervision. It is essential that cavity barriers are installed and located correctly. Any gaps in the fire barriers will provide a route for fire spread through cavities bypassing all other passive fire protection systems.

Combustible material used within external fabric, such as timber cladding, may contribute to external fire spread and could allow fire to spread back into the building at a level above the initial outbreak of fire. The study suggests a number of different solutions to reduce the risk of fire on timber frame construction sites including:

 the use of closed panel solutions where wall and floor panels are prepared off site with the linings already installed
 rescheduling the work to install linings as work proceeds
 the use of fire retardant products to limit the rate of heat release and extend escape time for site staff
 the use of non-combustible board to form the sheathing/racking layer
 non-combustible screens tied back to the scaffold to reduce the potential for ignition of adjacent buildings due to external fire spread
 sprinkler/deluge systems

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Re: Fire performance of Timber Frame new homes.
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2011, 08:39:45 am »
I cant understand why anyone would knowingly buy a timber-framed new home.
Fire risk is just one drawback. 
Noise through floors in flats can be a big problem.

Tim Fee Snagging Inspector