To meet the energy efficiency, fire performance and ease of installation requirements of today’s projects, a growing number of specifiers are turning to insulated panel systems.
Metal-faced insulated panels are single, factory engineered components, with a rigid thermosetting insulation that is auto-adhesively bonded to metal facings – providing a strong durable unit. Sometimes called sandwich panels, they are typically fixed directly to the structural frame to provide insulation and weather protection, speed up installation and enable contractors to create highly energy efficient building envelopes with proven fire resistance.
Building Regulations set out minimum requirements for the thermal and fire performance of building envelopes. However, simply complying with the requirements will not always deliver the best results. Instead, it is important to consider how they will perform over the lifespan of the building. One way to get a clearer idea of a product’s performance and characteristics is to look at third party assessment processes.
Large-scale tests, such as those used within Loss Prevention Standard LPS 1181 from the BRE, and/or Factory Mutual FM 4880/4881/4882/447, provide a much more accurate picture than smaller scale tests used to demonstrate regulatory compliance. Insulated panels with rigid PIR cores can meet the demanding requirements of these insurance industry tests. The question is, do they truly reflect what happens in an actual building fire?
Industry body Engineered Panels in Construction (EPIC) published findings of independent studies into the fire performance of insurance industry approved PIR insulated panels within real-fire situations, and documented the findings of fire experts within a guidance document.
In all the cases they examined, they found the following was true:
The PIR core panels performed as expected from the large-scale test results, with no evidence of contribution to fire spread
- None of the fires were propagated within the PIR core
- No evidence was found to indicate that PIR panels increased the risk of fire spread
With concerns over budgets and the energy and fire performance of our buildings, contractors need proven solutions they can rely on, to perform as expected. This is where insulated panel systems come into their own, as they offer a well-established track record of delivering very high levels of energy efficiency without compromising on fire performance. All backed by rigorous testing. A product you can count on, which gives everyone peace of mind.