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Notes of the last meeting held on 16 May in London are available to download here.

  • The FIS Steel framing systems (SFS) working group held its first meeting in May, where they launched the revised Technical Report ED017 – Design and Installation of Light Steel External Wall Systems in partnership with the Steel Construction institute (SCI) Members were encouraged to promote the guide which can be downloaded here
  • The issue of using PVC cavity trays in cladding on buildings over 18M was discussed, please see the notes for the next steps.
  • There will be a workshop to develop guidance about the safe ingress of materials and look at safe methods of handling materials on 20 May. Please follow this link to register
  • Details of a market survey this Summer were agreed.

Please contact FIS Technical Director for more details.

FIS and the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) launched the much-awaited Technical Report ED017 – Design and Installation of Light Steel External Wall Systems guide with a consortium of industry partners on Thursday 16 May.

SFS is the lightweight steel frame used to create the inner leaf of an external wall, it’s been around for over 20 years but its benefits are just being realised, which is why so many projects are using it, but there are problems being created because of a lack of planning and knowledge. It’s the first thing you see, but often the last thing that’s designed in a building, and that’s the issue.

SFS is seen as non-load bearing, not holding the structure up but it is supporting cladding, internal linings, insulation and perhaps even services. There are significant implications should it fail, which could lead to the external cladding falling off.

Who is the guide aimed at and why should they use it?

  • The guide is for anyone who designs and installs SFS infill walls
  • Anyone checking that the products are being correctly installed, such as a ‘Clerk of Works’.
  • It will help to raise standards
  • Show clients what SFS is and how it works
  • It will get people thinking about what is expected of them, the design and the final installation
  • It will give installers the confidence to question designs and provide guidance to ensure the installation is as good as it can be
  • The document includes checklists as well as guidance that makes people stop and check that all the information that should be provided, is provided.

As the landscape post-Grenfell develops, we envisage that it will be very different from the way in which buildings are being designed and constructed now, this guide will become the go to reference for all involved.

MHCLG Project on fire performance of cladding products research


The aim of this project is to investigate the burning behaviour of selected types of non-ACM cladding products using physical testing at bench/intermediate scale in a laboratory setting to identify materials of potential concern so that MHCLG can consider the risk of their contributing to external fire spread when used as part of a system and ensure that its guidance is adequate.

Three questions have been raised:

Question 1 relating to the Literature review
Do you have relevant information that you would like to make the project team aware of? Please give details, references and/or provide reports.
Closing date for responses: Close of business Friday 20 April 2018

Question 2 relating to the types of products to be selected for experimental work
What are the products/materials currently being used as elements within a cladding system which you believe may give cause for concern in relation to fire performance? Please supply as much of the following information as possible;
a) Trade name and generic description of product
b) Extent of use in cladding systems within England (and UK)
c) Reason why this product is causing concern.
Closing date for responses: Close of business Wednesday 25 April 2018

Question 3 relating to the methodology for the experimental work
At this stage, do you have any views or comments on what you would like to see in the methodology for the experimental work – please remember that this project is only considering elemental performance in fire of products, it is not considering system performance.
Closing date for responses: Close of business Wednesday 2 May 2018

Members are asked to send their responses back to in time for CPA to meet the response dates. Please also cc

SCI ED017 - Design and Installation of Light Steel External Wall Systems


You are invited to comment on this final peer review and let FIS know if you have any comments on the guide that you would like to be considered prior to its publication. The guide has already gone through two extensive reviews which you can read in ‘track changes’: SCI ED017 – Design and installation of Light Steel External Wall Systems

Your comments can be recorded here and returned to no later than 19 February 2018.

All comments will be collated and discussed at a meeting of the Steel Framed System forum later in February or March; please inform Dan Cook, technical assistant, if you would like to attend:

This peer review has been widely circulated but as this is the final and public review, please feel free to circulate to others with an interest in the sector to comment on.

If you have any questions please email

Read an article in SpecFinish: There’s special interest in SFS

November 2016 Meeting

  • Address the issues of measurement using NRM 2 with RICS
  • Address the issues of incorrect specification with RIBA NBS
  • Engage with CPAS to carry out a market survey on the size of the SFDS market
  • Work with SCI to review an existing guide to SFS that will be relaunched in 2017 as a jointly badged guide

September 2016 Meeting

At the inaugural meeting the following objectives were agreed:

  • Develop technical standards as required
  • Promote best practice in the market
  • Educate and inform clients and specifiers about SFS
  • Promote the products and skills of FIS members in this field
  • Shape the market so that the correct adherence to standards is recognised and adhered to by all to the benefit of clients