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ASFP offers leadership and support to growing passive fire protection industry

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ASFP offers leadership and support to growing passive fire protection industry

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Predicting growing demand for passive fire protection in coming years, the Association for Specialist Fire Protection has highlighted the support and services it provides to members and the wider public.

Reporting to its Annual General Meeting, held at the Saddlers’ Hall in London on 26 June, ASFP officers and guest speakers considered issues that will impact the industry over the next three years and pledged to continue to campaign to improve awareness of passive fire protection and to raise the quality of installation through education and training.

With the results from an Association-wide membership survey predicting a growth in demand for passive fire protection in most industry sectors over the next three years, ASFP Vice Chairman Carl Atkinson, speaking on behalf of ASFP Chairman Stuart Holmes, explained:

‘The PFP market is now showing good signs of recovery combined with an increasing knowledge and awareness of requirements from clients and builders.  We also see more installers becoming qualified and a continued product investment from suppliers.’

ASFP CEO Wilf Butcher declared that the Association was ready to respond to the growth in demand and offered strong leadership, teamed with a range of support services for members and the wider public.

Looking back at the ASFP’s many achievements during 2014-15, Mr Butcher stated that the Association is actively engaged in influencing policy at all levels and is involved in political, regulatory and standards activities, both in the UK, in Ireland and in Europe.

He stated that membership was increasing both in the UK and in Ireland and declared that the ASFP’s growing influence was demonstrated by its strong profile at national and international events. He noted that the ASFP Passive Fire Protection Zone at Firex International 2015 was supported by some 17 exhibiting members ensuring that the ASFP had a high profile at the event and was recognised as a key player in the industry.   

‘I think it fair to state that this Association has matured into a leading voice on the subject of Passive Fire Protection, within the fire community at large; the breath of the built environment; and progressively within the international arena,’ he said.

Mr Butcher also highlighted the ASFP’s achievements in improving awareness of passive fire protection through education and training. He detailed the vast range of free-to-download technical guidance documents and videos available on the ASFP website and reviewed the success of the ASFP’s regional CPD seminar programme, noting that the next event was scheduled to take place in conjunction with Hampshire Fire and Rescue on 16 September.

Stating that a number of students had now successfully completed the ASFP’s Passive Fire Protection (PFP) Awareness Training Programme, Mr Butcher declared this had become a core foundation course for those wishing to gain an understanding of passive fire protection.

FPA Commercial Director, Howard Passey explained that the scheme, developed in collaboration with CITB and the Fire Protection Association, aims to improve the skills of contractors and improve the knowledge base of those involved in the design, supply, inspection and maintenance of passive fire protection. He provided an overview of the scheme, explaining that it consists of a core module followed by a range of specialist pathway programmes.  

The theme of education continued with guest speakers Peter Caplehorn, Deputy Chief Executive and Policy Director Construction Products Association, and Anthony Burd, Head of Sector - Construction at the British Standards Institution (BSI), providing an overview of the Building Information Management (BIM) process and its impact on passive fire protection manufacturers and contractors.

Peter Caplehorn urged ASFP members to get involved in the developing process, declaring that BIM was about getting the construction industry to work collaboratively:

‘Building Information Modelling is an industry game changer. It is not about 3D graphics, it is about data. It is about de-risking construction and is therefore about efficiency. BIM is about capturing and using data from the very start of the project to ‘in use’ and beyond.’

Anthony Burd continued the theme, offering practical advice on how to get started in using BIM. He stated that BIM was an opportunity to improve construction:

‘BIM is about getting the right information, to the right people at the right time and in the right form. The operational benefits are that you get what you designed, using products as specified and understand how they should be maintained.’

He recommended a number of sources of free advice including the Construction Products Association’s guide ‘BIM for the terrified – a guide for manufacturers’; BS 1192:2007 and PAS 1192-2 from BSi; and the Construction Industry Council’s BIM Protocol.

Collaboration across the construction industry was also the topic for Suzannah Nichol, CEO of the National Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC), who provided her first presentation on the formation of Build UK, the new organisation resulting from the agreed merger of the NSCC and the UK Contractors Group (UKCG).

Stating that Build UK brings together the industry’s largest main contractors and nearly 40 leading trade associations representing over 11,500 specialist contractors, she declared that the organisation would represent the entire contracting supply chain, providing a ‘strong collective voice from the contracting supply chain, offering influential and dynamic leadership, and creating the conditions for supply chains to thrive’.

For further information on all ASFP activities, to book a CPD seminar or to access the ASFP’s extensive range of free to view guidance documents and videos, please visit www.asfp.org.uk; call 01420 471612; or email info@asfp.org.uk

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