Fire and safety are some of the most important considerations for any property development.
In this video, I take you onsite to one of my mentee client’s commercial-to-residential projects. The big focus here is on essential fire safety considerations, including fire lobbies, wall construction, and insulation.
Below, I’ve shared some tips on internal wall construction, plastering and fireboard, and how to provide extra fire safety with fire lobbies.
A fire lobby is a space in buildings that are enclosed in fire-resistant materials. Typically, they separate circulation spaces like corridors and stairs or add space between flats and corridors.
These spaces generally are covered using pink plasterboard, which is rated for fire. What that means is it’s got a better fire rating, so that if a fire breaks out inside the apartment, what building control and inspectors want to see is that there is double protection leading out into the hallway.
A fire rated front door and an internal fire rated lobby provide the fire safety level that inspectors require.
On some commercial-to-residential conversion projects, like ex-factories, the ceilings can be very tall and present other problems, like dealing with exposed beams or pipework.
Internal corridors should be built and insulated, but developers can reduce the ceilings of the corridors to 2.4m or so to save on plastering costs.
Load-bearing beams present another potential safety hazard. Best practice dictates that beams should be covered with fire-rated materials. This means that if a fire does break out, these beams are less likely to bend or break due to rising temperatures.
Insulation like Rockwool is a crucial component in making fire-safe buildings. While this insulation also serves to soundproof buildings. Stone Wool insulation can handle temperatures above 1,000º C. Additionally, it is non-combustible, so it will help slow down a fire.
This material really helps hit the building regs; it keeps the noise down and helps people live together.
Property fire safety is one of the most important aspects of any project. As technology has improved, fire regulations have become stricter. Building fire regulations is one area that should never be compromised. Fire doors and lobbies are excellent ways to provide a good level of safety, while insulation and wall construction are also key facets of good fire safety construction.
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