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Welcome to SIDERISE news & media where you will find the latest news and information about our products, solutions and projects. Explore our Blog for posts from our technical experts, and visit our Gallery for videos which include testing and installation footage, and images.

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SIDERISE is delighted to announce it has become an Organisational Member of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

SIDERISE is delighted to announce it has become an Organisational Member of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is an international body in the field of tall buildings and sustainable urban design. A non-profit organisation, it is based at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

The CTBUH’s aim is to study and report on all aspects of the planning, design, and construction of tall buildings and is widely considered to be a leading authority on the official height of tall buildings. The organisation provides the official update on the title of ‘The World's Tallest Building’ and maintains an extensive database of the tallest buildings in the world, organised by various categories.

The CTBUH hosts annual conferences and a World Congress every three to five years, publishes the quarterly CTBUH Journal along with numerous guidebooks, and reference manuals as well as the Skyscraper Awards. The CTBUH also works with institutions of higher-education from around the world in researching projects related to tall building design.

“Over the past decade, SIDERISE has provided products and systems to some of the world’s tallest buildings”, commented Steve Swales, Chief Commercial Officer at SIDERISE. “Becoming members of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is key to recognising the role SIDERISE has played in helping to deliver tall buildings across the globe. We are looking forward to working with the CTBUH and contributing technical information and knowledge to further the development of tall buildings.”

In the first major innovation of its kind in 30 years, SIDERISE has launched SilentWave™ RCD - a ground-breaking acoustic treatment for marine engine rooms.

In the first major innovation of its kind in 30 years, SIDERISE has launched SilentWave™ RCD - a ground-breaking acoustic treatment for marine engine rooms. SilentWave™ RCD delivers exceptional noise reduction for recreational craft with an industry-setting 4x improvement in the cabin environment for passengers and crew, making it one of the most significant developments of its kind in recent years.

All yacht builders want to do is maximise space, minimise weight and deliver maximum performance, including quiet operation, for their clients. Fully compliant with the Recreational Craft Directive, SIDERISE SilentWave™ RCD is the optimum sound reduction solution for recreational craft less than 34 metres. With an unmatched 4x reduction (6dB) in cabin sound pressure level, this lightweight composite treatment delivers comfort, security and protection to all passengers and crew.

Committed to continued research and development, SIDERISE went back to the drawing board to develop a new composite acoustic product that offers significantly improved absorption performance and would be aesthetically pleasing to this high-end marine market.

Graham Laws, Business Development Officer of SIDERISE said: “Modern motor yachts are built for performance, but power does come with a price. As engine performance increases so do sound levels, which can have a negative impact for crew and passengers on-board. Our new composite acoustic product can deliver the ultimate balance between acoustic performance, weight and cost.”

Easy to install, SIDERISE SilentWave™ RCD is moisture-resistant, non-flammable and features a high aesthetic finish. Tested for fire performance in accordance with ISO 4589-3 (Oxygen index >21% @elevated temperature), the composite prevents ingress of fuel and oil.

SIDERISE sets out to deliver engineered performance, keeping both large voids and mass to a minimum. The company’s innovative acoustic laminates can achieve previously unseen levels of acoustic attenuation at low frequency.

SIDERISE acoustic products have been developed over a number of years and third-party tested to certify their performance. SIDERISE has been providing noise control solutions throughout Europe within the industries of power generation, wind turbines, automotive, HVAC, rail and marine. SIDERISE technical experts can tailor the material performance directly to the controlling frequencies of your application.

SIDERISE, global leader in the development, design and manufacture of fire, acoustic and thermal solutions has launched the SIDERISE DWX range, an innovative system for the wrapping of metal ducting systems

SIDERISE, global leader in the development, design and manufacture of fire, acoustic and thermal solutions has launched the SIDERISE DWX range, an innovative system for the wrapping of metal ducting systems. The system offers both thermal insulation to maintain the efficiency of a heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems as well as acoustic enhancements to reduce sound transmission. Its high performance helps to promote comfort in the workplace through the creation of energy efficient and quiet HVAC systems.

