The purpose of life and safety products is to reduce potential risks and threats.
Thus, the HVAC industry has always seen utmost importance given to these line of products.
The UAE, being a pioneer in the building industry with some of the most iconic projects coming to life, is a region where you can find innovation not only in the design of the building but also in the type of MEP services provided.
Some of the key areas of evolution within the MEP and HVAC industry are found in the fire and safety guidelines and standards.
One of the most recognised standard for Fire & Life Safety guidelines is BS476 Part 24.
As per the guidelines of BS476 Part 24, it has been clearly emphasised that all fire-rated ductwork should qualify for three important criteria: which are Stability, Integrity and Insulation.
This can be found in the UAE Fire & Life Safety Codes 2018 based on guidelines of BS476 Part 24 to mandatorily comply with Stability, Integrity and Insulation for Fire Rated ductwork in the region.
Further, UAE Fire & Life Safety Codes 2018 introduced a new chapter (18) mentioning responsibility of the stakeholders, such as clients, consultants and contractors to comply with Fire & Life Safety guidelines.
Considering the nature of product, Fire & Life Safety guidelines have undergone considerable upgradation to protect both human life and assets.
Since 1999, the European (EN) standards have run alongside the British Standard (BS 476: Part 24).
A new EN standards has been created to harmonise the standards which could be used throughout the member countries of the European Union and subsequently followed by the rest of the world.
This was developed by technical committees working independently in up to 28 countries, many of whom do not have a test standard of their own and who may not have fully understood the complexity of what was required.
Having said that, BS EN1366 ducting requires for more tests to be carried out and it has limitations on maximum ductwork sizes when compared to BS476: Part 24 standards for fire-rated ducted system.
Thus, it might be challenging to adopt such standards globally as it would require more refinement in standards and testing methods before it is implemented and adopted by other parts of the world.
Fire and safety guidelines will experience many more technological changes and upgrades in the years to come.
The UAE has initiated certain standards and regulations which will enable the safe construction of buildings today and in the future.
Whether BS EN1366 will be rolled out into the international market remains a question to be answered.
Shivkumar Yellewar is Global sales manager for Leminar Air Conditioning Industries.