SMARTPLY FR/FR Build OSB3 from Coillte Panel Products has been used as a flame retardant flooring solution within a new seven-storey, timber frame accommodation building for students of John Moores University and University of Liverpool.
The Edge, a large student accommodation building on London Road, which is being constructed to meet the urgent need for student housing in the city includes 231 en-suite rooms, two penthouse suites, an on-site gym, a launderette and a private residence courtyard.
The design of the building by DK Architects utilises a concrete and timber frame structure clad in facing brickwork, metal cladding with UPVC windows and aluminium curtain walling. The main contractor, Bardsley Construction worked with timber frame engineers and fabricators, Datum, to specify 1000 sheets of 18mm SMARTPLY FR/FR Build OSB3 panels to be used as the floors throughout all seven storeys.
Datum selected SMARTPLY FR/FR Build OSB3 over conventional post-treated flame retardant wood panels due to its guaranteed consistency and excellent fire retardant properties. Ross Archer, Technical Manager at Datum explains: “ For the developer, fire safety and quality of build were of paramount importance as they really wanted The Edge to stand out as an exemplar of high quality student accommodation in the city. When building the timber frame part of the structure, we looked for a flame retardant flooring panel that wouldn't be affected when the edges were cut to the specification of each storey. SMARTPLY FR/FR OSB3 build enabled us to meet this requirement so we chose to use it throughout the building and we are delighted with the result.”
During manufacture of SMARTPLY FR/FR Build OSB3, a water based, eco-friendly, fire retardant is added, ensuring fire performance throughout the panel whilst maintaining structural integrity. Alternative post treatment fire retardant technologies can have a destructive effect on the mechanical or physical properties of the panel resulting in a tendency to crack or shatter. Coillte Panel Products developed the product in response to the STA’s (Structural Timber Association) “Design guide to separating distances during construction” for timber frame buildings above 600m2 total floor area, which makes it perfect for large accommodation buildings such as The Edge.
SMARTPLY FR/FR Build OSB3 is manufactured in accordance with EN 300, and is ideal for use in flooring, roofing and wall sheathing applications where strength, ease of handling and flame resistance are paramount, enabling end users to meet both CE-marked certified structural performance and FSC-certified environmental credibility.
Ross Archer concludes: “The product was easy to handle, delivered quality and consistency with no degradation of structural properties and, ultimately, gave us peace of mind that we were meeting fire safety and environmental requirements throughout the project.”