FIS in partnership with the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) has launched a Specifiers’ Guide to Light Gauge Steel Framing Systems (SFS) External Wall Systems to help specifiers understand the granular details involved in the design process and production of a specification.
The Specifiers’ Guide was produced by the FIS SFS working group made up of manufacturers and installers of SFS external wall systems in conjunction with the Steel Construction Institute (SCI), which provide an independent source of information and engineering expertise in steel construction. It is intended to guide architects, engineers, designers and installers through the stages in designing, selecting and specifying steel framed systems to form the external envelope for steel and concrete framed buildings.
FIS Chief Executive Iain McIlwee said: “This is the second specialist guide that FIS has produced in partnership with the Steel Construction Institute and demonstrates the strength in collaboration, producing guidance to ensure that accurate and detailed specifications can be written so that external walling systems can be procured and installed to meet the required specification.
Commenting on the guide, Colin Kennedy, Chair of the FIS SFS working group and Managing Director of FIS member Veitchi Interiors said: “Specifying SFS external wall systems requires considerable thought and design, even before a specification can be written. This is because the specification should be developed alongside the engineering design rather than a simple output from a list of attributes and parameters, to cover the three light steel external wall systems and the six current variants of SFS.”
Andrew Way, Associate Director at the Steel Construction Institute, added: “In order to achieve the correct specification, a considerable amount of information is required about the intended use of the product and the desired performance characteristics. This was the learning curve for me and the key lesson that this new guide addresses, in that the SFS should be fully engineered specifically for the building. Most importantly its location, proximity to other buildings and how that building is designed to accommodate movement is essential before it can be specified.”
Colin Kennedy continued by saying: “The construction industry is rightly under the microscope to ensure that the lessons from the terrible tragedy three years ago at Grenfell Tower are learned and that this starts with ensuring that the specification is clear, compliant and written by those who are competent and subsequently installed by those who can demonstrate they have the Skills, Knowledge, Experience and Behaviour (SKEB) to be considered competent.”
The guide includes 23 questions relating to ‘critical building information’, a further 15 questions to check that they are all addressed, a list of 10 questions on risk and how to avoid them and a further 10 questions on writing a smart specification to ensure a safe, compliant and complete specification can be written. All of which is crucial to ensure that the specification is not open to misinterpretation, and that any alternatives can be assessed and checked as equal, before approving them.
The guide sits alongside other FIS best practice guides that relate to SFS:
Design and Installation of Light Steel External Wall Systems
Recommendations for the Safe Ingress of Plasterboard
FIS Health and safety handbook
These guides work well when they are included in proposals and project plans to demonstrate how to best approach a project and are an excellent introduction to new members of the team and any trainees and apprentices.
You can download the Specifiers’ Guide to SFS External Wall Systems here https://www.thefis.org/membership-hub/publications/specifiers-guides/light-guage-external-wall-systems/
The Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS) has launched a Specifiers’ Guide – Ceilings and Acoustic Absorbers to help a project team fully understand the criteria when writing a specification for a suspended ceiling or acoustic absorber.
The Specifiers’ Guide – Ceilings and Acoustic Absorbers was produced by the FIS Ceilings and Absorbers working group which comprises representation from manufacturers, suppliers and contractors involved in the design, supply and construction of ceiling systems. It is intended to guide architects, designers and installers through the criteria in selecting and specifying a suspended ceiling and acoustic absorber that will satisfy the performance needs of an internal space while providing the desired visual effect.
Commenting on the guide, Iain McIlwee, Chief Executive of the FIS said: “This guide, written by industry specialists, pulls together decades of experience from specification managers who almost instinctively know the questions on all aspects – from performance, material characteristics, sustainability and environmental, conformity marking, installation, maintenance and end of life.
The guide addresses what a good specification looks like and how it should be structured, it even includes 10 top tips to producing a specification. It then breaks down the key performance issues around fire and acoustics and the other issues of volatile organic compounds, light reflectance, impact resistance, air permeability, wind loading, sustainability and conformity marking.
“In total, there are 36 parameters to consider to ensure a safe, compliant and complete specification. This is crucial if the specification is not to be misinterpreted and any alternatives assessed and checked as equal before approving them,” added Iain McIlwee.
The guide sits alongside other FIS best practice guides that relate to ceilings:
Site Guide for suspended ceilings
Installation of suspended ceilings
Selection and installation of top fixings for suspended ceilings
Maintenance and access into suspended ceilings
Recommendations for the Safe Ingress of Plasterboard
Health and safety handbook
These guides work well when they are included in proposals and project plans to demonstrate how to best approach a project. They are also good differentiators when someone is in competition with non-members, and are an excellent introduction to new members of the team and any trainees and apprentices.
You can download the Specifiers’ Guide – Ceilings and Acoustic Absorbers here.
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To help specifiers understand the performance of wall mounted acoustic absorbers, FIS has published a new technical note, Specifying Acoustic Absorbers where they will be installed against a wall.
The sound quality of a room often doesn’t need a specialist to tell you that something is wrong. Whether it is an office, café or community space, it can sound like being in an unfurnished room and as people arrive it can become louder and louder for occupants. It is an issue that can be addressed by reducing reverberation caused by hard surfaces through the installation of acoustic absorbers on the walls.
The new guidance will help specifiers understand the acoustic and fire performance of wall mounted acoustic absorbers, acoustics and room acoustics, reverberation and absorption, conformity marking and importantly, their installation.
Iain McIlwee, Chief Executive of the FIS said: “The new technical note is aimed at anyone wanting to address noisy spaces by installing acoustic absorbers on the walls to reduce reverberation.”
This brief guidance provides information on how products are tested, what the results mean, what fire performance needs to be considered and what to look for in terms of how they should be installled so that they perform correctly.
“The positioning and installation of the absorbers can all have a big impact on the effect the absorbers will have, so it is important for specifiers to have all the informationduring the crucial specification stage ,” added Iain McIlwee.
The technical note is available to download at https://www.thefis.org/knowledge-hub/technical/fis-technical-notes-industry-alerts/