The Hackitt report and Shadbolt doors

The Hackitt Report was commissioned in the aftermath of the Grenfell tower tragedy, and deals primarily with fire safety in higher risk residential buildings of 10 or more storeys. Some recommendations may have a wider significance for fire safety products including fire doors.

THE HACKITT REPORT

Building a Safer Future. Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report by Dame Judith Hackitt, published May 2018.

The major recommendations of the report set out a proposed new regulatory framework and a systemic culture change in the approach to fire safety in residential buildings.

Recommendation 1.1:
The new regulatory framework should apply to residential properties which are 10 or more storeys high in the first instance. ……

Recommendation 1.2
The government should set up a ‘Joint Competent Authority’. This should comprise Local Authority Building Standards, fire and rescue authorities and the Health and Safety Executive, working together to maximise the focus on building safety within HRRBs across their entire life cycle.

Hackitt_report

Wider application

Some recommendations are also intended to apply to other multi-occupancy residential buildings (below 10 storeys), and to other buildings used as living accommodation including hospitals, care homes, hotels, prisons, halls of residence and boarding schools.

The Hackitt report and Shadbolt fire doors

Many of the report’s recommendations for products would surely already be regarded as best practice in relation to the fire door industry. The notes below set out how Shadbolt manufacturing systems relate to these.

Fire_door_test_product-testing

PRODUCT TESTING

Chapter 7 Products
Recommendation 7.1
a) A clearer, more transparent and more effective specification and testing regime of construction products must be developed. This should include products as they are put together as part of a system.

Recommendation 7.2
a) Manufacturers must retest products that are critical to the safety of HRRBs at least every three years. …
b) The testing of products that are critical to the safety of HRRBs should be subject to independent third party certification.

Shadbolt have always promoted the specification of fire doorsets rather than separately sourced doors, frames etc. Doorsets form a complete element including frame, ironmongery, seals and door closing systems which have been tested together. With a doorset there is a high degree of assurance that the installed unit will meet the same performance standards as tested specimens.

Fire performance of Shadbolt doorsets is assured by a continuing programme of independent third-party testing and certification under a UKAS-accredited scheme. Tests are as far as possible carried out on realistic assemblies of conventionally installed and normally operable doorsets.

Copies of test reports / authoritative assessments are available for inspection for all door and doorset specifications and to accompany Operations and Maintenance documentation issues as appropriate.

PRODUCT ASSESSMENTS

Restricting assessments in lieu of tests – Chapter 7 page 93

7.7  ……The interim report set out a recommendation to significantly restrict the use of these assessments in order to ensure that they are only used in a responsible and appropriate way by competent people.

The recommendation of paragraph 7.7 to restrict the use of assessments (as opposed to actual tests) specifically references insulation and cladding systems.

However, in relation to fire doors Shadbolt’s policy is as follows:

In order to allow for a wide range of variation in specifications to meet the requirements of architects and designers, Shadbolt can commission authoritative assessments for variants from a tested doorset design. These assessments are produced by an independent accredited assessor (under the same regime as the tests themselves). A certified assessment for a particular doorset is regarded as having the same status as a fire test as permitted by current building regulations (Approved Document B).

Shadbolt_product_assessments
Changes-to-specification

CHANGES TO SPECIFICATION

Recommendation 2.9
a) there should be a clearer, statutory change control process that places requirements on the relevant dutyholder to notify the regulators of significant changes post-Full Plans sign-off.

…… ‘Minor’ changes ……would need to be recorded and identifiable at the completion of the work for dutyholders to demonstrate that Building Regulations are still satisfied.

Shadbolt’s computerised manufacturing system can provide detailed door schedules identifying each door type and its full specification. These allow quick and accurate revisions to design; the finalised schedule is then used to control manufacturing so that the doorset as produced matches the required specification.

PRODUCT TRACEABILITY

Recommendation 7.5
a) The construction products industry should work together to develop and agree a consistent labelling and traceability system ….

b)…… the documentation that supports the performance claims for products and systems incorporated within the HRRB should be maintained throughout the life cycle of a building ……

Shadbolt fire door leaves are fitted with an identification label on either the top or bottom of the door, showing a unique product reference, complete with bar coding, to allow for full traceability. Fire door leaves are also fitted with colour-coded plastic plugs and labels to the hanging edge  providing a permanent marker of fire resistance.

Shadbolt BIM objects for our core doorset product types can be embedded in building designs and retained for future reference during the life of a building.

Shadbolt_product_traceability