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Member questions: Fire sprinklers and new duct cleanlinessJuly 2017

Q. BG 65/2016 Floor Plenum Airtightness outlines a test method based on ATTMA TSL2. Is this the only acceptable method?

No. As stated in BG 65/2016, testing can be carried out to accredited procedures by companies such as:

  • Specialist independent laboratories UKAS accredited specifically for testing floor plenums using accredited procedures.
  • Building airtightness testers ATTMA registered to Level 2, using ATTMA TSL2 as modified in BG 65.

Q. I’d like to focus my university thesis on the life cycle assessment of buildings in Nigeria but none of the available life cycle assessment tools cover Nigeria. Are there any tools that do include Nigeria or at least some data from the African nations?

As far as we’re aware there isn’t currently an LCA tool that has specific data for Nigeria. The main database of information used is Ecovent, of which version three is the most up to date. You can use Ecovent in most LCA software and it does contain data on African electricity use but for other factors you would have to use the global data supplied in Ecovent which is an average of all countries’ data it has information on.

Q. What are the requirements for cleanliness of new ducting?

Looking at BESA’s TR19 and BS EN 15780 the cleanliness of new ducting is mentioned in both and guidance on acceptable levels of fouling is given. This varies, depending on the sensitivity and purpose of the system being installed. Clause 2.5 of TR19 does state “Note, that if all parties, including the client representative, agree that a system is visually clean then no further action is needed”. So, it will ultimately come down to an agreement between the client and the cleaning contractor.

Q. We’re in the process of building a residential development in South Wales and we’ve been told that all residential properties now require automatic fire sprinkler systems? Having looked at Approved Document B for the Building Regulations we can’t seem to find these requirements.

Firstly, it should be pointed out that responsibility for Building Regulations in Wales was handed over to the Welsh Assembly on 31st December 2011. Although the 2010 Building Regulations still apply in both England and Wales, amendments have been made since the handover date which apply only to one country or the other. In terms of sprinklers, Approved Document B was updated by the Welsh Assembly to say that from January 2016 automatic fire sprinklers were to be made compulsory in all new and converted residential properties in Wales. However, there are certain transitional arrangements in place. In brief: applications deposited after 1st January 2016, and applications submitted before that date but commenced after 1st January 2017, must include sprinklers.

Q. Could you provide me with any information on “Beyond economical repair” for facilities management?

CIBSE Guide M has a section (12.4.3) that might be useful as it looks at End-of-life considerations. The section does highlight that various factors need to be considered when assessing if equipment has reached the end of its economic life including:

  • The cost of renewal compared with the projected cost of maintenance and/or repairs.
  • The cost of renewal compared with any economic benefits to be obtained by replacing ageing equipment with modern technology, such as improved environmental control or energy saving.

The publications mentioned in the questions above are all available to borrow by BSRIA Members from the BSRIA library, open 8.30 - 5.00pm Monday to Thursday, and 8.30 - 4.30pm on Fridays.
E: information@bsria.co.uk T: +44(0)1344 465571.

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