A Safety First for Rainscreen and Facade Manufacturer

BTS MD Phil Atkinson (left) and Technical Manager Mark Wiper

A RAINSCREEN AND FACADE manufacturer is leading the way in safety after its latest product became one of the first in the UK to achieve the new BS 8414 standard – despite the upheaval caused by Covid-19.

BTS Facades and Fabrications, based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, manufactures metal rainscreens and facades for the construction industry. It has launched the Vantage® Secret Fix-Full System (SF-FS), a complete through-wall system incorporating an external rainscreen facade that can be used in both new builds and refurbishment projects.

UK First

Developed in partnership with suppliers EOS, ETEX, Siderise, DuPont, Knauf Insulation and SFS and Nvelope, the system is believed to be the first in the UK to have successfully completed two large scale tests in accordance with the most recent BS 8414 standard.

Mark Wiper, BTS’ Technical Manager, said: “Production on the project was initially launched in April 2020 – just as the coronavirus lockdown was in full force – on the publication of the latest test standard from BSI. However, through the dedication and commitment of our supply chain partners, the system has been delivered to market in record time, allowing us to meet the latest safety test standard.”

“As a natural evolution of the already well established and CWCT-tested Vantage® SF panel range, this collaboration allows specifiers and contractors the ability to procure a complete wall and façade package from a single source whilst also utilising the power of a tried and tested supply chain.”

Façade Fire Performance

The system was recently tested for fire performance in accordance with BS8414-2:2020 by UKAS-accredited test lab Efectis UK and Ireland, and complied with all measures of both internal and external spread of flame, as well as mechanical failure.

Mark said: “Our team and our partners worked hard throughout lockdown to make sure the system was ready to be tested as soon as possible once the new standard became available, and I’m extremely proud that all the effort has paid off.

“Working collaboratively enables us to harness the collective intellect of industry-leading experts as well as deliver proven performance. This has given us the ability to develop a complete wall system that is not only fully compliant with the latest building regulations, but under certain conditions can also be employed to facilitate extended application assessments such as BR135.

“Our ability to demonstrate compliance with BS 8414-2 gives us technical credibility that, for some specifiers, can be a pre-requisite for tender opportunities, giving us an important advantage over our competitors.

“It was important for us to be ready for testing as soon as it was available, not only to gain specification advantage in the open market but also to demonstrate our technical ability to a wider audience.

“As well as demonstrating our commitment to regulatory compliance within the facade market, fully tested and certified systems such as this can also help restore confidence in the construction sector as a whole.”

Driving Force for Safety

The testing result is an important boost for BTS, which recorded a 20 per cent increase in turnover in 2019, as the team look to the future after a challenging 2020.

Mark added: “We launched this project during lockdown, and this clearly proves our ambition and desire to be best in our sector, as well as driving force for the advancement of safety within the sector.

“Whilst, like most other businesses, we have suffered in a difficult market, we have plans to rebuild and grow as we move into our next financial year, continually evolving in line with updated legislation.

“The development of SF-FS represents a significant investment in time, money and resources and is testament to the directors’ vision for the future direction and success of BTS.

“This level of testing and collaboration gives clients the confidence in our system knowledge – and in our ability to bring projects to market, no matter how difficult the circumstances.”

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