04 Dec Why is Class A Decking Important?
Due to current UK regulations, Class A decking is extremely important, especially for use in external flooring on high rise buildings. Any residential building over 18m in height must specify non-combustible decking (which means it is Class A) for all specified attachments.
Decking materials are fire-tested on criteria concerning their combustibility, ignitability, flame spread, and contribution to smoke, or development of burning droplets. Any materials specified must be fire-tested in order to confirm they do not burn or contribute to the spread of fire or smoke.
In comparison, Class-B rated materials are only fire-resistant and can still combust under certain conditions, which is why they are not permitted on residential buildings of 18 metres or higher.
If the decking materials pass the fire tests for Class A, they will be rated as either Class A1 or A2 and will be able to be specified as part of a decking system. Such non-combustible materials include concrete, metal, stone and ceramics.
Options for Class A Decking Materials
The stronger, but safer, regulations have restricted the use of commonplace and easily available decking materials such as timber, GRP, composite decking and polyester resin. These materials are combustible or are not Class A1 or A2, and therefore no longer appropriate or safe to specify.
Other options for Class A decking are still available though. Aluminium is a great option and very popular with developers due to its corrosion-free, low maintenance and stylish look. Most importantly aluminium decking is Class A rated. Aluminium also has other benefits such as being recyclable, slip-resistant, practical, and easily fabricated.
Other decking materials you could consider that are A rated are:
Non-Combustible Decking Systems are Critical
Just as important as the decking material, the decking subframe and pedestals must also be non-combustible (Class A rated). Choosing a non-combustible decking system is critical.
For example, if non-combustible porcelain tiles were laid on a combustible decking pedestal system, the balcony or roof garden is still at risk of contributing to the spread of fire.
Alfresco Floors are the UK’s most established specialist in the provision and installation of pedestal-based external Class A fire-rated floor systems. We are aware of the huge gap in the UK supply chain to the UK construction industry for quality fire-rated external flooring systems that meet the current regulations and want to fill that gap.
Conclusion: Class A Decking for High Rise Buildings
Non-combustible decking for high rise balconies, roof gardens, or other external attachments, are extremely important for the safety of residents and visitors in high rise buildings.
Class A decking and subframes limit the spread of fire and smoke in the event of an emergency, keeping exit walkways safe for people, and allowing firefighters access, fast.
The team at Alfresco Floors have unrivalled experience in exterior flooring. We are experienced in all sorts of technical challenges and just about every type of ‘raised floor’ installation system. We focus our efforts exclusively on the products and solutions that we know offer the best combination of not only fire safety but price, prestige, and practicality.
To find out more about our products, call us on 020 8977 0904 or fill out the form below.