Building Regulations are subject to changes and updates, therefore it is crucial for manufacturers to ensure that their product solutions keep in line with these without exception.
The recently updated suspended ceiling standard BS EN 13964:2014 has ensured that we are reviewing the key parameters for quality in the market. This enables contractors and subcontractors to fully rely on the products to be fit for the intended application.
Strict regulations apply to the acoustic design of schools, healthcare facilities and commercial offices. Compliance with the ‘Approved Document E – Resistance of the passage of sound’ must be observed to deliver ceilings which allow for adequate sound absorption to increase occupant comfort through a better acoustic environment.
Furthermore, if a suspended ceiling is contributing to the structural fire protection of a building, specific materials and particular construction details have to be provided. Deviations from the tested and assessed design must be subjected to evaluation by a competent authority. UK fire regulations for fire safety requirements can be found in the ‘Approved Document B’, and metal ceilings will be tested according to BS 476.
Ceilings require installation according to the FIS best practice guide, and are undertaken by specialist contractors, most of whom are members of FIS and supply and install ceilings. To become a member, stringent entry conditions have to be satisfied and high standards maintained by adherence to the most current practice.
Regulations might look like yet another inconvenience, but they can present an opportunity to set your company apart from the competition. Investing in R&D allows manufacturers to gain a competitive advantage by improving and innovating where others might not have the resources to respond to new regulations accordingly.
In cases where bespoke products are manufactured for specific projects, it is even more important to consider Building Regulations. While these ceilings follow the same basic principles of standardised types, more detailed planning is needed to avoid any issues during and after installation. Companies’ proven adherence to regulations allows them to win projects, putting the specifier’s mind at ease.
By working with a variety of organisations that are continually striving to improve industry standards, such as the BSI, CIBSE, FIS and the BCO, companies are able to keep up with changing regulations and meet the industry standards, which not only enables them to provide excellent products but also helps them to increase the trust of their customers.
Andrew Jackson Director at SAS International