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Passive Fire Knowledge Group launches online Knowledge Hub

28 November 2023

THE PASSIVE Fire Knowledge Group – the not-for-profit collaboration formed in 2022 and comprising major contractors, specialist installers and relevant Trade Associations – has just launched a new online Knowledge Hub to coincide with the publication of the first batch of ‘Knowledge Shares’ relating to passive fire protection.

The Passive Fire Knowledge Group’s overarching mission is to improve the delivery of well designed, specified and installed passive fire protection measures in the built environment by focusing on three key areas: process, testing and education. Further, there’s a desire to investigate, understand, inform and promote knowledge and research in all areas of passive fire protection.

Founding members are ADDC, the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (which also hosts the Passive Fire Knowledge Group at Spectra House in Coventry), Balfour Beatty, the Building and Engineering Services Association, the Finishes and Interiors Sector, Laing O’Rourke, Kier Construction, Mace, Multiplex, Sir Robert McAlpine, Vinci Wates Group and Wilmott Dixon.

The new Knowledge Hub – which can be accessed at https://pfkg.org – provides resources on passive fire protection and articulates design-related challenges. The website features a knowledge section and, as stated, plays host to the publication of the first four in a series of ‘Knowledge Shares’ in addition to a Best Practice Guide and a specification presentation:

*Knowledge Share 1: MEP Service Positioning and Separation Within Compartment Walls

*Knowledge Share 2: Wall Compatibility Checks

*Knowledge Share 3: Shaft Walls and Service Penetrations

*Presentation: MEP Services Penetration Seals: Best Practice in Design and Specification

Will Pitt and Joe Cilia, joint chairs of the Passive Fire Knowledge Group, have stated: “One year on, our group has gained crucial experience that has enabled us to establish an effective structure and identify potential risks. We now have a robust framework, which allows us to highlight issues and agree where the risks are such that they can be articulated with one voice in the form of peer reviewed ‘Knowledge Shares’. This has highlighted issues where designs are difficult to achieve because products have not been developed or tested to meet the requirement or current test standards are too restrictive.”

Collaboration is key

Collaboration across those Trade Associations and organisations involved is a key factor for the success of the Passive Fire Knowledge Group. The issues raised in the ‘Knowledge Shares’ will be picked up by the relevant trade body, with the resulting advice and process published by them.

Essentially, the Passive Fire Knowledge Group is focused on concerns related to fire stopping passing through internal compartmentation, including dry lining, and the specification of internal non-loadbearing, fire-resisting partitions (ie firewalls).

The Passive Fire Knowledge Group also considers other issues including the lack of test data for real-life installations, the performance requirements of fire stopping, independent inspection during construction and recording of details and the apparent lack of education in the discipline among those designing, procuring and installing passive fire protection solutions.

*To find out more information about the remit and work of the Passive Fire Knowledge Group and the Knowledge Hub launch, which took place at London Build Expo 2023, visit www.pfkg.org