SIDERISE DWX is a soft flexible quilt that offers exceptional performance. It provides excellent sound and thermal insulation qualities, is highly durable offering long term performance in use and offers Class 0 reaction to fire. SIDERISE retains compliance at the top of its agenda, and as such, SIDERISE DWX has been tested in an independent laboratory and is fully compliant with building regulations. Furthermore, the testing was carried out on the finished products, rather than relying on the performance of individual components before they are assembled.

SIDERISE DWX encompasses a range of solutions. DW5P and DW10P comprise a flexible resin-bonded glass fibre quilt that contains an anti-dusting fleece. DW5P has a 5kg/m2 surface weight whilst DW10P has a 10kg/m2 surface weight. DW5P/NPF and DW10P/NPF comprise a polyester / PP ultra-fine fibre spacing layer. All are wrapped with a polymeric acoustic membrane and diamond stitched. The exposed surface is finished with a Class 0 reinforced aluminium foil.

The range is designed for HVAC systems as an external cladding for sheet metal ducts. However it can also be used for a range of other applications including construction, marine, automotive and OEM, where it can be used on ventilation equipment, concrete columns, generators, compressors, process plant and electrical equipment where there is a need to reduce airborne noise.


The typical level of improvement of sound transmission loss through the installation of SIDERISE DWX is 18dB, based on a single layer application on a 0.8mm steel duct. Specific sound transmission loss is dependent upon a number of factors and SIDERISE's technical team are able to work closely with clients to provide solutions that meet their exact requirements. As well as its acoustic properties and good damping characteristics, SIDERISE DWX also provides thermal efficiency, helping to reduce energy loss.

Flexible and easy to install, SIDERISE DWX can be installed with mechanical fixings such as insulation support pins with non-return washers.

Hitachi Rail Europe has awarded SIDERISE with its prestigious 'Manufacturing Partner of the Year Award' in recognition of the company's ability to provide a range of high quality products.

Hitachi Rail Europe has awarded SIDERISE, global leader in the development, design and manufacturer of fire, acoustic and thermal solutions, with its prestigious ‘Manufacturing Partner of the Year Award’. The award is in recognition of the company’s ability to provide a range of high quality, engineered products whilst adding processes to enhance the manufacturing efficiency of Hitachi Rail Europe.

Hitachi Rail Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, is a total railway system supplier offering rolling stock, traction equipment, signalling, traffic management systems and maintenance centres. From its state-of-the-art rail vehicle manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, the company is currently producing trains for the Intercity Express Programme and the Abellio ScotRail franchise.

For the past 18 months, SIDERISE has been working with Hitachi Rail Europe, providing thermal and acoustic insulation for both projects. SIDERISE’s rail insulation is manufactured to meet a variety of different criteria. This includes technical compliance (reaction to fire, smoke and toxicity), thermal performance, CNC machining and precise manufacturing tolerances.

In addition to meeting product performance requirements, SIDERISE has also exceeded Hitachi Rail’s requirement for exceptional service across technical, engineering and commercial support, as well as flexibility of supply.

By working with the engineering, warehouse and procurement teams, SIDERISE has been able to provide further value to Hitachi Rail by grouping the supplied parts through complex multi-level bills of material throughout the trainsets, not only by carriage but by the installation procedure. This means the parts are sequenced, packaged and labelled in the order in which they are installed in the train.

“It is an honour for SIDERISE to have been considered for this award, let alone to have been confirmed as the recipient of it,” commented Graham Laws, Director of Business Development at SIDERISE. “It’s testimony to the team who have worked tirelessly to meet the requirements of Hitachi Rail and their ability to go above and beyond to provide solutions and processes that add tangible value to their business.”

Category Manager at Hitachi Rail, Anthony Lees, said: “The relationships we build in our multi-million-pound supply chain are crucial and we believe it is vitally important to celebrate collaboration. We are delighted with the service SIDERISE has provided and look forward to working with them to continue to develop and grow both our businesses.”

The award was presented by Alistair Dormer (Group CEO of Hitachi Rail) at the 2018 Partners Day in Florence, Italy on the 3rd July 2018.

SIDERISE ‘Nexus Fusion’ provides specifiers with a high strength, robust insulation core that offers an unequalled combination of fire, thermal and acoustic performance.

