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Because It's Your Job to Know – Quelfire Launches Campaign and White Paper

Because It’s Your Job to Know – Quelfire Launches Campaign and White Paper

In the ever-changing world of construction, staying informed is crucial. Quelfire’s campaign and white paper aim to shift the narrative and promote an open conversation about embracing responsibility. They also focus on the importance of early engagement, collaboration, and education in the construction industry. Because it’s your job to know.

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Enhancing Building Safety Through Standardising Processes in Firestopping

Enhancing Building Safety Through Standardising Processes in Firestopping

The Passive Fire Knowledge Group aims to investigate, understand, inform, and promote knowledge and research in all areas of passive fire protection. The tragedy of the Grenfell Tower has induced many positive changes in the industry, including more emphasis on service penetration sealing and early engagement. The traditional approach to

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

quelfire

Because It's Your Job to Know – Quelfire Launches Campaign and White Paper

Because It’s Your Job to Know – Quelfire Launches Campaign and White Paper

In the ever-changing world of construction, staying informed is crucial. Quelfire’s campaign and white paper aim to shift the narrative and promote an open conversation about embracing responsibility. They also focus on the importance of early engagement, collaboration, and education in the construction industry. Because it’s your job to know. Since the Grenfell Tower fire and subsequent changes to legislation, fire safety has become a significant industry focus, and the importance of passive fire protection has started to be acknowledged.   The campaign emphasises the industry’s responsibility to recognise the significance of early engagement in firestopping and the selection of suitably tested details. It also highlights the imperative for manufacturers to operate transparently, providing key information to all parties involved in building projects. Following the campaign, Quelfire’s white paper delves into early engagement in more detail, exploring best practices that can save lives, reduce damage to a building and its contents in the event of a fire, and minimise construction delays and costs. Early engagement is about collaborating with the relevant key stakeholders as early as the design stage to retain fire ratings of walls and floors. This is achieved by appropriately sealing service penetrations with tested firestopping systems. It is also about cross-party communication, sharing of information and competencies, and understanding a project’s requirements before build commences.    The white paper is a useful guide for anyone designing and managing the installation of service penetration seals, from main contractors to designers and firestopping contractors. It is an invaluable resource for professionals looking to enhance fire safety in their projects. Because it’s your job to know. Craig Wells, Sales Director at Quelfire, said, “The construction industry is starting to realise the responsibility it has when it comes to protecting people and property. Though it has taken a national tragedy and subsequent legislative changes to create the catalyst for change, change is happening. We at Quelfire will continue to test, share, and educate to support this change and, ultimately, create safer spaces. It is a pleasure to launch this campaign and white paper, which seeks to provide insight into best practices concerning the passive fire protection of service penetrations. Knowledge is power.” ——————– Quelfire is a leading manufacturer and supplier of tested firestopping solutions for service penetrations in buildings. What makes Quelfire stand out is the unwavering passion that everyone, from management to production, has for what we do: Protecting People & Property.Our mission is to support all parties involved in the design and installation of service penetration seals, including architects, designers, main contractors, firestopping contractors, and other specialist trades from dry-lining contractors to mechanical and electrical contractors. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Enhancing Building Safety Through Standardising Processes in Firestopping

