While fire resistance is a basic and fundamental requirement of building regulations, many misunderstandings exist in the marketplace leading to the mis-specification of drylining products. Several materials have an important role in increasing the fire resistance of buildings, and plasterboard can play one of the key roles in reducing fire spread and saving lives in the event of a fire. Mandeep Bansal, Knauf technical services manager, provides some important details.

Fire resistance has become one of the leading areas of enquiry encountered by the Knauf Technical Services team. The main area of misconception comes in the specification of wall and ceiling elements. It is important to understand that due to the inherent nature of fire spread, fire compartmentation is delivered through system design and understanding the various associated testing methods applied for the given type of construction, i.e. wall or ceilings/fl s. This of course can have a bearing on the type and the number of layers of gypsum plasterboards required.

Section two in the Approved Document B of the Building Regulations states that provisions must be made during the selection of building materials to account for fi e spread. In circulation spaces, internal linings are the point at which fi e spread can be the most prevalent and can thwart the escape of occupants.

Various solutions exist to meet the Building Regulation requirements. However, it is not possible to fully meet these requirements without adopting an approved system. A collaborative approach to building is required and it is important to ensure the construction interface details between walls, floors and the external envelope are designed to help with fire compartmentation.