FIS, representative body for the £10 billion finishes and interiors sector in the UK and the Steel Construction Institute (SCI), will launch the much-awaited Technical Report ED017 – Design and Installation of Light Steel External Wall Systems guide with a consortium of industry partners.
FIS and the Steel Construction Institute have been working with the FIS Steel Framing Systems (SFS) working group and industry to update guidance for the sector.
“SFS is the lightweight steel frame used to create the inner leaf of an external wall, it’s been around for over 20 years but its benefits are just being realised, which is why so many projects are using it, but there are problems being created because of a lack of planning and knowledge. It’s the first thing you see, but often the last thing that’s designed in a building, and that’s the issue. This development of this guide is a great example of how the supply chain can work together to share knowledge, support training and deliver quality, we are grateful to all involved.” Joe Cilia, Technical Director at FIS.
SFS is seen as non-load bearing, not holding the structure up but it is supporting cladding, internal linings insulation and perhaps even services. There are significant implications should it fail, which could lead to the external cladding falling off.
The report on the collapse of the brick cladding at Oxgangs Primary School Edinburgh on 29th January 2016 highlighted that there was a failure in the correct installation of a simple element -wall ties- and although there are no direct examples of this happening where SFS has been installed, it highlights the danger of ignoring the correct installation process. , this guide will help to ensure that everybody from designers to installers are clear about what is required.
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The guide will spread best practice, help raise standards and educate clients and installers, and because the sector is new there are still a lot of client’s, designers and installers who will benefit from an education process driven by the document.
The guide will help avoid the issues caused by last minute changes.
The guide is for anyone who designs and installs SFS infill walls, and anyone checking that the products are being correctly installed, such as a ‘Clerk of Works.’ It will help to raise standards, show clients what SFS is and how it works. It will get people thinking about what is expected of them, the design and the final installation. It will give installers the confidence to question designs and provide guidance to ensure the installation is as good as it can be. The document includes check lists as well as guidance that makes people stop and check that all the information that should be provided, is provided.
As the landscape post-Grenfell develops, we envisage that it will be very different from the way in which buildings are being designed and constructed now, this guide will become the go to reference for all involved.
The SFS working group meeting will be held at Plaisterers’ Hall Offices, London on 16 May from 14:00–16:30. This will be followed by the launch of the much-awaited Technical Report ED017 – Design and Installation of Light Steel External Wall Systems guide. The launch event will run from 16:30-18:00. Spaces are limited and will be offered on a first come, first served basis.
To register please follow this link: https://www.thefis.org/events/sfs-working-group-meeting/