Enhancing Building Safety Through Standardising Processes in Firestopping

The Passive Fire Knowledge Group aims to investigate, understand, inform, and promote knowledge and research in all areas of passive fire protection. The tragedy of the Grenfell Tower has induced many positive changes in the industry, including more emphasis on service penetration sealing and early engagement. The traditional approach to service penetration sealing was to construct a building, create the apertures, and run all the services through before initiating contact with the firestopping contractor. However, as Craig Wells highlighted, the industry must approach construction from a ‘design, then build’ method – not the other way around. Dame Judith Hackitt, author of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, stated: “The industry must prepare and should be taking action ahead of legislation coming into force.” Service penetration seals involve the direct participation of many trades, requiring early engagement, attention to detail, and collaboration. For these concepts to be successful, an element of cultural change is needed. Does this start with the vocabulary the industry uses? The industry has long used the terms ‘passive fire protection’ and ‘firestopping’. While not inaccurate, these terms may be considered too generic, potentially misleading individuals unfamiliar with fire safety. In recent years, there has been an effort to introduce the term ‘service penetration sealing’ as a more descriptive alternative. This term conveys the action of preserving the fire ratings of walls and floors by appropriately sealing service penetrations in a given application. Also finding that vocabulary is often misused in the industry, Joe Cilia noted that terms like soundproof and fireproof do not exist. He also emphasised the prevailing attitude of the industry around stating that ‘it is just a wall’. Cilia said, “It is not just a wall. We have fire doors, fire glass, and fire doors – so why not fire walls?” He said, “They are the largest passive fire product by area, yet we don’t describe them as such; if we did, we would be more likely to consider the detail and interface with the structure and elements such as MEP, leading to a safety-first approach.” Further to this, Paul McSoley emphasised the importance of accuracy in service penetration sealing, noting that achieving success in this area begins with getting the language right first. Firestopping of Service Penetrations: Best Practices in Design and Installation In the guide jointly published by several industry associations titled Firestopping of Service Penetrations: Best Practices in Design and Installation, there are nine Golden Rules, seven of which relate to the building’s design. This emphasises the importance of all parties, from architects to specialist firestopping contractors, engaging from the early stages of design to installation. Nick Pickles highlighted the need for a mindset shift regarding design and build contracts. He pointed out that contractors often outline the project’s design only for it to be deviated from later down the line. Adding to this point, Wells highlighted the importance of understanding the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ for all parties involved. He expressed the need to increase education and awareness in the industry while acknowledging greater collaboration. Golden Rules One & Four The Golden Rules have proved to be an invaluable resource across the industry post-Grenfell. The panellists referenced Golden Rule One and Golden Rule Four. Golden Rule One relates to issuing early engagement with service penetration seal manufacturers and specialist installers. Golden Rule Four is about following the design process for penetration seals. Wells stated that early engagement needs to be implemented because products must be installed as per the tested scope of application. First and foremost, to save lives, but also to avoid extra costs and delays and improve reputations. Aspects like the positioning of services, types of services and insulations, and sizing of letterboxes affect the products and system’s efficiency. Today, firestopping solutions are typically selected by the main contractor. Because of this, they have the responsibility to ensure the chosen solutions are compliant and installed accordingly. As many external trades need to be involved, making it a complex process, implementing a standardised design process for each project is highly recommended. Laing O’Rourke has defined a robust process from design through to handover, which clearly explains to designers how to position and size apertures, Richard Fordyce stated. He highlighted that this gives them the option to choose from multiple tested details as there will be enough space to accommodate services. Additionally, because of a robust design, the application becomes more straightforward, the installation is compliant, and an easy-to-follow document is issued upon handover. McSoley added that project planning is a complicated process; he said, “You may select a lovely system of seals only to find out that the product is in the wrong location.” Thus, early engagement and standardising processes are crucial to solving any grey areas before the build commences. Professor Stuart Green’s research into procurement practices found that 17% of rework on drylining could be avoided, but this could be applied across all areas. Cilia further highlighted that “we’re paying up to 17% more than we need to, at the back end of the job, because it is not being designed and scheduled properly in the first place.” He emphasised that the money wasted at the end of a project could be used at the forefront of the project instead, ensuring the layouts are agreed to in as much detail as possible. Extra costs and delays on remedial work can be avoided by involving the specialist drylining and firestopping contractor, as well as the manufacturers in the early stages of the project. Meanwhile, Fordyce stressed that having a plan is essential. When the plan contributes to improved outcomes in terms of penetration sealing, there is no alternative approach. This provides better metrics and established rules and frameworks, as well as facilitates continuous improvement in construction practices each year. Consequently, this requires internal collaboration within the industry to establish compliant processes and external collaboration to ensure the golden thread is easily traceable and followed. The construction industry and competency Competency can be hard to

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QUELFIRE – We won Supplier of the Year and Fire Safety Solution of the Year at the London Construction Awards 2022!

