Architects and builders are increasingly requested by their client to design and construct buildings with FM Approved products to meet a specific FM insurance requirement. FM Approvals certifies industrial and commercial products and services for companies worldwide. FM have developed their own independent suite of standards for evaluating the potential performance of building materials to better assesses risk for insurance purposes. FM Approvals include both a rigorous testing regime and yearly auditing of manufacturers facilities to ensure that the initial standard is maintained.
It is important to note that as demanding as FM Approval’s standards are, the National Construction Code (NCC) requirements must be met independently and override insurer or FM Approval requirements. The NCC has been developed to incorporate all on-site construction requirements into a single code. The Building Code of Australia (BCA) forms part of the NCC, which pertains to all Building Classes, and is produced and maintained by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB). It is a uniform set of technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings throughout Australia, and forms the basis of building certifications and approvals.
FM 4880 Standard
FM 4880 Approval Standard for Class 1 Fire Rating of Insulated Panels, Interior Finish Materials, or Coatings and Exteriors Wall Systems evaluates a panel’s ability to contribute to a fire in a variety of different ways, through a small corner test or larger scale corner test. As FM is a US organisation, note some measurements are in imperial format. FM 4880 Approval for Class 1 Fire rating has two grades available:
Class 1 Limited Height – Products must to pass a 25 feet corner test and various other testing;
Class 1 No Height Restriction – Products must pass a 50 feet corner test and various other testing.
FM 4881 Approval Standard for Class 1 Exterior Wall Systems provides a wide range of Approval ratings to allow accredited manufacturers to supply exterior wall systems for almost any geographic area, up to and including cyclone-prone regions. This Standard addresses the natural hazards to which exterior walls are commonly exposed, including the cyclic nature of high-wind events (eg. tropical cyclones), and the impact of windborne debris.
Exterior wall systems must first meet the requirements for Class 1 Fire Rating (FM 4880) and are then tested as necessary for ‘wind load rating’, ‘windborne debris resistance’, and ‘Hail-resistance ratings’.
FM 4471 Approval Standard for Class 1 Panel Roofs states the requirements for meeting the criteria of this Standard for fire, wind, foot traffic and hail damage resistance.
It sets performance requirements for panel roofs, which includes all components necessary for installation of the panel roof assembly as a whole, including the potential for fire spread on the underside and exterior of the roof panel, and its ability to resist simulated wind uplift resistance, whilst maintaining adequate strength and durability.
MetecnoPIR MetecnoPanel® satisfy the requirements for Class 1 approval, and as such have achieved FM Approval 4880 No Height Restriction. MetecnoPanel also satisfies the requirements for FM Approval 4881 No Height Restriction.
MetecnoPIR MetecnoSpan® satisfies the requirement for FM Approval 4880 No Height Restriction, FM Approval 4881 No Height Restriction and FM Approval 4471. For further technical information on FM Approval’s 4471, 4880 and 4881, please refer to the documents below.