The Global Change Institute’s Living Building located at the University of Queensland represents pioneering design for a world more focussed on sustainability than ever before. Architecturally designed to consumer fewer resources than others of the same size, it is no surprise that during the construction phase preference was given to use of sustainable, and low environmentally impacting construction products.
Charged with the project build, McNab were resolute in their desire to use products which not only give superior performance, but which also cause low environmental impact. So when it came to protection of structural steel elements, they did their research to find the best solution.
Water-Based Fire Protection
The beautiful atrium in the building has a large number of supporting steel columns, all which required fire protection as detailed within the BCA. As a water-based intumescent capable of achieving two hour fire protection Nullifire S707-120 was specified for the works for a number of reasons:
- It has a low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) rating,
- It can be applied on site as it has low odour, low overspray and is easily contained
- It is compatible with a number of aesthetic top coats. For the GCI building a water-based urethane was chosen as it offers UV stability on beams exposed to the elements.
As quoted on the University of Queensland’s website the building has gone on to win many awards, inclusive of Winner for Steel Excellence in Buildings – Large Projects (2014).
To date, Nullifire has been specified in a number of other Australian University projects including:
- Queensland University Advanced Engineering.
- University of Western Sydney UWS Werrington.
- University of Central Queensland Rockhampton
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Five Fire Prevention Tips to Ensure Safety in your Building
The goal of a fire safety plan is to ensure that not only do you mitigate the risks of the fire, but most importantly, that you secure the highest chance of survival for all in the building. A key is to have a safety plan, to test it regularly and – though less discussed when it comes to talking about keeping people safe, making sure that you employ both active and passive fire protection systems to reinforce your structure’s fire safety. There are a few other tips which we think you may also want to consider.
Water-based Intumescents: What You Need to Know
Let’s start with the basics: There are solvent-based and water-based intumescents which exist in the market. Aside from the obvious comparisons between the two types, there are a number of other things people should know about water-based and not-for-steel intumescents.
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Permax constantly update the documentations based on the new fire testing outcomes and change of standards and regulations. To ensure the documents you read are up-to-date, please contact the Permax technical team.