Technical Notes and Industry Alerts

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Acoustic absorbers – specifying acoustic absorbers where they will be installed against a wall

This advice note will help specifiers understand the performance (including fire) of wall mounted acoustic absorbers, acoustics and room acoustics, reverberation and absorption, conformity marking and importantly their installation.

Benchmarks – why are they so important

Benchmarks are used to establish a standard that future work can be judged against. For example; benchmarking something for the quality of finish or technical execution, and to set a level for what’s expected throughout a project. This guidance looks at the best way to use benchmarks and what to do if they are not part of a contract or included in the specification.

Boards: Magnesium Oxide Boards

NHBC will not accept MgO building boards on buildings where the foundations are begun on or after 30 April 2020 under its insurance warranty.

Boards: Plywood Pattress

Ply and Orient Strand Board (OSB) are often the default solution when it comes to constructing drywall so that it can take a load; But is ply the right choice? What are the implications? Is there a right way? And are there any alternatives?

Building Regulations: RISK and Building Regulations

Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower we have seen a rise in questions to our technical team asking how they can provide evidence that the work they have completed complies to the current Building Regulations.

(CCPI) Guidance note for marketing executives

With more attention being paid to how performance claims for construction products are being described, FIS has updated its advicce to provide some guidance on the appropriateness or otherwise on some words and phrases.

CE Marking: CE Marking and Brexit

The construction sector has been mandated to provide a declaration of performance and a visible CE mark on products that are produced for sale in the EU where a Harmonised European Standard or norm exists (hEn).

CE Marking: Declarations of performance (DoP) and use of the UKCA marking

Information on the rules and guidance provided in the EU Construction Products Regulation (EU 305/2011) (EU CPR) that have been amended by two pieces of UK legislation.

Ceilings – BS EN 13964 Guidance – Suspended ceilings, requirements and test methods

This guide, aimed at specifiers and designers, gives an overview of the content and scope of BS EN 13964.

Conformity Marking – How-to guidance

The government announced in December 2022 that the deadline for ending recognition of the CE mark has been extended to 30 June 2025. Until more guidance is given by the government, there is not an unambiguous path forward for manufacturers who need to conformity mark construction products. Thi sguidance looks at the two principal approaches with the subsequent risks and benefits.

Creaking in tall buildings

A phenomenon where creaking is heard in some tall residential towers in high wind occurrences is known to occur across the world, yet the buildings are all compliantly designed and constructed and are safe

Deflection heads – Risk of exposing the head track in deflection heads due to undulating levels

Exposed head tracks on deflections heads are being highlighted as a defect resulting in costly delays and remediation costs. This information note explains how this can inadvertently happen and what steps should be put in place to mitigate the risk.

Drylining: Wind load on drylining

The wind load on the face of a partition can vary especially where the partition is exposed to large opening doors. Designers should design the partitioning to ensure that adequate allowance has been made during the design stage to address the issue. This technical note can be used to inform the designers of the issue.

Fire: Top 10 risks to avoid when procuring and installing Fire resistant drylining

Designing procuring and constructing drylining is complicated and detailed, it needs to be done by people who are competent and designed by people who have full knowledge of what it is required to do and what it will interface with, as well as what will penetrate it.

Fire: Compatibility between pipes and fire and acoustic seals

Attention needs to be paid during the design, specification and installation of the products to ensure that all components perform as required.

Fire Door Openings – limitations of testing

This guidance aims to help raise awareness of the restrictions on minimum nib sizes between and around fire rated doorset openings.

Fire: FAQs

Frequently asked questions regarding fire.

Fire: HSG168 – Fire Safety in Construction

HSG168, published by the health and safety executive (HSE), deals specifically with the construction stage of a project and should be used to mitigate risk and protect lives and property.

Fire: Regulation 38 – Fire Safety

The regulation ensures that information imperative to life safety of people in and around the building is communicated to owner/occupier, so that the building can be managed correctly.

Fire: Test evidence for fire walls

Fire resistance evidence of non-loadbearing walls can be demonstrated by testing samples using either BS 476-22 or BS EN 1364-1, this technical note explains the fundamental differences between the standards and how both are acceptable in the current guidance in Approved Documents B

Fire: Third Party Certification

Third party certification varies according to the terms of each scheme, but essentially includes verification of the test evidence and scope of application or use of the product, and a regular audit of the factory quality assurance system.

