Last edited 28 Apr 2021

BS 8414 Fire performance of external cladding systems

The British Standards Institution (BSI) is the UK National Standards Body (NSB). It publishes standards and provides a range of books, self-assessment tools, conferences and training services. It also represents UK economic and social interests in European and international standards organisations.

British Standard (BS) publications are technical specifications or practices that can be used as guidance for the production of a product, carrying out a process or providing a service.

BS 8414 is a two-part standard:

The use of new and innovative products for cladding buildings has given rise to concerns about fire performance, as these systems are often less well understood than more traditional construction materials. A number of high profile fires have illustrated the importance of adequately testing external wall systems on a realistic scale.

First published as British Standards in 2002, the BS 8414 test methods were developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). They evaluate whether a cladding system subject to fire breaking out of an opening (such as a window) in an external wall, will result in excessive fire spread up the outside of the building and the potential for fire to re-enter at a higher level.

The tests are carried out in specialist laboratories, and are performed on full-scale systems (rather than small-scale samples) incorporating; joints and corner details, fixings, insulation, fire breaks, cavities and other elements of the system construction.

A video of a BS 8414-1 test can be viewed here.

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