New Commission study on fire performance of façades shows continued progress on fire safety

14 September 2018

On 3 September, the Commission published a study on the development of a European approach to assess the fire performance of facades of buildings. The Modern Building Alliance welcomes these efforts to strengthen fire safety in Europe and is ready to engage further with the Commission and regulators to discuss and clarify identified gaps.

The study, commissioned by DG GROW, aims to provide Member States’ regulators with a harmonised European approach to regulating the fire performance of façade systems. It presents two options:

  • The first option, the so-called “proposed test method”, is a classification methodology based on existing testing standards for fire performance and fire behaviour of external facade systems.
  • The second option, or “alternative method” proposed by the consortium is based on a new testing and classification approach combining two tests.

The Modern Building Alliance sees numerous benefits in developing harmonised EU standards and believes that the “proposed test method” put forward in the study, and preferred by the European Commission services, is most able to deliver quick and impactful results. Firstly, an approach based on existing standards will capitalise on the historical experience of laboratories, regulators and manufacturers and will rely on valuable existing data. This will also enable a faster implementation which is essential for reinforcing fire safety in the EU and protect citizens.

As Member States are planning to review their national regulation, the Modern Building Alliance shares the sense of urgency in ensuring a swift implementation of this methodology. We also encourage the Commission and regulators to organise additional discussions with stakeholders to further clarify some points highlighted in the study, such as the development of a clear definition of facades.