The relationship between energy efficiency and sustainable buildings is increasingly assumed by the sector and consumers, but how does it relate to fire safety? Currently there are European and national regulations that provide for risk situations and, in this sense, today we talk about the role played by facades in the face of fire.
The role of facades against fires
Currently there are different types of facades, for example, those built in curtain wall or ventilated facades. Depending on the type of façade, the materials and products change (glass, cladding, insulation, fixings, etc.) and, therefore, depending on their characteristics, the behavior of the facades in front of a fire can be different.
When a fire affects the exterior of the building, it can spread rapidly through the facades and endanger the inhabitants. For this reason, the materials must prevent the calls from spreading too quickly and that the generation of smoke is the minimum possible, both in quantity and in toxicity. In this way, the inhabitants will be able to leave the building with more security and the firemen will be able to extinguish the fire in better conditions.
But, how should the facades be to fight fires?According to the Spanish Association of Fire Protection Societies, Tecnifuego, buildings must:
- Guarantee that the spread of fire is slower and reduce toxic fumes.
- Use non-combustible components and products.
- In the case of ventilated facades, that the air cavities have vertical or horizontal barries according to the regulation.
Although there is currently no specific regulation, experts recommend carrying out tests to evaluate the behavior of a possible fire in the façade systems.
Need for the rehabilitation of facades
As we have already mentioned on previous occasions, in countries such as Spain, the rehabilitation of buildings does not represent 1% of the total, although, according to new studies, the demand for façade rehabilitation is growing little by little. On the other hand, newly built buildings do not always meet the demands of efficiency and sustainability.
Faced with this situation, the experts emphasize the need to rehabilitate the oldest buildings and renovate elements as important for fire safety as the facades.