Designed for use with glass spandrel panels in curtain walling and bespoke glazing systems, SIDERISE ‘Nexus Fusion’ provides specifiers with a high strength, robust insulation core that offers an unequalled combination of fire, thermal and acoustic performance.

SIDERISE Nexus Fusion (previously Lamatherm Nexus NXS) spandrel insulation is a robust European Fireclass A1 lamella board that meets the performance requirements of curtain walling systems replacing the use of compressible or combustible insulating materials. Launched today at FIREX 2018, The product will be featured on stand A196 at Firex International from 19th to 21st June at Excel in London.

Through precision manufacturing and tight tolerances, Nexus Fusion comprises high strength stonewall lamella with a uniform vertical fibre structure – this unique feature means that Nexus Fusion boards can be fitted avoiding the risk of slippage due to building movement, and without gaps or slumping of the insulation.    

Being inherently ‘non-combustible’, mechanically strong and dimensionally stable, SIDERISE Nexus Fusion spandrel insulation provides the best possible consideration for maintaining the systems fire integrity at the junction between the building structure and the curtain wall. However, the actual fire resistance achieved will remain primarily dependent on the curtain wall or frame specification.

Tested as part of a curtain wall assembly to EN1364-3 in Fire Rated Façades for 30 minutes without failure, Fusion boards tested in their end use application have been rated as European Fireclass A1. Available in a range of standard thicknesses between 20mm and 200mm, the product is foil faced on one side with an open filament net on the other side to facilitate bonding to glass. This negates the need for pins and washers, simplifying installation and reducing costs.

William McDowell Business Development and Product Manager of SIDERISE said:  “Nexus Fusion will ensure the integrity of the interface between the insulation and the firestop is not compromised and effective compartmentation is maintained. Our firesafe solution eliminates the costly option of creating a bespoke metal tray lining system.”

SIDERISE Nexus products use a unique patented process to produce a true structurall lamella board with optimal fire, thermal and acoustic performance. Specifiers and building owners can then be certain these products will continue to perform after insulation, offering the best environmental conditions for those living and working in buildings, and to reliably protect in the event of fire.

It provides specifiers of architectural panels and doors with a firesafe and high strength insulation core that offers fire safety, rigidity, flatness and exceptional structural performance.

With the increasing demand for firesafe materials across the construction industry, SIDERISE has launched Nexus Core. It provides specifiers of architectural panels and doors with a firesafe and high strength insulation core that offers fire safety, rigidity, flatness and exceptional structural performance.

A truly firesafe structural insulation solution, SIDERISE Nexus Core (previously Lamatherm Nexus NXR) lamella boards meet the performance requirements of modern industrial and commercial buildings being used in curtain walling systems, doors and volumetric building elements. Launched today at FIREX 2018, Nexus CORE provides a cost-effective, pre-finished rigid core to be used wherever thermal, fire or acoustic insulation is required within a bonded composite panel. The product will be featured on stand A196 at Firex International from 19th to 21st June at Excel in London.

Nexus Core comprises high strength stonewool lamella with a uniform fibre structure.  Precision manufacturing and tight tolerances means that manufacturers can use thinner facing materials that can now remain robust and aesthetically pleasing. 

As part of the patented Nexus process, the lamella undergoes lateral compression which eliminates all gaps within and between the lamella, thereby removing any weak points and creating a ‘true’ lamella board. This increases structural performance and produces a more homogenous core. The Nexus Core lamella boards are supplied with an open filament net facing to both sides to allow for structural bonding and also optimal handle-ability.

William McDowell Business Development and Product Manager of SIDERISE said :  “Whilst facades can be used to create a stunning architectural statement, it is essential these buildings are constructed to perform efficiently and safely. Nexus Core is made from European Fireclass A1 stonewool enabling manufacturers to produce firesafe composite structures.”

SIDERISE Nexus products use a unique patented process to produce a true structurally lamella board with optimal and tested fire, thermal and acoustic performance. Specifiers and building owners can then be certain these products will continue to perform after insulation, offering the best environmental conditions for those living and working in buildings, and to reliably protect in the event of fire.

SilentWave™ RCD delivers exceptional noise reduction for recreational craft with an industry-setting 4x improvement in the cabin environment for passengers and crew, making it one of the most significant developments of its kind in recent years.

