Thermal Breaks

Steel Construction in Education Buildings with Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks

State of the art, modern buildings can only enhance an individual’s education, and steel construction is a large part of creating these inspirational projects in a flexible and cost-effective manner. Farrat’s structural thermal break team are pleased to have supplied products for a number of projects, recently opened for the start of the academic year in 2019.

The London School of Economic’s new building brought together sustainable design and a desire to improve the well-being of the inhabitants. The exo-skeletal bracing sits outside the envelope of the building creating a striking design as well as enabling a range of teaching and learning spaces. The facility offers four lecture theatres, twelve seminar rooms and hundreds of study spaces.

The first new secondary school in Scotland for 25 years; Bertha Park High School – on the outer rim of Perth – has a distinct wedge-like shape created using a steel framework. At the northern end of the building, the framework measures seventy metres long and forty metres wide. The opening of this brand-new community resource in time for the start of the year in 2019 meant a new group of local students could make use of both the educational and social areas.

Steel construction also featured heavily in the new sports hub for the University of Warwick. It includes a 230 space gym, a swimming pool, 3G sports pitches, squash courts, a marital arts hall, space for 1,000 spectators and an impressive climbing wall as well as socializing areas.

The design features steel framework and metal decking, and relied heavily on use of Building Information Modelling to co-ordinate changes as the building grew and evolved. This use of technology and design innovation meant the project was completed 5 weeks early without compromising on the impressive finish.

The distinctive building is fronted by a series of ‘signature Ws’, exposed internal steelwork and visible exterior steel as an architectural feature.

The University of Central Lancashire’s Engineering Innovation Centre is based at the Preston Campus and was designed with the next generation of engineering innovators in mind. The building is six stories high, and the steel frame ended up at around seventy metres wide.

The design is flexible in nature with a column free approach and in some instances the ability to move partitions between classrooms. Clearly the aim here was to future proof this part of the university’s £230million campus ‘masterplan’ for a range of potential uses.

Take a look at our structural thermal break website to learn how to create energy efficient, compliant buildings.

2019 at Farrat – a year of success

2019 has been a busy year for Farrat and full of achievements and projects to be proud of.  There are too many to go into in one post, but here are a few of the highlights of 2019.

Longevity is an ultimate aim for most businesses, and for Farrat to celebrate it’s 60th year this year was a fantastic achievement. A family business now into it’s third generation, Farrat continues to grow with a well-established team, many of whom plan to be here to celebrate 70 years no doubt.

Farrat celebrating 60 years of engineering and manufacturing in the UK

The growth of our non-structural vibration isolation department – new expanding markets has meant the size of this department has nearly doubled in size, with the launch of several new products in our Cine range. The number of projects in the middle east has grown with a number of high-profile openings this year including the largest mall in Egypt, which we were a significant part of.

Growth of cinema in the MENA region is huge with 500 new cinema screens planned between 2018 and 2023, and following attendance of the second MENA cinema forum, Farrat are looking to continue to be a big part of that.

The MENA cinema forum this year introduced a new way to display the power of Farrat’s Cine Range. Affectionately dubbed ‘the cube of silence,’ this demonstration enabled our Commercial Director Ryan Arbabi to show just how much noise and vibration we can isolate!

Farrat has continued a truly global reach in 2019, with more countries than we could go into in much detail. From canning factories in France, Brazil and the UK, shock isolation in Taiwan, vibration control at The Hague in the Netherlands and in Slovakia, in addition to the work in MENA with the growth of cinema in Saudi Arabia on the horizon – it’s been a globe trotting year!

Farrat TBF was a brand-new product launched this year, following numerous requests for a fire safe thermal break product. Fire safe thermal break material is not yet a legal requirement but to be able to launch a product as ahead of the curve, and one we truly believe will be in high demand in the future, was an exciting achievement.

Farrat TBF

The team has expanded this year to accommodate growth, but in addition to that, Farrat truly believes in developing team members internally. A large number of people within Farrat have progressed to new positions in house.

