Timber-framed buildings can be fully compliant with the strictest fire safety regulations. If that fact was more widely appreciated the UK would see much greater adoption of the technology – as happens in so many countries around the world; 90% of new homes in the USA are timber-framed, for example.
There are many excellent reasons for increasing the amount of structural timber used in UK construction. It’s a naturally warm material that helps maintain a healthy and comfortable internal environment with less reliance on artificial heating and cooling.
The other big advantage is embodied carbon. The sequestered carbon locked into the timber helps to balance out the inevitable and irreversible carbon emissions generated by using steel, concrete and other conventional building materials.
As we gradually move toward full carbon accounting for new buildings, embodied carbon levels will become a more significant factor. This will be even more the case as UK energy supply is decarbonised and operational carbon levels fall.
i-FAST and Fire Safety
The Innovaré i-FAST System allows timber frames to be deployed as part of a panelised offsite solution. The combination delivers faster, simplified and low carbon construction programmes that fully comply with fire safety regulations.
The secret lies in the construction of the i-FAST panels. The insulation and facing board used are both rated A1 non-combustible, Class 0 spread of flame. These elements protect the structural framing and staggered studs used in the panels, as well as wrapping the timber structure in a fire-resistant envelope.
i-FAST fire-resistant wall panels provide a minimum of 60 minutes standalone load bearing fire resistance and integrity. Along with their enhanced structural, thermal and acoustic properties the fire safety standards of the panels make them an ideal choice for demanding applications.