In the first major innovation of its kind in 30 years, SIDERISE has launched SilentWave™ RCD - a ground-breaking acoustic treatment for marine engine rooms. SilentWave™ RCD delivers exceptional noise reduction for recreational craft with an industry-setting 4x improvement in the cabin environment for passengers and crew, making it one of the most significant developments of its kind in recent years.

All yacht builders want to do is maximise space, minimise weight and deliver maximum performance, including quiet operation, for their clients. Fully compliant with the Recreational Craft Directive, SIDERISE SilentWave™ RCD is the optimum sound reduction solution for recreational craft less than 34 metres. With an unmatched 4x reduction (6dB) in cabin sound pressure level, this lightweight composite treatment delivers comfort, security and protection to all passengers and crew.

Committed to continued research and development, SIDERISE went back to the drawing board to develop a new composite acoustic product that offers significantly improved absorption performance and would be aesthetically pleasing to this high-end marine market.  

Graham Laws, Business Development Officer for SIDERISE said: “Modern motor yachts are built for performance, but power does come with a price. As engine performance increases so do sound levels, which can have a negative impact for crew and passengers on-board. Our new composite acoustic product can deliver the ultimate balance between acoustic performance, weight and cost.”

Easy to install, SIDERISE SilentWave™ RCD is moisture-resistant, non-flammable and features a high aesthetic finish.  Tested for fire performance in accordance with ISO 4589-3 (Oxygen index >21% @elevated temperature), the composite prevents ingress of fuel and oil.

SIDERISE sets out to deliver engineered performance, keeping both large voids and mass to a minimum. The company’s innovative acoustic laminates can achieve previously unseen levels of acoustic attenuation at low frequency.

SIDERISE acoustic products have been developed over a number of years and third-party tested to certify their performance. SIDERISE has been providing noise control solutions throughout Europe within the industries of power generation, wind turbines, automotive, HVAC, rail and marine. SIDERISE technical experts can tailor the material performance directly to the controlling frequencies of your application.

 

For further information about SIDERISE or for technical advice contact marine@siderise.com or call 01473 827695

Leading manufacturer of fire, acoustic and thermal insulation products SIDERISE is delighted to announce its success in winning the prestigious Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track Award for Excellence in Emerging Markets at an awards ceremony in London.

One of 85 invited companies at the 3rd annual ceremony held at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel, SIDERISE was successful in achieving 60th place in this previously announced ranking and was delighted to receive additional recognition.

The SME Export Track 100 Excellence in Emerging Markets Award was presented by Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow Executive Director of Expansion, to Tony James, Chief Executive of SIDERISE.  Headquartered in Maesteg, SIDERISE is one of four companies in Wales which are all new entrants to the league table of Britain’s small and medium-sized (SME) companies with the fastest-growing international sales. 

With its diverse range of fire-stopping insulation and acoustic solutions, the company achieved an impressive international sales growth of 52%, with a highlight being construction product related export sales of £1.8 million for year end 2015

Tony James, Chief Executive at SIDERISE said: “We are delighted to be recognised as one of the UK’s leading exporters and this prestigious award is a fantastic achievement for SIDERISE. The demand for our wide range of innovative products remains extremely strong and this international success wouldn’t be possible without the support and effort of all our staff in Maesteg and Hadleigh.”

SIDERISE operates in the Middle East - principally the UAE and with an increasing focus on Qatar - Malaysia, India and across mainland Europe.

Gareth Oakley, Managing Director SME banking at Lloyds Banking Group, the title sponsor, commented: “For businesses that take the leap to trade overseas, the rewards can be significant – the strong growth achieved by this year’s SME Export Track 100 is proof of that.”

SIDERISE products have been used on a number of high profile projects across the globe. From meeting the rigorous standards at the Athlete’s Villages for both the 2000 and 2012 Olympics in Sydney and London, to the prestigious Canary Wharf Development as well as hospitals, government and pharmaceutical buildings, the company’s fire protection and acoustic solutions are simple in concept, simple to use and simple to install. 