2020 sees a new level of growth with more exciting plans that we look forward to updating you on from as close as Manchester to the other side of the world.

Farrat is first to market with an A2 Fire Rated Structural Thermal Break material

Farrat has unveiled the markets first A2 Fire Rated Structural Thermal Break ‘Farrat TBF’ this week, following 12 months of research and development in consultation with Salford and Manchester Universities, material scientists and specialist raw material producers.

Farrat TBF is a very limited combustibility Structural Thermal Break material designed to maintain full structural integrity in the event of fire.

Alongside its limited combustibility, the new Farrat TBF material stands alongside the markets best performing thermal insulators, with very high compressive strength and low thermal conductivity – preventing thermal bridges from forming between structural connections and mitigating against the risk of condensation, mould or corrosion.

Farrat TBF

Farrat TBF has been independently tested and verified to the latest industry standards, with a limited combustible calorific rating achieved to EN 1716.

Farrat TBF is verified to maintain its very high structural performance and compressive strength to 500° under EN ISO 604 and is consequently compliant for use under Document B Building Regulations for buildings above 18m.

Chris Lister, Commercial Manager at Farrat

“The addition of Farrat TBF to our Structural Thermal break range is in response to several enquiries from our clients regarding a fire-safe thermal break product,” explains Chris Lister, Commercial Manager for Thermal Products.

“The intention is that Farrat TBF acts as a reliable, effective and readily-available material for fabricators and designers that are looking to meet multiple building regulations relating to fire, heat loss and energy performance with the one Structural Thermal Break product. We expected Farrat TBF to be favoured and especially suitable for thermally insulating structural connections on high-rise developments and buildings above 18m.”

Farrat TBF is available for procurement worldwide from November 1st 2019 and is already set to be used in products around the UK.

High Rise

Passive House Certification for Farrat TBK Structural Thermal Break Plates

Farrat TBK Structural Thermal Break Plates have been granted a ‘Certified Passive House Component’ by the Passive House Institute.

Passive House is the standard for energy efficiency, granting certification to structures, components and professionals who have achieved the very best in quality, efficiency and sustainability.

The criteria to gain the title of ‘Certified Passive House Component’ is based on two categories:

  • Living health and comfort (‘Comfort criteria’) and
  • Energy balance during practical application (‘Energy criteria’)

Components that carry this certification have been tested according to these aforementioned criteria and are of a high standard regarding energy efficiency. This ensures that the specific use of the component meets the essential needs and functions of the professionals that require it (architects, structural engineers, technicians).

Farrat Structural Thermal Break Plates have received multiple certifications in the past. However, this is the first Farrat solution that has received Passive House Certification, cementing Farrat’s committed to developing innovative high-performance building materials with proven performance.

Passive House certification also fits closely into Farrat’s core values of Customer Service Excellence, Responsibility, Ambition and Quality, by ensuring quality assurance, performance and trust in manufacturing excellence.

“Farrat are very proud to have achieved certification to such a highly regarded standard as Passive House. Achieving exemplar level performance with our TBK material confirms our belief in the merits of solid state structural thermal breaks and the benefits of their use throughout general construction detailing.”

Chris Lister, Commercial Manager, Thermal Products


Farrat’s Passive House certificated Structural Thermal Break materials provide building design professionals with a robust solution to minimise energy loss. Suitable to mitigate against planar, linear and point load thermal bridging, Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks can be used anywhere a penetration or transition exists in a building envelope to help achieve building performance standards. Performance characteristics include low thermal conductivity, high compressive strength and very limited creep under load.

Full specifications are available for import from NBS Plus.

To contact us click here or get in touch on +44 (0) 161 924 1600.

Farrat Thermal Breaks help reduce energy loss across New Bailey Scheme

Two New Bailey Square - Update from Site May 2019

Following our recent supply of Structural Thermal Breaks to Greater Manchester’s newest state-of-the-art office development One New Bailey, Farrat have also been appointed to thermally insulate structural connections at the second office building in the major mixed-use scheme, Two New Bailey Square.

