Improving levels of occupant safety, together with increasing the quality of the build, is under the microscope. Risk, quality, time, cost and performance – need to be managed and controlled. Here, Steve Thompson, managing director of EOS, considers the responsibility of manufacturers
The performance of building materials is under an unprecedented spotlight. Regulations tend to deal with individual products and how they perform in laboratory tests. However, we consider material providers should have full-scale testing regimes that study the performance of products working together to see how they interact in ‘real’ circumstances, like under fire conditions or when exposed to wind and rain. We assess how all the products in our panelised systems – light steel frame, boards, metals, screws, insulation – react under these circumstances. Our products and processes demonstrate that as a manufacturer we take our responsibilities seriously.
A fragmented supply chain results in components being offered by a multitude of manufacturers, therefore warranties are complex, for very limited timescales or simply non-existent. A lack of test evidence and performance data creates real challenges for specifiers having to achieve specific safety and performance requirements. This uncertainty also extends to the costs involved, the speed of build and the quality of the final outcome.
Our research and perspective interviews with sector experts have equipped us with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by specifiers. We are committed to technical competence and as part of Etex, we have some of the best fire experts in the UK on our team. They work closely with certification bodies to jointly develop and design technical solutions.
In response to these challenges, EOS has developed a range of Thrubuild® light steel frame panelised systems, offsite manufactured to rigorous quality standards and delivered to site for assembly. Our Thrubuild® system range has been engineered for structural performance to the latest Eurocode and after completing rigorous fire, acoustic, weathering, airtightness and mechanical testing – are supported by a 30-year warranty.
Developed in collaboration with Etex brands – EOS, Siniat and Promat – these fast-track solutions make use of the latest products, technical know-how and manufacturing excellence of the combined team. The range of Thrubuild® systems deliver an ‘all in one’ walling and flooring solutions providing crucial time and cost benefits.
A system approach to light steel frames ensures the outcome is more predictable and repeatable, eradicating the risk of onsite variability.
In an environment of increasing skill shortages and vast shortfalls in housing stock, the construction industry is being challenged like never before to deliver robust buildings, faster with greater certainty around cost and programme schedules. As a manufacturer, I see it as our responsibility to not only implement robust testing regimes but also to invest in research and development to ensure we bring ‘fit for purpose’ new innovations to market that will actually benefit the wider construction sector and those involved in developing quality buildings where occupants can safely live, work and relax.
- The EOS loadbearing system is Stage 1 NHBC certified by SCI, certificate number 20180325.
- EOS & Siniat manufacturing facilities are certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
- EOS operate to stringent Health & Safety standards and are certified to ISO45001:2018.
- Products are CE Marked to the requirements of products and steel structures standards.
All Thrubuild® systems are supported by a 30-year warranty. Only tested configurations are available for selection.
More information is available on the EOS website: www.eosframing.co.uk
The Thrubuild® System Specification Guide can be downloaded from the EOS Information Centre: www.eosframing.co.uk/information-centre
Thrubuild® testing regime & certification
The Thrubuild® range has multiple applications and can be used for loadbearing and non-loadbearing functions for external or internal walls together with internal and separating floors.
The testing regimes are designed to ensure that when specifying the EOS Thrubuild® range of systems, specifiers have total assurance and complete peace of mind. The detailed structural design of the EOS system is carried out by qualified engineers in accordance with loadings to EN 1991-1 and building regulations, calculated to EN 1993-1-3 and EN 1993-1-5 and further relevant parts of the Eurocodes for robustness, stability and resistance.
All fire performances are results of testing to BS EN 1365-1 for walls and BS EN 1365-2 for floors. Systems are tested at their minimum dimensions for a safe ‘worst case’ performance. Loads applied during testing are selected to simulate representative stresses in accordance with the test standard.
The Weather Defence used in the panelised system is a revolutionary new external sheathing board, faced with water-repellent material for superior weather protection. Designed exclusively by Siniat, it is strong, highly moisture resistant and A1 non-combustible. Weather Defence can be left installed and exposed for up to 12 months on site before the final cladding needs to be completed.
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