Specwall provides solution for fire breaks under raised access floors

Limiting the potential for fire to spread when installing a raised access floor is best achieved through compartmentation of the space between the stools which panels are balanced on.

The most common solution is the use of mineral wool insulation panels stood up on their sides to form a wall that acts as a barrier for fire and smoke. This is easy and quick to install, however it comes with several problems.

Firstly, it only works up to 600mm as the boards are not designed to be joined together securely above that height. Higher than that and you need to start using alternatives like blockwork which is both laborious and messy.

Secondly, once they are in place, they are hard to secure. There is a risk that the panels can be knocked and made to fall over underneath the raised access floor. In this case, the firestopping compartmentalisation is now removed and the whole building becomes more dangerous. Solutions like using metallic legs to hold up the insulation panels add more work and time to the job, cancelling out the advantage of speedy installation.

Finally, mineral wool insulation panels also present issues when it comes to integrating M&E services. Cutting holes in the panel requires complex, time consuming remediation works to retain the firestopping benefits of the insulation. If this is not done properly, fire can spread between the panels easily.

In all these cases, the mineral wool can be unsafe and does not offer reliable firestopping under a raised access floor in anything but perfect circumstances.

Specwall offers a much better solution in all ways. It is more rigid and can be installed to any height of floor without losing that rigidity. It is also quick and easy to install compared to blockwork, needing only a floor track and the usual adhesive. Likewise, it only needs extra support to stand up in specific cases that depend on site requirements.

Specwall fire break technical detail

Specwall has been tested to a height of 3mtrs in fire and we have a bank of test data for the following penetrations that is available on request:

  • Cable Penetrating Specwall HPE
  • CPVC Sprinkler Pipe penetrating Specwall HPE
  • EXWF Fire Test Report for Specwall 75mm QuelStop BS EN 1366
  • Head of wall pattress seal for Specwall
  • Insulated Metal Pipe penetrating Specwall QuelCoil
  • Metal Pipe penetrating Specwall
  • Metal Pipes penetrating Specwall QSS
  • Plastic Pipe penetrating Specwall QWR
  • Plastic Pipe penetrating Specwall QuelCoil
  • QuelStop Fire Batt seal for Specwall
  • Specwall Blank Seal

Integrating M&E services through Specwall is a simple case of drilling a hole of the required size. No further work is needed to retain the firestopping capabilities of the panel. This cuts down installation time and eliminates the possibility of M&E services or rough treatment from labourers compromising the fire safety of the system.

Last but not least, Specwall also offers superior firestopping capabilities. A standard Rockwool panel offers 120 minutes firestopping, whereas Specwall offers up to 3.5 hours. Combined with all the other benefits inherent to Specwall, our panels offer a superior option for firestopping underneath raised access floors when compared to the alternatives.

Learn more about Specwall and get in touch with the team today.

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