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Quelfire publishes insights from London Build 2023 panel discussion

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Quelfire has published an article detailing the engaging panel discussion held at the London Build Expo in November 2023.

The discussion, titled “Enhancing Building Safety Through Standardising Processes in Firestopping,” brought together industry experts to delve into critical aspects of fire safety and building design.

Panel composition and discussion focus

The panel comprised Richard Fordyce, Specialist Project Engineer at Laing O’Rourke; Nick Pickles, Process and Assurance Lead at Laing O’Rourke; Paul McSoley, Technical Compliance Director at Mace Group; Joe Cilia, Technical Director at Finishes & Interiors Sector; and Craig Wells, Sales Director at Quelfire, serving as the moderator.

The discussion centred around the evolution of building safety norms, particularly in the context of service penetration sealing, a key aspect of fire safety.

Industry’s shift towards proactive safety measures

A significant part of the conversation revolved around the shift in the industry’s approach to building safety post the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Craig Wells highlighted the need for a ‘design then build’ method, marking a departure from traditional practices.

Dame Judith Hackitt, author of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, was quoted: “The industry must prepare and should be taking action ahead of legislation coming into force.”

The importance of precise terminology in fire safety

Joe Cilia and Paul McSoley emphasised the importance of accurate and precise language in the industry, especially when dealing with service penetration sealing.

Cilia remarked: “It is not just a wall. We have fire doors, fire glass, and fire doors – so why not fire walls?” This attention to detail and nomenclature is crucial for a safety-first approach in construction.

Key takeaways from Qulefire panel discussion

The panel touched upon various aspects of firestopping and building safety, including the importance of early engagement with service penetration seal manufacturers, the necessity of a standardised design process, and the role of education and collaboration in improving safety standards.

Nick Pickles pointed out the need for a mindset shift in design and build contracts, while Fordyce discussed the robust process from design to handover at Laing O’Rourke.

The insights shared during the panel discussion are not only relevant for industry professionals but also for anyone interested in understanding the complexities and advancements in building safety.

Readers the full rundown from the discussion here.

IFSJ Comment

This article offers valuable insights into the evolving landscape of building safety and firestopping.

The emphasis on early engagement, precise language, and collaboration among various stakeholders reflects a significant shift in the industry’s approach to fire safety.

The panel’s discussion at London Build 2023 underscores the ongoing efforts to enhance safety standards in construction, driven by lessons learnt from past incidents and a proactive stance towards future challenges.

These insights are essential for professionals across the construction industry, from architects to contractors, highlighting the need for continuous learning, adaptation, and collaboration to ensure the highest standards of safety in building design and construction.

Read IFSJ’s exclusive article on Standardising processes in firestopping with Alec Purdie, Technical Manager at Quelfire.

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