From buses to road sweepers, military to construction plant vehicles, vehicle noise is an issue in the commercial sector whether it is new developments in powertrain technology or hybridisation or electrification of vehicles.

While many of today’s trucks make 10 times less noise than those built over 40 years ago, road traffic noise remains the most widespread cause of environmental health problems across Europe.  According to the European Environment Agency, almost 70 million people are exposed to excessive long term average road noise levels (>55db), the level recognised to pose a serious risk to health by the World Health Organisation. 

A number of factors contribute to traffic noise, including the road surface and speed- dependent aerodynamic noise, but most urban traffic noise originates from the vehicles rather than the tyres.  The noise standards for commercial vehicles are particularly significant as they cause half of the road noise-burden across Europe.

Emissions pollution has driven changes in engine design such as hybrids and lean engines. However, high running temperatures can result in these engines being noisier.  Even electric vehicles have different noise characteristics which need controlling to gain market acceptance as they often have devices for energy storage that generate noise intermittently themselves .

Tackling noise at source

The vehicle engine is an understandable source of noise, and when you combine this with the powertrain, there are a large number of interlinked components that produce sound.  From rattles to sound pressure waves, these sounds include vibrations and ‘surface radiation’, which is the low-frequency sound produced by a surface as it pulsates, like a drum. The ‘mechanics’ of noise mean that as the sound level of any individual component is reduced, others become more noticeable – which means that all components must be worked on together to actually reduce engine (and vehicle) noise. This is also true for other noise producing vehicle elements. After reducing powertrain and exhaust sounds, other noises may become noticeable such as aerodynamic resistance or previously unnoticed tyre/road noise.

An additional benefit of reducing noise at source is that driver and passenger noise will be significantly improved. Further improvements to sound quality in-cab can be gained by addition of sound insulation and absorption behind or under the interior trim.

A quieter life

Having manufactured acoustic and fire insulation products for more than 40 years, SIDERISE offers a large range of tried-and-tested product enhancements specifically developed to the broad spectrum of requirements in the commercial vehicle sector.

Offering high insulation and absorption performance as well as fuel, oil and chemical resistance, these sound reduction and damping treatments have been expertly designed for the most challenging environments. 

At under 10kg/m3 density, SIDERISE foams are class leaders in weight- saving and by combining with other layers, excellent and targeted acoustic performance can be achieved at minimum thickness. These foam products can also be used in public service vehicles (PSVs) for thermal insulation leading to weight savings of the order of 100kg per vehicle, whilst improving thermal and acoustic performance. The addition of viscoelastic and polymeric heavy layers to these foams can produce high insulation and vibration damping performance.

Paul Handscomb of SIDERISE said, “Our noise control materials can be quickly installed on the production line or workshop and are independently tested to give our clients complete confidence in product performance.”

Fire protection

Recent awareness of the risks of vehicles in tunnels has also required materials with increased fire resistance and protection from ingress of potentially flammable fluids. Devices to burn off particulates and catalytic convertors generate significant heat in engine areas.  In addition, the increased containment by undertrays or close cladding to an engine requires higher temperature resistance materials. 

SIDERISE solutions will provide both integrated noise reduction performance of up to 20dB and are also compliant with Euro 6 legislation and tested to the toughest flammability regulations.  Able to withstand up to 800°C and 30 minutes fire protection, these non-combustible solutions offer exceptional thermal and fire safety performance.

With traffic noise affecting greater numbers of people and faced with tough regulations, the importance of taking a holistic approach to noise control on commercial vehicles has never been more apparent.  Through a wide range of independently tested noise control treatments, SIDERISE will be able to quickly and professionally reach the optimum solution, each and every time, and for the most challenging environments.  

Leading manufacturer of fire, acoustic and thermal insulation products SIDERISE is delighted to have been ranked 60th in the prestigious Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100 league table.

Leading manufacturer of fire, acoustic and thermal insulation products SIDERISE is delighted to have been ranked 60th in the prestigious Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100 league table.

Headquartered in Maesteg, SIDERISE is one of four companies in Wales which are all new entrants to the league table of Britain’s small and medium-sized (SME) companies with the fastest-growing international sales.

