The Shard, as many of you will know, is a 95-storey skyscraper situated in London. The construction of it began in 2009 and was opened to the public in 2013. It has since been home to a number of restaurants, hotels, offices and retail shops. Throughout the development of The Shard thousands of products were specified, all of which had to meet building regulations, one of these being the fire stopping products.
The core of The Shard is made up of many compartments that act to prevent the spread of flames, smoke and heat in the event of a fire. Fire stopping products are used to provide fire protection to each compartment, sealing any gaps that could possibly lead to fire passing through compartments. Buildings must ensure that any openings and gaps are fire stopped to restrict both lateral and vertical fire spread.
The original fire stop that was specified for The Shard was not, in fact, a Walraven product. Generic fire stop solutions were specified for use throughout the building. However, due to the significant movement expected of the building structure and pipework within the risers, the District Surveyor for the London Borough of Southwark raised concerns that a generic fire stopping solution for the riser breakouts may not be effective, and that the contractors should seek advice about this.
The problem faced with the firestop
Due to the movement expected and the arrangement of pipework in the risers, a specialist passive fire protection product was required. The product would have to be effective in allowing the pipes to move without failing, and could also be easily installed on multiple pipes situated very close together. The sub-contractor onsite had previously used the Walraven Pacifyre® MKII Fire Sleeve on another project and knew that the specification of the firestop could fit the bill and that it was easy to install. As a result of this, they approached us for advice.
Upon speaking to the sub-contractor, we were asked to discuss our fire stopping solution with the Consultants and the District Surveyor. There were six main concerns that they wanted to ensure the installed firestop was able to deal with:
The Walraven technical team were able to provide evidence that our Pacifyre® MKII Fire Sleeve would effectively deal with all of the required situations, as well as being easy to install on multiple pipes situated close together. After a meeting with the Consultants, they chose to change the specification to the Walraven fire stopping product for use throughout the risers and riser breakouts .
On site training was provided by Walraven for the installation, and post-installation checks were also carried out.
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