Protecting a structure from fire during the build process with SterlingOSB Zero Fire Solutions
18 November 2020

It’s not only when a new building is completed and filled with people, animals or other  precious “things” that it needs to be fire-safe.  The part-built structure is equally important – and potentially perilous if not protected correctly.  The ever-pioneering team at Norbord has developed SterlingOSB Zero Fire Solutions to help housebuilders reduce the risk of fire spreading to neighbouring buildings during construction. Thankfully, occurrences of fire during a build – and afterwards – are rare. And it’s thanks to careful and stringent guidelines along with intelligent, fit-for-purpose products.

A good reference point is The Structural Timber Association produces guidelines for reducing fire spread in large timber frame buildings during construction before fire resistant finishes have been put in place. The guidelines require builders to reduce potential radiant heat emissions to acceptable levels; thus the risk of a timber frame construction fire spreading to neighbouring buildings is reduced substantially.

Then, at the end of the build, the completed timber frame buildings (dry linings fixed) are fully compliant with the Building Regulation fire protection requirements.

The guidelines enable the architect or housebuilder either to specify a type of timber frame with inherently reduced fire spread properties or, where suitable, to adapt the construction process to allow the use of standard open panel timber frame. The guide includes three generic categories of timber frame with increasing resistance to fire spread and associated reduction in radiant heat to neighbouring buildings, as well as giving a detailed test and approval protocol by which systems or product assemblies can demonstrate compliance with any given category. These categories allow the housebuilder to select the appropriate frame specification to construct a timber frame building based on the separating distances present on the site.

SterlingOSB Zero Fire Solutions is designed, when used in conjunction with Rockwool insulation, to match the categories in the STA guidelines.

So, they are the guidelines and you have the product; to find out more or chat to a real Norbord person on this subject get in touch with Daniel Clarke – email daniel.clarke@norbord.net.

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