Aurora & Staircraft 1st to comply - Fire Rated Downlights with i-Joists
Aurora Lighting, one of the world’s largest private lighting organisations, and partner Staircraft Group, the UK’s leading supplier of i-Joists, are the first to have a downlight range successfully assessed to demonstrate that the i-Joists and downlight combination will satisfy fire safety Building Regulations for 30 mins fire rating in domestic housing.
The National House Building Council (NHBC), the UK’s leading warranty and insurance provider for UK house-building for new homes, recently stated that steps should be taken to ensure that fire rated downlights are compliant with i-Joists being used in new build homes.
To offer clarification of an approved installation, appropriate assessment or testing is required for a specified i-Joist based floor construction and ceiling together with a specified recessed downlight.
Jeff Richardson, Aurora Group’s Sales Director for UK Trade, says “Following the NHBC’s recent statement, we immediately partnered with Staircraft Group to ensure that our products were compliant when used with i-Joist’s, so now, when designing and building new-build housing, developers can be sure they are compliant with the amended Building Regulations Approved Document B, if they use i-Joists supplied by Staircraft Group together with Aurora’s fire rated downlights.”
Construction within residential buildings has changed from the installation of C16 and C24 softwood timbers, which are the most common used within the UK, to that of constructing upper floors using factory-built timber i-Joists, which are also known as i-Beams. These i-Joists are basically timber versions of the RSJ (Rolled Steel Joist), comprising a top and bottom timber flange combined with a tall vertical OSB (Orientated Strand Board) web.
Luke Whale, Staircraft’s Technical Director, says “We are delighted that the superior fire resistance of our i-Joists has enabled us to team up with Aurora Lighting and successfully commission the necessary assessments to confirm their fire rated downlights can be incorporated in our approved 30 minute ceiling construction using 12.5mm plasterboard.”
It is essential to understand the complexity of testing which fire rated downlights are exposed to in order to comply with the regulations regarding minimum periods of resistance. Having undertaken a single test for a single time duration does NOT mean that the product is suitable for all 30 / 60 / 90 minute duration applications. For the product to be fully compliant in all 30 / 60 / 90 minute installations, three separate tests of 30 minutes, 60 minutes and 90 minutes are to be carried out with luminaires installed into the appropriate ceiling/floor construction type for which the relevant test certification is to be provided.
The improved manufacturing of i-Joists provides a strong engineered solution of lighter weight, which in addition to a high strength-to-weight ratio, allows for easier transportation and reduced installation time on site. The main advantage is that they can be installed in greater lengths, allowing for open plan applications without the need for columns or central beams.
It is crucial to ensure that when installing fire rated downlights, in conjunction with i-Joists that an independent authoritative body approved assessment has been made ensuring compliance for the combined use has been carried out as i-Joists is now the favoured construction method in many UK new builds and extensions.
Features & Benefits – Fire Rated Downlights
Features & Benefits – Staircraft Group