The developments are expected to be complete by the end of 2019 and are being delivered by the English Cities Fund – a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England.

Both buildings have been specified to achieve Grade A BREEAM “Excellent” Standard, offering pre-let tenants such as Salford City Council and Eversheds Sutherland, best in class office environments built to the highest sustainability credentials. Integrating Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks between horizontal and vertical connections of both internal and external elements, will prevent thermal bridging in structural connections and significantly reduce heat loss across each building.

There a 5 projects currently underway in the New Bailey master scheme in total, each occupying a prominent position opposite Manchester’s internationally renowned Spinningfields business district.

New Bailey Scheme Masterplan - courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield
New Bailey Scheme Masterplan - Courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

Farrat’s BBA certificated Structural Thermal Break materials provide building design professionals with a robust solution to minimise energy loss. Suitable to mitigate against planar, linear and point load thermal bridging, Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks can be used anywhere a penetration or transition exists in a building envelope to help achieve building performance standards. Performance characteristics include low thermal conductivity, high compressive strength and very limited creep under load.

Full specifications are available for import from NBS Plus.

Farrat supply Structural Thermal Breaks to insulate connections across a 15,000t steelwork package, being erected at the new Edinburgh St James retail scheme

Edinburgh St James with egg shaped W Hotel

Edinburgh St James is one of the most significant construction and regeneration projects currently under way in the UK and the largest city centre development Edinburgh has seen for decades.

The £1bn project is replacing a 1960s shopping centre with 79,000m² of new retail space, alongside a new five-star W Hotel, an Aparthotel, 152 prime residential apartments, more than 30 restaurants and the city’s first Everyman Cinema.

Numerous column grid patterns requiring hundreds of tonnes of transfer structures, are helping to create the large retail-led mixed-use scheme, with a steelwork package totalling 15,000t of steel being fabricated by the appointed steelwork contractor BHC.

Following specification by the Architect, Farrat are set to supply over £90k of Farrat TBK Structural Thermal Breaks to thermally separate steel connections across buildings in the project.

Edinburgh St James main retail mall, which sits above a car park
Edinburgh St James main retail mall, which sits above a car park
Edinburgh St James - smaller residential grid sits above the retail elements of the project
Edinburgh St James - smaller residential grid sits above the retail elements of the project

As of March 2019, BHC had erected approximately one-third of the overall 15,000t of steel, a total that amounts to the company’s largest ever project. The steelwork package is due to complete in June 2020, with the project opening in phases, beginning with the retail and leisure element anticipated to complete in 2020, and the remainder of the development in late 2021 when the W Hotel and residential parts will be ready.


Farrat’s BBA certificated Structural Thermal Break materials provide building design professionals with a robust solution to minimise energy loss. Suitable to mitigate against planar, linear and point load thermal bridging, Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks can be used anywhere a penetration or transition exists in a building envelope to help achieve building performance standards. Performance characteristics include low thermal conductivity, high compressive strength and very limited creep under load.

Full specifications are available for import from NBS Plus.

Farrat join the British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA) as Industry Member

Farrat are now a member of the BCSA

Farrat have been granted Industry Membership to the BCSA following independent assessment of our role as a UK manufacturer and supplier of Structural Thermal Breaks.  

The BCSA is the national organisation for the steel construction industry in the UK.

Industry Members are recognised as principal companies involved in the direct supply of components and materials used in structural steelwork and must have a purchase, design and supply facility within the UK.

Farrat are proud to be joining the BCSA in line with our continued commitment to the steelwork sector as an accredited & reliable manufacturer and a top-tier supplier of Structural Thermal Breaks.

Thermally insulating steelwork at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)

CEFAS will incorporate an exposed steel frame that will insulated using farrat structural thermal breaks

Farrat are currently helping to deliver a cost-efficient and sustainable HQ building for the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) by thermally insulating the exposed steel frame using Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks.

