Passive Fire Protection


Due to recent design and construction issues that have arisen relating to building consent work combined with notification from Central Government (MBIE) regarding audits they’re undertaking of work by Territorial Authorities, a key focus for us in the immediate future is passive fire protection.

Passive Fire Protection (PFP) is defined as:

“…the primary measure integrated within the construction fabric of the building to provide inherent fire safety and protection by responding against fire, heat and smoke to maintain the fundamental requirements of building compartmentation, structural integrity, fire separation, and safe means of escape…”.  This is achieved by “…raising the fire resistance of the structure, protecting the structure against the effects of fire, reducing fire spread through secondary ignition, limiting the movement of flame and smoke, and minimising the danger of fire-induced collapse or structural distortion…”.

Generally the design and construction of fire or smoke related structures (e.g. wall and/or floor separations), is achieved using standard details and methodology established by specialist Manufacturers. However, what’s been found is the lack of detailing and understanding of how to fire stop services penetrations through fire and smoke related barriers.

Electrical, mechanical and plumbing services come in a myriad of different sizes, shapes and configurations, and consequently require very specific detailing to maintain the effective fire and smoke separations between building elements and compartments.

Recent examples have shown how easy it is to get it wrong, which is consequently time consuming and costly to a building Owner in order to rectify the problems created.

With this is mind, Council will now be requiring more detailed design information at the Building Consent application stage in addition to the standard data already needed regarding the construction of fire and smoke separations (i.e. wall and floors), fire resistance ratings, fire and smoke doors and hatches [invariably these are already indicated in a fire report, plus associated specifications and design drawings]. 

We now require the following information as a minimum with regards to fire stopping services penetrations:

  1. Locations of the services penetrations (e.g. electrical services room, east wall)
  2. Service(s) type / description (e.g. cable tray, PVC pipe, ventilation duct)
  3. Quantity of services per penetration
  4. Services dimensions (e.g. 65mm diameter water pipe)
  5. Hole size (mm)
  6. Substrate (e.g. plasterboard, or concrete, or blockwork etc)
  7. Fire resistance rating (FRR) required (e.g. 30/30/30)
  8. System proposed (e.g. fire damper or intumescent grilles for ductwork, 3M fire collar plus specified sealant etc)

To support the required information, we will also need to receive copies of Manufacturers product data sheets and specifications, installation instructions and associated test data (as appropriate).

Since the installation of these fire stopping systems is a specialist trade, that requires appropriate training, supervision and experience, we also require a Producer Statement Construction (PS3) from the relevant Contractor(s).

The project specification will also need to identify who will be providing the appropriate “construction monitoring” of the PFP being installed, and confirmation that they will provide an appropriate Producer Statement Construction Review (PS4) upon completion of the building works.

Please contact the Building Control Team at Council if you have any queries.​

Page reviewed: 20 Jan 2015 9:50am