FPDC’s Steve Halcrow has been appointed as chairman of the influential British Standards committee that oversees plastering and drylining. The B544 committee meets regularly throughout each year and is planning to start a review of the standard during the next 12 months.

The committee works to represent UK interests in the development and review of European Standards as well as writing and revising our own British Standards as required.

The current focus of work centres around three main Standards: BS 8212, BS 8000 (part 8) and BS 5234.

The first two are both Codes of Practice for design and installation of drylining and partitioning systems using gypsum plasterboard. They lay down guidelines for everything from the handling and storage of product, through good design and site planning and onto finishing standards and build tolerances. The two documents are in effect the same Standard and when work is complete the aim is to revise BS 8000 part 8 and bring it up to date, at which point it will superseded BS 8212 which will cease to exist.

Steve Halcrow said: “BS 5234 deals with the strength and robustness of drywall partitions. It has been in existence for just over twenty years (1992) but its content has been widely misunderstood and the Standard has rarely been implemented correctly and in full. Its content is linked closely with the two other Standards so when we revise these documents we’ll aim to bring all of them up to date simultaneously and make sure their content cross-references correctly.”

Work is due to begin in spring 2013 and should be completed during 2014