Case Study: Residential Apartment Complex in Manchester

case studies, tall buildings

Overview:

Working on behalf of a property management company, we were brought in to advise on the safety of an existing apartment complex comprising 88 flats in total.

Project:

The focus of our work was to investigate the safety of fire doors, fire stopping and external cladding at a complex of three residential apartment blocks which were occupied at the time of our survey.

We identified major fire door and fire stopping non-compliances resulting in seriously inadequate fire resistance throughout the building.

Widespread damage had been caused to fire stopping during the installation of additional services such as pipework and cabling during construction. However, we noted that much of the passive fire protection had been poorly installed to begin with and had already been non-compliant.

Many of the products used had not been fitted in line with manufacturer installation instructions. Fire doors had very little or no frame to wall sealing and there was widespread use of non-compliant foam, which meant the doors would not resist fire.

No fire stopping was evident in many of the cable trays that penetrated fire compartment wall and floors, leaving a clear passage for smoke to spread. Fire rated partitions in a lot of areas surveyed did not reach full height behind the suspended ceiling, which would also fail to stop fire spreading. Throughout the development, there were numerous cable and pipe penetrations through fire compartment walls which had not been fire stopped, causing a major risk to life.

As well as surveying the passive fire protection of the buildings, we also checked that cladding fitted to the exterior had been fitted according to manufacturer specifications and was compliant with fire safety regulations.

Expertise

As FIRAS accredited fire safety experts our survey work meets stringent industry standards and product manufacturer installation instructions to assure clients that fire protection is correctly installed and offers the expected level of fire protection. Our experience means we were able to identify every incidence of non-compliance throughout this development and evidence these with over 350 photographs and a detailed fire door survey. Our survey set out clear recommendations for remediation work.

For more information about our reports and work in this sector please contact us for more details.