Gypsum fibreboard from Fermacell has helped to prevent the spread of fire at a house in Plymouth.

The semi-detached house was one of 4,000 post-war BISF (British Iron and Steel Federation) properties being refurbished to Decent Homes standards by Plymouth Community Homes housing association in a £168 million five-year investment programme.

Fermacell Plymouth house fireSpecialist contractor ECL Contracts was installing an EWI system.  The original BISF metal lath melted and twisted in temperatures believed to have reached 2,000˚C. The Fermacell panels on the facade remained unscathed, apart from an area around the eaves where the fire brigade had to punch through to gain hose access.

ECL projects manager, Steve Morgan, said that Fermacell had been one of five options as an EWI backer board and that it had been selected for its Class A2 (half-hour) fire resistance and comparatively light weight. “This kind of performance gives everyone reassurance in the products we use,” he said.