of insulation products, Kingspan Insulation has urged architects, building
certifiers, fire engineers and relevant authorities to ensure correct methods
are being followed while installing rigid insulation boards in concrete soffits
applications. Kingspan warns of serious fire safety risks if these concerns are
not addressed by stakeholders.
In applications such
as carparks or exposed internal ceiling linings, where insulation boards are
left exposed in concrete soffits, the National Construction Code (NCC) requires
that they are tested to AS ISO 9705, from which a Group Number fire
classification is then calculated. The AS ISO 9705 test method also requires
that ‘the product to be tested shall, as far as possible, be mounted in the
same way as in practical use’.
The NCC requires a
Group 1 classification to be achieved for several applications. Group Numbers higher
than ‘1’ will have limitations on how and where they can be used.
According to Kingspan,
a number of manufacturers of rigid polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation boards are
claiming a Group 1 fire performance classification with testing to AS ISO 9705;
however concerns have been raised that the on-site installation of these boards
are not consistent with the methods used for installation in the fire test.
Technical Manager Mr Keith Anderson explains that the Group 1 classification can
no longer apply where on-site installation methods differ from that of the
test. Citing an example, he said that a PIR insulation board was installed in
the test using angle iron brackets around the perimeter as fasteners. Another
test report detailed test installation methods that also included the use of a
high temperature sealant to fill the seams between boards.
To claim Group 1
status, the insulation board has to be installed the same way, strictly
adhering to the test methods on site. However, the reality is that the real-life
installations are not representative of the test conditions and, therefore, the
Group 1 classification cannot apply in these cases.
Commenting that this
situation presented serious fire safety risks for the building and its
occupants, Mr Anderson urged all design professionals, fire engineers and
certifying authorities to be vigilant in verifying that insulation installation
methods on-site matched those of test reports where AS ISO 9705 testing was
K10 FM soffit board is the only rigid soffit insulation product in Australia
that has received CodeMark certification, which includes a certified
classification as a Group 1 material. CodeMark is a third-party independent
product certification scheme and is considered the building industry’s highest
level of product conformance.
Mr Anderson adds
that the installation methodology used in the AS ISO 9705 test for Kooltherm
K10 FM is identical to Kingspan’s standard installation methodology published in
their installation details, which means that contractors simply have to follow
the instructions and not worry about doing anything differently in order to
maintain the Group 1 classification in-situ.
provides on-site installation training so that contractors are fully aware of
the correct installation methods and details.
Featuring a super
high performance, fibre-free rigid thermoset phenolic insulation core,
sandwiched between an upper tissue-based facing and a lower facing of highly
reflective aluminium foil, Kooltherm K10 FM comes with CodeMark credentials and
is also FM-approved by FM Global, a third-party certification that assures
customers that the product has been objectively tested and conforms to the
highest national and international fire standards.