Based in the Suffolk, the UK marine science agency Cefas (The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) is constructing a new £18.3M contemporary headquarters building. The new headquarters will be a sustainable steel-framed landmark and form a central element of a much larger scheme that also includes the phased floor-by-floor refurbishment of an existing 1980s laboratory building.

The building has a composite design with steelwork supporting metal decking and a concrete topping. Most of the steel frame is based around a regular 6m column spacing, with internal spans of up to 12m.

This was deemed sufficient to provide the new building with modern open-plan office and meeting room spaces.

Farrat were recently contacted by the steelwork contractor to help minimise the risk of thermal bridges forming at several different penetrations and transitions in the building envelope.

CEFAS - Model of the steel frame

CEFAS – Model of the steel frame (courtesy of H Young Structures)

 

As the complete system needs to be optimised structurally as well as thermally, Farrat are supplying a combination of Farrat TBK and Farrat TBL thermal break plates in a variety of thicknesses and bespoke hole configurations, to ensure that the system is robust as well as thermally efficient.

The high compressive strength and low thermally conductivity properties of these Farrat Structural Thermal Break materials mean that they will transfer high loads and absorb any bending moments or shear forces, whilst acting as a thermal insulator.

The Cefas project is expected to be complete by May 2020.


Farrat’s BBA certificated structural thermal break materials provide building design professionals with a robust solution to minimise energy loss. Suitable to mitigate against planar, linear and point load thermal bridging, Farrat thermal breaks can be used anywhere a penetration or transition exists in a building envelope to help achieve building performance standards. Performance characteristics include low thermal conductivity, high compressive strength and very limited creep under load.

Full specifications are available for import from NBS Plus.

Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety

Building Regulations and Fire - Farrat Independent Review

CONSTRUCTION INSIGHTS

INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF DEC 2018 AMENDMENT TO BUILDINGS REGULATIONS ‘SI 2018/1230’: USE OF NON COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS

February 14, 2019
Author: Chris Lister, Commercial Manager

Synopsis of amendment

Following the recent amendment to the Building Regulations for Fire (England & Wales) SI 2018/1230 Farrat have been looking at the implications for Structural Thermal Break materials in the new legislation.

The statutory Instrument, issued in Dec 2018 sets out the effective prohibition of combustible materials in the external walls of high rise residential buildings over 18 meters. The amendment implements these changes via explicit regulation rather than guidance, making it an effective ban on any materials not reaching the prescribed certified standard.

The standard for prescribing performance in this case is BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009 entitled “Fire classification of construction products and building elements. Classification using test data from reaction to fire tests” The prescribed level of performance required under this standard for use over 18 meters is European Classification A2-s1, d0 or A1.

BS EN 13501-1 defines the classes A1 and A2 as follows:

  • Class A1 will not contribute in any stage of the fire, including the fully developed fire.
  • Class A2 Will not significantly contribute to the fire load and the fire growth in a fully developed fire

The characteristics “s” and “d” are defined as follows:

  • s1 Weak or no smoke
  • s2 Medium Smoke
  • s3 High Smoke
  • d0 No dripping at all
  • d1 Slow dripping recorded
  • d2 High dripping recorded

The amendment only recognises classifications from European Norm standard. The older British Standard classification, which was recognised in previous guidance, is not included in the new regulation.

The New regulation applies to the building external envelope or specified attachments such as, balconies, bris solei or solar panels on ‘relevant’ dwellings, residential or institutional buildings above 18 meters or 6 storeys. Where the building is a hotel or hostel, boarding house or any other building type above 18 meters the regulations revert to the current Approved Document B requirements for fire of limited combustibility A2,-s3, d2 or better.

Within the new regulation for ‘relevant’ buildings above 18 meters, some building elements of the external envelope are exempt from the A1 & A2 fire performance rating.

This exemption includes door and window frames, glazing, fixings, gaskets and significantly for Farrat, thermal break materials.

