Can a fire-rated wall be reconfigured? How would one approach that? What should one be wary of? We spoke to our whitewall specialist, Shaun Jones and our project team, who shared their insights on one of our recently completed contracts.
“In construction, if something sounds too good to be true, you’ll hit a stumbling block at some point! The clients, a fit-out company, were approached by an up-and-coming clothing retailer to add office space to the warehouse they were about to move into. It sounded like a simple alteration until we arrived on site,” says Shaun. Stancold’s job was to cover the undercroft with a 120-minute fire-rated partition so our clients could work on the internals of the offices. The new wall had to match & integrate with the existing system and fire-stopping.
Our construction manager, Rich, took the lead on the project. As our installers were dismantling the cover strips on the edge of the structure, it turned out that there was a gap between the panel and the steelworks, as if someone had cut the panels short. “You could do that and work around such a design. Fill the gap with sheets of steel or something. They decided to go with timber. Timber. Our team could not believe what they saw,” Rich said, rolling his eyes.
Working on a tight schedule required all hands on deck to coordinate a quick change in the design. Shaun, Rich, and our CAD technician, Jonathan, found a practical solution and amended the plans.
“I cannot think of any reason to use MDF for fire-rated partitions. I cannot see how it passed LPCB certifications. It’s hard to comment on that. I can only say this is why you should hire specialists for such things. I’m glad it’s all fixed and safe now,” Shaun sums up.
Do not risk people’s lives or the safety of your product. Experienced, reputable firewall contractors would not settle for anything less than perfect compliance with the Building Regulations.
When in doubt, we’re happy to assist.