Fire stopping – mouse holes

Small holes, sometimes known as mouse holes occur as a consequence of deflection heads on some systems at high level between the back of the wall channel and the above the face plasterboard on corners and three-way junctions. This technical note has been produced to help inform your site teams and designers of the responsibility to ensure that they are fire stopped and that the designer has approved the detail.

Guarding with frameless glass partitioning

This guide will provide designers with information to standards and regulations that should be consulted when specifying frameless glass partitioning being used as a barrier and suggests a performance regime that harmonises them regardless of the devolved nation.

Dealing with non compliance issues

In the event that completed work has been identified as being non-compliant by a client, contractor or by a 3rd party specialist via a commissioned report, there are a number of steps that members should take which are somewhat universal to the type of construction and the nature of the complaint that should be followed.

Part L requirements to record and photograph junctions to the external wall

From Wednesday 15 June a requirement to provide photographic evidence of junction of internal walls to external envelope of a building come into force. This guidance provides you with information and advice on how to meet this requirement.

Partitioning: Installing to the underside of structural beams coated with Intumescent paint

Fixing anything directly to either the column/beam treated with intumescent paint will impede the intumescent paint from expanding and may allow heat to transfer to the steel.

Partitioning and Ironmongery: helping to manage social distancing

This guide has been written to outline the process and considerations that need to be taken in order to manage social distancing effectively through the use of partitioning and ironmongery.

Partitioning: Market Survey (FIS Partition Industry Forum) 2016

Findings from the FIS / CPA partition industry survey.

Partitioning: Operable Walls

What to consider when supplying an operable wall.

Partitioning: Specifying partitioning

Advice on what to consider when specifying partitioning.

Performance: Materials performance of plasters and compounds in extreme heat

Advice on the performance of plasters and compounds in hot conditions.

Plasterboard Systems: Causes of cracks

This information sheet highlights the causes which have been identified where cracks that align with plasterboard joints have appeared.

Plasterboard: Guidance to minimise waste

Things to consider to minimise plastreboard waste.

Plastering: A guide for homeowners

This guide addresses what to consider when having plastering completed in your home, from obtaining a quote, through to painting the finished plaster.

Plastering to floor level with applied skirting

This guidance looks at why, when applying a skim coat of gypsum plaster/finishing product onto internal walls, the plaster terminates or feathers out approximately 25-30mm from the unfinished floor before it is ultimately covered by skirting.

Plastering – How to improve the quality of internal finishes

To meet the client’s expectation it must start with a clear set of instructions about the level of finish expected, and this must be in the specification and clearly found in the invitation to tender.

Plastering: Standards for plaster finish

A single information source covering the standards for plaster finish.

Reporting non-conforming installations

Reporting nonconforming installations during refurbishment or during construction is not only a duty but can save long term risks with legacy work. This note is designed to be used in toolbox talks and as part of competency training.

Robust Details: Regulatory update

The most popular type of separating floor in flats is concrete planks with a floating screed. When built properly these perform very well but following trades such as dryliners and carpenters can inadvertently compromise performance.

Reports: Implementation of the CPR and the repeal of the CPD

Implementation of Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 of the European Parliament and Council of 9 March 2011 laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products and repealing Council Directive 89/106/EEC.

Reports – Timeline for the development of European Assessment Documents

ETAGs used as EADs according to Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 and related development of European Assessment Documents (EAD).

Safety: Spontaneous breakages of toughened glass

Spontaneous breakages of toughened glass can occur for a variety of reasons, here we look at the possible causes.

 Safety: Standing Committee on Structural Safety alert

This information provides guidance on the structural safety of glass in balustrades.

Specification: 10 key points for writing a smart specification

This guide provides 10 key points to writing a smart specification, whether it’s for a ceiling, partition, floor or any other element within the finishes and interiors sector that you are planning to specify

Steel Framed Systems: Uninterrupted height of masonry cladding to light steel framing

This information sheet provides guidance on the factors to be considered in determining the acceptable height of groundsupported masonry (called ‘uninterrupted height’ in BS 5268).

Trims: Transition trims

FIS consultant highlights the top 10 issues that he has encountered during site visits of a ceiling collapse.

Wall panels: A guide to mounting wall panels

Guidance on installing wall mounted panels.