About two months ago, we shared the good news that Quelfire had been shortlisted in two categories of the London Construction Awards. On Friday 23 September, when the awards ceremony took place, we asked you to keep your fingers and toes crossed for us. Over 350 guests from all sectors in the industry came together including suppliers, contractors, architects, civil engineers, developers, housebuilders, local authorities and more. The event was a celebration of the achievements, development and innovations of companies and individuals, and their contribution to moving the construction industry forward, over the course of the year. Winners from twenty categories were announced by award-winning comedian Simon Brodkin and it was said that “the range of companies that entered were incredibly diverse and reflected the strength of the London construction industry.” We are delighted to announce that we won in both of our categories: Supplier of the Year and Fire Safety Solution of the Year 2022! Supplier of the Year category: This award category was aimed at any supplier in the built environment that has demonstrated success, innovation, or notable achievement in the past 12 months. This is what the judges had to say about why they selected Quelfire as the winner: “We were impressed with this submission as they weren’t just shouting about good customer service (surely every supplier should be doing this?). They also spoke about putting profit back into research and development, the tech support they offer and how they educate the industry. The latter is significantly needed. Quelfire is operating successfully in one of the most contentious ends of the industry. Where many have shied away from fire-related matters and insurers exclude many companies from operating in this sphere, Quelfire is providing a solution with not only their products but also with training, thereby raising the competency of the industry.” Fire Safety Solution of the Year category: This award category recognises excellence and innovation in solutions for fire safety. The judges notes for this category read: “Quelfire provided a great submission for their QuelStop Firestopping system. Their submission talked about their solution, what it does and what makes them different from their competitors. This is really important when submitting something like this as there were lots that didn’t stand out from the crowd. The QuelStop System is different as it offers a wide range of tested details; it has value-added services; and an early engagement approach to help clients design and install the system in a compliant way.” We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all the judges, who recognised how passionate we are about contributing to a positive cultural change and safer buildings by providing primary test data for real life scenarios; providing support for compliant design and installation of our firestopping solutions; educating the industry and, as we are known to say, ‘doing it right, the first time around!’ And, a huge well done to all other winners and deserving nominees. The whole team at Quelfire, from management to production, are equally passionate about what we do, which is Protecting People and Property. We could not be any prouder of this fantastic team and achievement!

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Quelfire have been shortlisted as finalists for the London Construction Awards 2022

The London Construction Awards is an evening to celebrate all of the success, development and innovation of the construction industry over the last year. And a chance to celebrate all the different parties that make the industry what it is today from solution providers to architects to local authorities. With a record number of entries this year, we are delighted to announce that after a preliminary round of voting, we have been shortlisted for both Supplier of the Year and Fire Safety Solution of the Year categories. Supplier of the Year While Quelfire is a relatively small company, what makes us stand out is the unwavering passion that everyone, from management to production, has for what we do: Protecting People & Property. We manufacture our core product range in our purpose-built premises in Sandbach, UK, working in strict compliance with factory control procedures. We have an extremely enthusiastic manufacturing team who are dedicated to making sure our products are of the highest standard. Annually, we put in a significant proportion of investment into our research and development. By providing firestopping solutions for real-life scenarios, based on feedback and trends on the market, this ensures there is a tested solution for the most used, and even some less common, service penetrations. We have never felt prouder of how far we have come in terms of testing; however, we would not be affectionately known as ‘Team Orange’ without our value-added services. Our first-class customer service is a prime example of the core values that we have at Quelfire. Our team is friendly, honest, and approachable, and is always willing to help with any challenges faced in the industry. Further to this, we provide extensive technical support from planning through design to installation and aim to answer any queries within one working day – although we almost always reply a lot quicker! We have recently launched the QuelSelector tool which is a simple way that customers can easily stay up to date with the latest details and ultimately, work to build a safer future. We go above and beyond when educating the industry about the importance of fire safety and use every platform available to us; should it be panel discussions at exhibitions, CPD accredited webinars, or one-to-one consultations about early engagement in firestopping. We also offer Toolbox Training which is an opportunity for trades to get specific help on the installation of products. Fire Safety Solution of the Year For this category, we nominated the QuelStop Firestopping System as our solution. This has become more than just a group of products, but a great source of pride and something much bigger than profit! Though it may just seem like any other firestopping system as the ones offered by competitors, what makes the QuelStop System special is the wide range of tested details offered; our value-added services; and the early engagement approach that we use to help clients design and install the system in a compliant way. As mentioned previously, we have a robust testing programme and now over 300 tested details which ultimately provide the industry and a building’s occupants with peace of mind. As well as our unparalleled technical department, we have an extensive library of tested details that is readily available for anyone who wishes to use it. In addition to our tested details, we have other documentation to support design and specification: NBS specifications, BIM models, tested detail drawings and product datasheets, and provide installation guides and educational videos. Furthermore, our early engagement process supports all parties involved from design to installation: main contractors, architects, specialist engineers, firestopping contractors and other trades. At Quelfire, we offer that end-to-end support in order for the firestopping system to be designed and installed as per the test evidence, ultimately contributing to safer buildings. Through decades of unwavering dedication to fire safety, we have built a community based on tested solutions, expert technical support, outstanding customer support and training. We feel extremely honoured to have been shortlisted for both categories, alongside many other deserving nominees. Team Orange looks forward to the reveal of the winner on the 23 September 2022!

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