- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 17 Jul 2017
Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multistorey buildings, third edition (BR 135)
In 2013, BRE published Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multistorey buildings: Third edition (BR 135), written by Sarah Colwell and Tony Baker.
External cladding systems offer a potential route for the spread of fire through multistorey buildings. BR 135 sets out principles, design methodologies and fire spread performance characteristics for non-loadbearing cladding systems.
The first edition was published in 1988 in response to the increasing use of thermal insulation in the refurbishment of multistorey buildings. This third edition and has been revised to reflect the growing market for external cladding systems and the increasingly demanding requirements for thermal performance requirements. It also provides updated guidance on the performance of current materials and technologies.
It describes and illustrates scenarios based on typical examples of current practice, allowing designers to understand the parameters relating to fire safety design and the construction of external cladding. It also consolidates the fire performance classification systems for full-scale fire tests in BS 8414 Fire performance of external cladding systems.
The contents of BR 135 are:
- Executive summary.
- Mechanisms of fire spread.
- Cladding systems: Application and types.
- External finish construction types.
- Fire performance design principles for external cladding systems.
- Annex A: Performance criteria and classification method of BS 8414-1.
- Annex B: Performance criteria and classification for BS 8414-2.
BR 135 became the centre of attention in June 2017, when ACM cladding was the focus of investigations into the speed at which fire spread in the Grenfell Tower fire. See ACM cladding form more information.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- ACM cladding.
- Automatic fire detection and alarm systems, an introductory guide to components and systems BR 510.
- Automatic fire sprinkler systems: A good practice guide.
- BR135: Annex B. Performance criteria and classification method for BS 8414-2:2005.
- BRE articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- BS 8414-2: Fire performance of external cladding systems.
- Building Research Establishment.
- External fire spread, Supplementary guidance to BR 187 incorporating probabilistic and time-based approaches.
- External fire spread: building separation and boundary distances (BR 187).
- Fire in buildings.
- Grenfell Tower fire.
- Sprinkler systems explained: A guide to sprinkler installation standards and rules.
- The causes of false fire alarms in buildings.
- The role of codes, standards and approvals in delivering fire safety.
- Understanding the factors affecting flashover of a fire in modern buildings.
- Visual alarm devices - their effectiveness in warning of fire.
Featured articles and news
Whole-life costs consider all costs associated with the life of a building, from inception to disposal. Find out more here.
Reports emerge of injuries caused by Apple employees colliding with the campus' glazed walls.
The winners of NIC's ideas competition on transforming the Cambridge to Oxford arc discuss their concept.
Create new habitats and improve air quality and wellbeing.
New report provides 12 key actions which could close the structural talent gap in the construction industry.
These can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved. Read more here.
Studying a built environment degree? Check out our helpful student resources section.
New BRE research paper explores how blockchain technology can benefit the built environment industry.
Timber is a natural carbon sink, but it must not end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.
BSRIA has collaborated with the Department of Health on research into air permeability in isolation rooms.