Significance of the amendment to Building Regulations for Structural Thermal Breaks

Following their exemption from the recently amended standard for a fire classification, Structural Thermal Break materials, as currently supplied into the UK construction sector and deemed to be for the purpose of meeting the thermal bridging requirements of Approved Document L, can continue to be used under their existing limitations.

However, as with previous base line regulatory exemption, where building designers identify fire performance of construction materials as a higher significance factor, the testing and classification of all component’s planned for use will come under scrutiny.

To this end, alongside the continued development of new materials with Structural and Thermal properties, performance in respect of fire has become a main element in product manufacturers list of required characteristics.

As with all insulating materials there is generally a trade-off between insulation value and structural integrity. In the field of structural thermal breaks this balance is critical. Where structural performance is elevated to pole position, the goal is to achieve as good a thermal conductivity as possible without compromising structural properties.

With the introduction of fire into the equation the balance becomes three way, with Structural performance required to be maintained in the event of a fire whilst still functioning as a thermal break under everyday conditions.

The development of a new Structural Thermal Break material by Farrat has achieved this.

Farrat has utilised it’s full material R&D capabilities to develop the UK’s first Fire-Resistant Structural Thermal Break material: Farrat TBF.


If you’re interested in learning more about Farrat’s TBF Fire-Resistant Structural Thermal Break material ahead of the official launch,  please contact Chris Lister, Commercial Manager, on cl@farrat.com.

Chris Lister, Commercial Manager at Farrat

E: cl@farrat.com
T: +44 (0) 161 924 1602
LinkedIn: Chris Lister

AUTHOR PROFILE:

COMMERCIAL MANAGER,
CHRIS LISTER

Joining our UK office in October 2018, Chris is an Associate Member of RIBA and life member of Port Sunlight Rugby Club as Chairman.

Chris has over 30 years experience working within the UK Construction Product sector and leads our Thermal Breaks Team in the UK.

Areas Of Expertise: Product Design, Project Management, R&D
Time at Farrat: 6 Months

Farrat Thermal Breaks reduce energy loss in London’s new ‘City Cluster’

Londons new City Cluster

22 Bishopsgate is one of 13 major build projects expected to change London’s skyline by 2026.

Designed by PLP Architecture, 22 or ‘Twentytwo’ Bishopsgate stands  278 metres tall as the City of London’s tallest tower within the financial districts new ‘City Cluster‘. The tower provides over 1.2 million sq ft of office space and can accommodate up to four tenants on each of the 62 floors.

Over 17,000 tonnes of superstructure structural steelwork and metal decking was designed and fabricated for construction by Severfieldwho approached Farrat during fabrication to supply a suitable solution to mitigate against thermal bridging between connections.

Superelevations, axial shortening and complex geometrical dilemmas presented challenges on this project, so Farrat worked closely with Severfield to manufacture a package of structural thermal breaks in various sizes, shapes and thicknesses to fit seamlessly into design details and meet specification.

Farrat’s load-bearing structural thermal break material with the highest levels of compressive strength and thermal insulation, was used between steel-to-steel connections to prevent thermal transfer from the exterior of the structure into the internal structure via the steel framework.

Farrat thermal break plates were also used in steel-to-concrete applications to greatly reduce heat loss into the concrete slab, providing better insulation for the structure overall.

22 Bishopsgate during construction with Farrat Thermal Break in-situ, courtesy of Severfield
22 Bishopsgate during construction with Farrat Thermal Break in-situ, courtesy of Severfield

For in-depth technical information on all our grades of thermal break materials, please head over to our Thermal Breaks page, or alternatively you can contact us.

‘Twentytwo’ Bishopsgate is due for completion later this year.


Farrat’s BBA certificated structural thermal break materials provide building design professionals with a robust solution to minimise energy loss. Suitable to mitigate against planar, linear and point load thermal bridging, Farrat thermal breaks can be used anywhere a penetration or transition exists in a building envelope to help achieve building performance standards. Performance characteristics include low thermal conductivity, high compressive strength and very limited creep under load.

Full specifications are available for import from NBS Plus.