With its diverse range of fire-stopping insulation and acoustic solutions, the company achieved impressive international sales growth of 52%, with a highlight being construction product related export sales of £1.8 million for year end 2015

Steve Swales, Chief Commercial Officer at SIDERISE said: “This is a fantastic achievement for SIDERISE and represents a milestone in our strategy for internationalising the business. To be recognised as one of the UK’s leading exporters shows the demand for our wide range of innovative products remains extremely strong and this success wouldn’t be possible without the support and effort of all our staff in Maesteg and Hadleigh.”

The company operates in the Middle East - principally the UAE and with an increasing focus on Qatar - Malaysia, India and across mainland Europe.

Gareth Oakley, Managing Director SME banking at Lloyds Banking Group, the title sponsor, commented: “For businesses that take the leap to trade overseas, the rewards can be significant – the strong growth achieved by this year’s SME Export Track 100 is proof of that.”

SIDERISE products have been used on a number of high profile projects across the globe. From meeting the rigorous standards at the Athlete’s Villages for both the 2000 and 2012 Olympics in Sydney and London, to the prestigious Canary Wharf Development as well as hospitals, government and pharmaceutical buildings, the company’s fire protection and acoustic solutions are simple in concept, simple to use and simple to install.

For further information about SIDERISE or for technical advice visit www.siderise.com or contact a member of our team.

Read The Sunday Times SME Export Track 100 Supplement, 26 February 2017

It is critical that modern buildings are designed to take into account all relevant design fire scenarios. Both passive and active systems need to be tested accordingly, and with little margin of safety for failure, specified and installed correctly.

Modern high-rise constructions may well push the design envelope and change the landscapes across our cities, but the consequences of fire spread in very tall buildings are extremely high. While acceptable levels of risk need to be proactively identified, it is critical that buildings be designed accordingly, taking into account all relevant design fire scenarios. Both passive and active systems need to be tested accordingly, and with little margin of safety for failure, they should be specified and installed correctly. It is ultimately a collective decision between a team of people - from the designer to the mechanical engineer, the fire risk assessor to the security specialist.

Fire should not be considered in isolation and in any design, all credible scenarios –whether evacuation, containment, fire resistance or suppression – must be considered as a part of a holistic safety strategy. While it is all very well having a theoretical or documented fire engineering strategy, the reality on sites is that there is often a disconnect between the design, specification and installation phases, which raises questions about the ultimate effectiveness of the strategy in the first place.

New fire code

In a bid to bring rules in line with global standards, new national fire regulations have recently come into effect in the UAE with the publication of the new Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice. This updated code is welcomed by the industry and takes a robust and comprehensive view on fire safety standards at all stages of construction. The code has placed greater requirements on curtain walling and cladding products, and introduces a thorough list of tests that must be conducted. While it represents in itself a challenge to all stakeholders, there are new stringent requirements with respect to installation and the quality of workmanship. It’s vital that all installations are ‘as-tested.’

High-rise and super high-rise equates to greater risk so it is imperative that systems that go into these buildings are tested accordingly, in the most demanding way, because there is little margin for failure. Of course, it is possible to test well. However unless the installation replicates that, you are introducing risk.

In the past, elements that are designed specifically to mitigate the fire are invariably left out or not actually installed properly. One particular element is the perimeter firestop which was often not installed correctly or there was a lack of compartmentation measures within large uninterrupted cavities behind cladding systems.

While the tough new regulations in Dubai, which are designed to prevent fires in high-rise towers, will certainly reduce risk and improve safety, it will be a challenge to the market to respond to these changes because contractors and consultants will be personally accountable for effective selection and use of materials.

Manufacturer perspective

For a company that is renowned internationally for its diverse range of fire-stopping insulation solutions, SIDERISE has a unique insight into the industry and the code. The company offers a range of innovative and industry-leading passive fire protection systems which provide compartmentation in high-rise buildings.

Commenting on the new revised code, Steve Swales, Chief Commercial Officer at SIDERISE said: “We have witnessed a large interest and uptake in system testing and have been involved in numerous tests to the various permissible standards.”

With respect to the fire performance of non-load bearing external cladding systems – whether applied to the face of building or fixed to and supported by a structural steel frame - SIDERISE has been involved in fire performance testing to the US standard NFPA 285 and British standard BS 8414 Parts 1 and 2, both of which are permissible with respect to the new UAE Fire and Safety Code of Practice.

