More than any other sector, the UK government has backed the construction industry as the leading force in driving economic growth and achieving financial stability, following the significant disruptions caused by COVID-19 over the last 18 months. Here Marcus Parnham, Commercial Director at Profab Access, explores how the building products industry is evolving to successfully support professionals in achieving an increased and more efficient rate of construction, whilst simultaneously meeting greater requirements for testing and certification.
The building industry often leads the way out of economic crises, with this period being no different. This year’s Queen’s Speech set out the government’s latest regulatory agenda and included new legislation on infrastructure and housing, which have been specifically designed to place construction firmly in the vanguard of the nation’s economic recovery.
However, government investment alone will not enable the construction industry to thrive. The repercussions of the last year have created greater focus on the role of innovation and product development, as professionals increasingly require new and enhanced building components that streamline the specification, installation and maintenance stages, without compromising on quality, compliance or aesthetics.
This has led to the design and manufacture of a new generation of building products that reimagine traditional building practices to create new ways of working that increase on site efficiencies and reduce associated cost and resource implications, whilst also providing the highest possible standards in certification and safety.
In order to successfully achieve this, manufacturers have had to re-assess established installation methods to identify how building components can be reimagined to support professionals in working smarter and quicker when on site. However, these products must also enhance the proficiency of the specification stages by being supported by essential certification and accreditation documentation to evidence compliance with relevant regulations.
For example, with regard to the specification and installation of access solutions, manufacturers have identified an opportunity to reduce the level of components required throughout the installation process to not only shorten fitting times, but provide the highest possible standards of fire integrity and futureproof a development against potential legislative changes.
Access solutions, such as riser doors, are typically installed within shaft walls by utilising plastic packers. This ensures the frame is fitted accurately within the structural opening of the wall so that a flush finish is achieved. However, whilst this is a common method of installation, it is potentially time consuming to complete and requires a number of different components. An additional concern is that these packers may not have been adequately tested or certified, either independently or in conjunction with the riser door themselves. Intumescent mastic is also required as part of this installation process, which may contain halogen compounds that emit toxic gas when heated. This presents potential safety concerns for building occupants in the event of a fire.
To overcome these issues, Profab Access has revolutionised industry expectations by providing a new generation of steel riser door that is supplied with an adjustable frame as standard.
The only product of its kind currently available, the expertly engineered PRECISION adjustable frame completely transforms the installation process for construction professionals and streamlines the specification process for architects and specifiers. The patent pending PRECISION adjustable frame is now supplied as standard with Profab Access’ high quality steel INTEGRA 4000 Series Fire Rated Riser Door.
Through its unique construction, this high quality frame is extended upon installation to meet the unique dimensions of each structural opening, removing the requirement for plastic packers. The need for intumescent mastic application on site is also eliminated, as the frame also features dB-rated, factory applied intumescent strips as a cost efficient and sustainable alternative. Providing a complete trail of due diligence with both current and future requirements, the frame has undergone rigorous CERTIFIRE third party testing and certification provided by Warrington Fire as part of the entire doorset.
Throughout 2021, the entire sector, from building products manufacturers, right through to specifiers and contractors, must continuously challenge themselves to review existing building practices to support successful innovation and collaboration, in order to drive the industry forward and set the economy on a stable footing in the years ahead.
For further information on Profab Access and its range of riser doors, access panels, and steel doors, call +44(0)1827 719051 or visit www.profabaccess.com.