Workshop on fire testing of facades
European approach to assess the fire performance of facades – Presentation and discussion
June 10, 2024
Several attempts have been made in the past to develop a European harmonized testing and assessment method for fire safety of façades before the European commission decided to publish two calls for tender on the topic. A project consortium from five countries (Sweden, UK, France, Germany and Hungary) applied to the call for tender and was contracted to develop a European approach to assess the fire performance of façades.
The objective of the first European project was to address a request from the Standing Committee of Construction (SCC) to provide EC Member States regulators with a means to regulate the fire performance of façade systems based on a European approach agreed by SCC.
The initial stages of this project were focused on establishing a register of the regulatory requirements in all Member States in relation to the fire performance of façade systems, and to identify those Member States who have regulatory requirements for the fire performance façade systems which go beyond the current EN 13501 (reaction to fire and fire resistance) classification systems and to collate the details of these additional requirements. After having confirmed the regulatory needs a testing and classification methodology based on BS 8414 and DIN 4102-20 was developed to address the identified key performance and classification characteristics which was finalized in 2018. The second project started in 2020 and is projected to finalize all testing in Autumn 2023.
The project consisted of a theoretical round robin with the aim to analyze how the current draft of the assessment method is interpreted by different laboratories, and to plan and carry out the first and second phase of the initial testing activities where the fire source, the design of the combustion chamber and secondary opening have been investigated. Furthermore, a substantial work has been done to ensure that the project is communicated in a good way to all stakeholders. The final part of that work was to perform an experimental round robin and propose a classification system.
The presentation during the symposium will cover some of the history and present the results from the round robin and the proposed classification system.