This testing has been carried out by cladding panel suppliers of all types including aluminium cladding material and aluminium composite panel providers (ACP) – and separately in conjunction with thermal insulation stakeholders.

“The market has been stimulated to ensure that all systems are code-compliant,” added Steve Swales. “There has also been a rigorous evaluation of compliant barriers which fit within the various systems.”

Compliant solutions

The code states that cavity barriers shall be incorporated into façade design at every floor, horizontally and vertically, to restrict flame spread. There is also specific performance and location requirements including where the cavity is a necessary part of ventilated façade design and needs to be maintained.

In this case, ‘open-state’ cavity barriers are used which comprise advanced intumescent materials that allow ventilation and drainage in the cold state, but close in a fire, providing separation in the cavity. These have typically been included as horizontal barriers in recent tests for open joint cladding systems, in conjunction with full width seals used as vertical cavity barriers. In other closed-joint panel system tests, where there is no ventilation requirement, SIDERISE cavity barriers used both horizontally or vertically are full width seals which have also been tested with respect to the code.

While the new code will not be applied retrospectively, when existing buildings undergo maintenance, any cladding or system which is non-compliant to the current code will provide an opportunity to install compartmentation measures using cavity barriers, such as those provided by SIDERISE which lend themselves to retrospective installation.

It is recognised that the spread from floor-to-floor and over the façade of a building can lead to catastrophe. As well as providing greater requirements on curtain walling and cladding products all building products and systems will have to be independently tested, audited and certified by approved third party bodies. The code will also place new responsibilities on building owners to maintain the life safety measures within their buildings.

Once a fire safety strategy is in place, it needs to be managed and maintained through the life of the building, a crucial consideration when you consider a building occupier might change the building fabric or materials. Unless the strategy has ongoing review, every change to the building can potentially increase risk and jeopardise life safety.

Graham Laws, Business Development Officer at Siderise Group, provides some sound advice on HVAC acoustic design and offers up proven ways to deal with a potentially noisy issue.

Noise is an all pervasive facet in our lives, from the early morning alarm clock right the way through our working day. But does it need to be that way? When you consider that the estimated cost of noise pollution runs into billions of pounds according to DEFRA, architects and engineers have had to think long and hard on how to build out noise from buildings. With building services a well-known source of undesirable noise and vibration, what is the most cost effective way to reduce undesirable sound, whilst delivering noise control, air flow and thermal performance? Graham Laws, Business Development Officer at Siderise Group, provides some sound advice on HVAC acoustic design and offers up proven ways to deal with a potentially noisy issue.

Noise and vibration in building services come from a wide range of mechanical and electrical systems, everything from fans to variable air volume systems, grilles and diffusers to roof-top units, fan coil units to chillers, compressors and condensers, pumps and stand-by generators, boilers and cooling towers. All this unwanted noise can make a workplace environment uncomfortable and less productive.

Through the increased requirements for energy efficiency, buildings are better insulated and isolated, both thermally and acoustically. However, this further drives the need for ventilation and thermal management, and this required airflow can then introduce noise issues of its own, both break-out and in-line noise.

Sound matters

Break-out noise is where sound transmits through the wall of ducting and into the room through which the ductwork is travelling. In-line (duct-borne) noise or noise traveling through ductwork, can create unwelcome high levels of background noise if not properly managed. This noise can raise stress levels in the workplace, harming communication and concentration and increasing fatigue. A poorly designed acoustic solution can potentially exacerbate issues by causing regenerative noise, and negatively affecting airflow.

An additional issue to mechanically generated noise via the HVAC system is cross- talk, whereby speech privacy is compromised by room-to-room transmission via the ventilation system. A good example is in an office building where employees on one floor might hear conversations via the return grille. Even when intelligibility is not an issue, concentration and therefore productivity can be affected by those in adjoining rooms.

