Fire Rated Stud Partitioning
Fire rated stud partitions are internal walls that provide vertical fire separation, for example in dividing walls, proprietary partitioning systems, protected shafts, stairs, lift wells, escape routes and separating roof voids between properties. Products used for the construction of fire rated stud partitions may be either standard plasterboard or special fire-rated boards, depending on the fire rating required.
The majority of partitions are likely to be fire rated for 30 minutes integrity and insulation but partitions with a fire rating up to 4 hours are available. Plasterboard panels, fixed onto metal studding fixed with self-tapping screws can provide the standard 30 minutes of fire resistance. Using insulation boards, mineral fibre or other insulation materials fitted between the outer skins of the partition, can improve insulation ratings. Some materials will have a self-finished surface, whilst others are conventionally decorated. However, as these partitions may form part of an escape route, surface spread of flame ratings for decorative should be taken into account.
Structures using standard plasterboard or proprietary materials considered as a system. The system should also include windows and doors rated to the same level as the wall itself. Any penetrations through the wall will require sealing to the same fire rating. Many system manufacturers provide the materials required for such penetration seals. These should be used wherever possible to ensure that the penetration does not compromise the fire rating of the structure.
System performance can also be compromised following installation, as boards are removed or holes cut for services, or for the incorporation of light fittings, doors etc. A risk assessment should therefore establish whether there is any visual damage to the system – cracks or holes will downgrade the performance It is very difficult to upgrade the fire performance of a system once installed, so it is important to ensure that the specification is correct at the outset.
As with all performance systems, fire performance is achieved through the interaction between all of the partitioning components; the metal framework, the lining board, the fixings and the jointing products. System performance can be compromised following installation, for example, if plasterboard panels are removed or holes cut for services, or for the incorporation of light fittings, doors etc. A risk assessment should therefore establish whether there is any visual damage to the system – cracks or holes will downgrade the performance – and whether there has been work carried out on the wall since its original installation. Any additional fittings must be rated to match the wall or ceiling performance, and any subsequent work to the system must be correctly carried out and finished to ensure that performance is not compromised. If the fire-rated partition is being specified and installed from new, it is essential to adopt a joined-up approach to the installation, in order for the integrity of the system to be maintained.
We can assure you of the highest standards of design, manufacture and installation. We take time to understand your needs and take great care to plan your working environment effectively and to deliver maximum efficiency. One of our experienced Project Engineers will personally manage each contract. Their role is to carry out a detailed site survey, produce layout drawings to help you visualise your partitioning layout and to supervise installation.