Putting in place more robust fire testing processes is one thing. Knowledge also needs to be cascaded down the supply chain so that specifiers can understand why one fire protection system may be preferable over another and how the interplay of materials could impact the performance of their building.
It is incumbent on materials providers to share their expertise with supply chain partners. Likewise, specifiers should engage with manufacturers early on in a project’s inception when the design process can still be influenced.
Construction is continuing to evolve, with new ways of building, modern methods of construction and innovative materials coming to the fore. This is vital to help us deliver faster, more cost-effective and, ultimately, better buildings that meet the demands of 21st century life. However, if we are to continue pushing the boundaries of good design and building practices, then we need to make sure that our approach to material testing and development keeps up with such changes.
Developing a better understanding of how different materials perform together is vital. For both new or traditional products, better accounting for the stresses they are likely to be put under in real-world conditions is key. This will help to ensure that the buildings we construct in future are safe and help us to fulfil the creative vision of architects and specifiers while offering peace of mind for building users.