Specifying Separating Walls and Floors

The challenge when specifying materials for separating walls and floors in apartments and housing is that fundamentally we need to ensure that the requirements of the building element is met. This includes looking at the requirements of Structure (Approved Document A) Fire (Approved Document B), Acoustics (Approved Document E), and Thermal (Approved Document L) in the same element. In addition, further considerations need to be taken into account for service penetrations, flanking paths, escape routes, and openings. Traditionally a developer will take the architects drawings from RIBA Stage 2 Planning and use various engineers supporting each part of Building Regulations. The problem with this approach is that more often than not each engineer is working in isolation and isn’t fully aware of the impact that their specification will have on the other requirements of the build. This is why we see a performance gap from designed to in-use completed buildings. It is also the reason that faults are inherent in design.  

The recent changes to the industry following the tragedy at Grenfell has led to industry bodies reviewing test data and reducing the amount of desktop studies being accepted in the industry. This has drastically reduced the number of compliant systems on the market, especially when Part B, E & L are being considered.

This is especially problematic in areas such as timber structures or beam and block floors where there is a distinct lack of test evidence for fire mitigation.

Galaxy Technical Services have vast industry knowledge and partnerships with market leading manufacturers we can ensure, where possible that the right products are chosen to complement the proposed solution.  

Galaxy Technical Services are able to offer impartial support and specifications to ensure compliance with all Building Regulations Approved Documents B, E and L respectively. We have a qualified team of experts at hand to help developers through the conflicting and often confusing raft of legislation, standards and requirements. We ensure that products specified are readily available to ensure that project is delivered on time. Please contact technicalservices@galaxyinsulation.co.uk to find out more about how we can support you on your next development.

Justine Gray
By: Justine Gray
Nov 04 2022

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