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Working towards a fire-proof building

Claddings have a crucial role to play in the fire safety aspect of a building but what are the tools to assess cladding systems in existing buildings? Company representative analyses the situation

| | Dec 11, 2018 | 2:45 pm
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Abhishek Chhabra, Market Development Manager, Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants

Dubai, UAE, 11 December 2018: Governments, property owners and insurance companies, in addition to a number of stakeholders around the world, are working to establish an accurate knowledge of fire risk, due to cladding materials that have been installed, said Abhishek Chhabra, Market Development Manager, Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants, during the Safety Design in Buildings Conference, on December 11, in Abu Dhabi. Elaborating on the tools to quantify fire risks of cladding on existing buildings, he said, “Cladding systems need to be broken down and checked on four parameters.” Pointing to the cladding’s ignitability, combustibility, calorific value and flame spread, he said, “When bringing a cladding system together, these properties must be taken into consideration, after which it must be tested.”

Elaborating, Chhabra said, today a lot of people would like to see buildings come up quickly. “The UAE code,” he added, “has re-defined the height of buildings, which are considered as high rises.” He said, 90 meters, can be understood as a high rise. When it comes to cladding, he said, they have four core functions, i.e. air barriers, water barriers, thermal barriers and vapour barriers. Elaborating, he said, the workmanship, risk assessment, material properties and system behaviour must be taken into consideration. He added, “We must take steps towards an initial assessment and investigate into the materials being used in existing buildings as benchmarks, before taking on new projects.”


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