The essence of optimal practise comes down to:

  1. Understanding the legislative requirements of the building
  2. Understanding the design requirements of the building
  3. Optimising noise control treatments at source
  4. Optimising system design for airflow and regenerative noise
  5. Minimising breakout from ducts and air handling units
  6. Minimising structure borne noise

Meeting requirements

All buildings represent unique challenges, whether they are offices, schools, hospitals or commercial structures. In the education sector, noise and poor acoustics are an increasingly important issue. For example, in a school, there will be both separation requirements and background noise level requirements for the project.

These can be provided as a single figure rating or noise rating (NR) value, or as octave band values. When it comes to the design of a building, it’s vital to know the function of each room, and both the desired speech privacy and NR level. NR values are a way of describing, as a single figure, a measured noise level that takes into account the frequency content of the noise.

They are often used in the measurement of noise from mechanical sources such as air conditioning systems in environments such as hotels, cinemas and schools. Most buildings will have an ‘in-room’ NR level requirement based on function. For example, typical noise rating values for a concert hall or church would be NR25 while a school or hotel would be NR35, significantly less than say a factory or a noisier engineering environment which would have an NR70 rating. To ensure these levels are achieved, a given Sound Power Level (LwA) for the HVAC unit is required.

Noise Control Treatments

In terms of the system design, air velocity within a duct system influences the noise levels significantly. Regenerated noise can be created by transition pieces, bends, dampers, grilles and diffusers. Regenerated noise can be reduced by limiting the air velocities within the duct system, by easing transitions in the system design and by ensuring that internal acoustic treatments contain chamfers where appropriate to reduce the turbulent effect of sudden changes in opening or direction.

When two adjacent or closely positioned rooms are sharing the same ductwork, sound travels within ducts and will decrease the room-to-room sound insulation dramatically. This will of course impact speech privacy and negatively affect the working environment through disturbance.

Vibration and sound energy from HVAC operation will transmit to a structure and be redistributed around a building. By isolating your systems from the structure before it has a chance to vibrate, through isolation mounts or decoupled through flexible linkages from the structure via the noise source and the duct runs, another path of noise has been reduced through physical materials.

Solutions provider to manufacturers

With more than 40 years’ experience providing noise control treatments to manufacturers in the HVAC sector, SIDERISE offers a range of noise control solutions which can be tailored to meet project specific design and performance requirements. SIDERISE HV-NC noise control solutions, for example, are tailored to the octave band requirements of your HVAC unit, thereby delivering the optimum acoustic performance at the minimum cost. Manufactured from high performance open cell acoustic foam, parts are designed to ease airflow and lower regenerative noise, and the lining treatment is engineered to deliver the lowest possible Sound Power (LwA). These acoustic solutions give exceptional noise absorption, yielding reduced airborne noise at inlets and outlets, and lowering case radiated noise.

Lining kits are Class 0 fire rated to EN 13501-1 to comply with Building Regulations Approved Document B.

Offering ease of installation, SIDERISE noise control solutions are supplied as a pre-cut kit, backed with high performance modified acrylic adhesive for rapid installation on a manufacturer’s assembly-line; and offer exceptional performance for fan coil units, air handling units and heat exchangers.

Remedial treatment – building services

For an existing building with a ductwork ‘in-line’ noise problem, SoundPAC is an easy and cost-efficient way to introduce noise control. At the terminal ends, where air is being delivered to the occupied spaces, you can remove the grille and simply install the SoundPAC inserts. Inherently flexible, the inserts are ideally suited to retro-fit installation, particularly in situations where there is minimal access and/or where less disruption is a consideration. For ‘duct noise breakout’ another solution, which contributes well to quiet air-handling, are the DWX and DPF-RL external acoustic treatments, which are externally applied. Easy to install without disturbing the HVAC system, this solution reduces break-out noise by providing a combination of acoustic absorption and sound reduction via inherently damped flexible mass membrane.

We live in a very noisy world but by proactively considering potential acoustic problems at the design stage of an HVAC system and adding sound control measures to minimise unwanted noise, building owners will have a far quieter system, which in the end, can go a long way towards promoting comfort and productivity.

SIDERISE through a broad range of products and solutions are able to provide a holistic treatment to all areas of HVAC noise, ensure that a peaceful, stress-free and productive environment is experienced by all.

For further information about SIDERISE HVAC solutions or for specific technical advice contact our .

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