Find out why Walraven fire stops were specified in The Shard

Published on: 8 December 2022

fire stop shardThe Shard is a 95-storey skyscraper situated in London and is one of the tallest buildings in Europe. 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 construction of The Shard thousands of products were specified, all of which had to meet building regulations as well as some more complex requirements due to the bespoke nature of the building.

Fire stop requirements for The Shard

Like any new building, The Shard required firestop solutions for M&E services passing through fire compartment walls. In the original building specification only generic firestop solutions were mentioned for the project. This is all too often the case and frequently leads to problems at installation stage. Suddenly contractors realise that there are some specific requirements for the firestops which means any standard solution may not be suitable. This is why we recommend that firestop solutions are investigated fully at an earlier stage in the project to ensure a suitable solution is specified. Our handy checklist gives 15 points to consider when selecting a firestop for a project.

The issues that became evident on The Shard were to do with 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 risers may not be effective, and that the contractors should seek advice about this.

What were the concerns?

fire stopping solutionDue to the movement expected and the arrangement of pipework in the risers, more investigation was needed to ensure the firestop solution would be effective. 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. As a result of this, they approached us for advice.

The investigation and solution

Upon speaking to the sub-contractor, we were asked to discuss our fire stopping solution with the consultants and the District Surveyor. As well as the concerns around building and pipe movement, there were also a number of other requirements highlighted by the consultants. These were:

  1. Movement of both the building in general and the pipework itself
  2. Provide a cold smoke seal
  3. Provide a hot smoke seal
  4. Be effective under building vibration
  5. Minimise the conduction of noise
  6. Provide a suitable gap filler

The Walraven technical team were able to provide evidence that our Walraven Pacifyre® MKII Fire Sleeve would effectively deal with all of the requirements, 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.

Onsite training was provided by Walraven for the installation, and post-installation checks were also carried out.

Shard pic 1  Shard pic 2

These images show Pacifyre MKII fire sleeves on a floor penetration in the riser and on a 600mm pipe in the basement plant room in The Shard.

How can we help you?

If you need a flexible, effective and easy to install fire stop for pipework – that performs above and beyond a generic fire stop – why not get in touch to find out more about Walraven solutions. You can find out more about our firestopping solutions and request a call with our expert on our dedicated firestopping page.

View our firestopping page


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