The public consultation process for the revision of the existing fire performance of external cladding systems standards, BS 8414 – Part 1: Test method for non-loadbearing external cladding systems applied to the masonry face of a building, and Part 2: Test method for non-loadbearing external cladding systems fixed to and supported by a structural steel frame –  is now open. Views are being sought on these voluntary standards from all interested parties including industry practitioners, regulators, fire safety specialists and consumer organizations. The consultation for Part 1 is open until 8 July 2019 and comments can be submitted online at:

BS 8414–1: standardsdevelopment.bsigroup.com/projects/2019-01079
BS 8414-2: standardsdevelopment.bsigroup.com/projects/2019-01080

Part 1: Test method for non-loadbearing external cladding systems applied to the masonry face of a building
BS 8414-1 provides a test method for determining the fire performance characteristics of non-loadbearing external cladding systems, rainscreen overcladding systems and external wall insulations systems when applied to the face of a buildings and exposed to an external fire under controlled conditions. The fire exposure is representative of an external fire source or a fully-developed (post-flashover) fire in a room, venting through an opening such as a window aperture that exposes the cladding to the effects of external flames, or from an external fire source.  The standard does not cover the performance of glass within glazed window openings nor does it apply to curtain walling systems.

Part 2: Test method for non-loadbearing external cladding systems fixed to and supported by a structural steel frame
BS 8414-2 provides a test method for determining the fire performance characteristics of non-loadbearing external cladding systems fixed to and supported by a structural steel frame when exposed to an external fire under controlled conditions.  The fire exposure is representative of an external fire source or a fully-developed (post-flashover) fire in a room venting through an opening such as a window aperture that exposes the cladding to the effects of external flames or from an external fire source.  The standard does not apply to non-loadbearing external rainscreen overcladding systems or external wall insulation systems applied to the face of a building as these are covered by BS 8414-1. It also doesn’t cover the performance of glass within glazed window openings nor exposure to radiant heat from a fire in an adjacent building.

The principal changes proposed to both parts of the standard are:
·        Amendment to 6.0 Test specimen regarding criteria of the test specimen
·        A new paragraph added to 6.2 Dimensions of the test specimen
·        Expansion of 9.0 Post-test examination
·        Expansion of 10.0 Test report

In December 2018 the government introduced an amendment to the English Building Regulations effectively prohibiting the use of combustible cladding on residential buildings over 18 metres high. However, BSI has proceeded with the revision of BS 8414-1 and BS 8414-2 as these important voluntary standards may still be utilized for other situations to show compliance with the Building Regulations. In addition, a number of countries around the world use them to test the fire performance of external cladding systems.

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