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    External Fire Performance: BROOF(t4) and Part B - Ensuring Fire Safety in the UK Roofing Industry and what it means to you

    June 2023


Fire safety is paramount in every element of building construction, and the UK roofing industry plays a vital role in safeguarding properties and occupants. In the UK, Building Regulations in conjunction with Approved Document B (ADB) establish stringent standards and guidelines for fire safety in roofing systems, profoundly impacting material selection, construction practices, and overall fire safety.

BROOF(t4) is a classification obtained via TS 1187, as part of EN 13501-5 standard, which assesses the fire performance of roofing materials and systems. It measures the external fire exposure resistance of roofs, particularly their capacity to resist flame penetration and prevent the spread of flames. BROOF(t4) forms part of the fire performance requirements in ADB.

Adherence to BROOF(t4) is essential, ensuring that roofs meet specific fire safety standards. Materials and systems compliant with BROOF(t4) offer confidence in their external fire performance properties, reducing risk of flame spread and improving occupant safety.

The regulation significantly influences material selection, necessitating high fire resistance materials capable of enduring external fire exposure. Commonly used system build-ups meeting BROOF(t4) typically include finished waterproofing layers of reinforced bitumen, thermoplastic and liquid-applied membranes. All pertinent Proteus Waterproofing systems align with these regulations, a crucial consideration for roofing professionals.

The regulation also encompasses construction practices. Roofing system installation must conform to specific guidelines for optimal fire resistance. Proper sealing, adequate underlays, robust and appropriate detailing at roof penetrations, and in some cases inert roof finishes, are vital to impede fire spread. Effective integration with other fire safety measures, such as compartmentation and fire barriers, is also necessary.

Approved Document B addresses fire safety measures for buildings, including roofing systems. It stipulates requirements for the design, construction, and fire protection of buildings. ADB covers diverse fire safety aspects, including fire resistance, means of escape, compartmentation and fire detection and warning systems.

BROOF(t4) and ADB are tightly intertwined, aiming to secure fire safety in roofing systems. Compliance with BROOF(t4) contributes to meeting Approved Part B requirements, and adhering to both regulations reduces risk of fire-related incidents, protecting lives and properties.

Regulatory compliance demands industry-wide standards and certifications. Roofing professionals should seek relevant training and certifications to demonstrate their competency in designing, installing, and maintaining fire-compliant roofing systems.

Roofing companies gain significantly from compliance with industry standards, enhancing their reputation and instilling client confidence in their buildings' fire safety.

Stricter fire safety regulations have increased demand for fire-compliant roofing solutions such as those provided by Proteus Waterproofing. Architects, contractors, and building owners increasingly seek materials and systems that comply with heightened fire safety standards, presenting an opportunity for the roofing industry to supply innovative products meeting these requirements.

Investments in new technologies and materials that offer improved fire related performance while retaining other desirable properties, such as durability, insulation, and aesthetics, have been a significant focus for manufacturers.

To meet regulatory standards, roofing professionals need adequate training and certification, available to approved contractors through our Training Centres in Rayleigh (Essex) and Barnsley (Yorkshire).

Contractors must be aware that regulatory changes may affect construction costs and timelines. Implementing fire-compliant roofing systems often involves additional materials, specialised installation techniques, and compliance inspections, potentially impacting project budgets and schedules. However, investing in fire safety measures during construction can provide long-term benefits by reducing fire-related damages and enhancing occupant safety – a commitment Proteus Waterproofing is proud to lead.

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