System Building Services

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by System Building Services's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from System Building Services is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.sbs-limited.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | SYSTEM BUILDING SERVICES
A range of passive fire
protection applications were
provided at the Tate Modern,
one of London’s most
recognisable buildings
Fire compartmentation at St Thomas, a large
NHS teaching hospital in central London
System Building Services Limited was established in 2012
by a highly experienced team of industry professionals
committed to the latest products and practices in the fire
protection industry. It operates across the whole of the UK with
offices in the City of London, Essex and Yorkshire. Chairman and
Managing Director Brian Michie tells
The Parliamentary Review
how it looks to deliver on its mission statement of pioneering
quality, safety and innovation in the fire protection industry.
I have been involved in fire protection measures for buildings since 1982 and have
experienced many changes in the sector over the years. In 1982, passive fire protection
was a small niche market with a few players, and our job was to enhance the natural
fire resistance of the materials used in construction in order to help save lives.
PFP is built-in fire protection and over the years has evolved as we aim to reduce
the injuries and fatalities that follow fire in buildings. PFP can be split into two basic
elements – structural stability and compartmentation. Structural stability defines a
period of time for the structure not to collapse and PFP enhances the resistance of
the basic frame materials to achieve this. Compartmentation is applied to parts of
the building where fire and the products of combustion should be confined to the
compartment of origin for a specified time so as to allow people to escape and,
allied to the structural stability period, allow time for the fire service to tackle the
outbreak. It should not be confused with active fire protection, whose function is to
sound the alarm and if possible provide a means for speedily extinguishing the fire
by active reactions.
FACTS ABOUT
SYSTEM BUILDING SERVICES
»Chairman and Managing
Director: Brian Michie
»Founded in 2012
»Based in Brentwood, Essex
»Services: Fire protection
»No. of employees: Over 50
System Building
Services
45SYSTEM BUILDING SERVICES |
AEROSPACE, DEFENCE & SECURITY
Upholding standards
As specialist contractors in the
PFP business we are aware of the
periods of time specified to fulfil the
requirements set out in the building
regulations and the guidance on fire
safety given in Approved Document B.
If we meet our objectives in a building,
occupants should be able to escape
relatively safely should a fire break
out, but if we get it wrong someone
coulddie.
If I were a contractor installing a gas
fire or similar appliance, I would have
to be Gas Safe registered because of
the accepted danger of flammable
gas. Sadly, as the installer of life safety
systems I do not have to be registered
in any way, and I would not have to
prove my skills and knowledge. PFP
can be installed by any one of the 12
or more trades that work around any
building, new or under maintenance.
These various trades create holes in the
compartment boundaries that have to
be sealed with materials that will resist
the spread of smoke and flames for
the required period. The regulations do
not require those doing the work to
prove their qualifications.
The requirement for added protection
to the structural frame is very
clear to everyone and an easily
quantifiable cost that is usually let
as a definable contract. The detail of
compartmentation, however, is very
diverse, and while fire doors are the
largest hole in any compartment wall
so again, easily quantifiable, most of
the fire sealing is a minor element of
the plumbing, heating, electrical or
other service work and so included in
the contracts for those services. The
materials required for fire stopping
or fire sealing are all readily available
and extensively tested by their
manufacturers. ADB defines standards
that must be met by products but
simply does not require the products
to carry certification just as these
guidelines do not require my company
to be a registered installer. Certification
of products and installers is advised in
ADB as a recommendation.
I know that as my staff work on our
contracts we often see the other
trades leaving holes and voids in
compartment boundaries and, despite
reporting this to the main contractor,
are often told it is none of their
business. The fact is that the detail
of such work is not inspected as it
is not separately measured. For the
same reason the products used are
notchecked.
A sensitive restoration
requiring blasting,
priming and cathodic
protection to the
Grade I listed Victorian
Greenhouse at
Temperate House, Kew
Gardens
If we meet our
objectives in a
building,
occupants
should be able
to escape
relatively
safely should a
fire break out,
but if we get
it wrong
someone
could die
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | SYSTEM BUILDING SERVICES
A range of passive fire
protection applications were
provided at the Tate Modern,
one of London’s most
recognisable buildings
Fire compartmentation at St Thomas, a large
NHS teaching hospital in central London
System Building Services Limited was established in 2012
by a highly experienced team of industry professionals
committed to the latest products and practices in the fire
protection industry. It operates across the whole of the UK with
offices in the City of London, Essex and Yorkshire. Chairman and
Managing Director Brian Michie tells
The Parliamentary Review
how it looks to deliver on its mission statement of pioneering
quality, safety and innovation in the fire protection industry.
I have been involved in fire protection measures for buildings since 1982 and have
experienced many changes in the sector over the years. In 1982, passive fire protection
was a small niche market with a few players, and our job was to enhance the natural
fire resistance of the materials used in construction in order to help save lives.
PFP is built-in fire protection and over the years has evolved as we aim to reduce
the injuries and fatalities that follow fire in buildings. PFP can be split into two basic
elements – structural stability and compartmentation. Structural stability defines a
period of time for the structure not to collapse and PFP enhances the resistance of
the basic frame materials to achieve this. Compartmentation is applied to parts of
the building where fire and the products of combustion should be confined to the
compartment of origin for a specified time so as to allow people to escape and,
allied to the structural stability period, allow time for the fire service to tackle the
outbreak. It should not be confused with active fire protection, whose function is to
sound the alarm and if possible provide a means for speedily extinguishing the fire
by active reactions.
FACTS ABOUT
SYSTEM BUILDING SERVICES
»Chairman and Managing
Director: Brian Michie
»Founded in 2012
»Based in Brentwood, Essex
»Services: Fire protection
»No. of employees: Over 50
System Building
Services
45SYSTEM BUILDING SERVICES |
AEROSPACE, DEFENCE & SECURITY
Upholding standards
As specialist contractors in the
PFP business we are aware of the
periods of time specified to fulfil the
requirements set out in the building
regulations and the guidance on fire
safety given in Approved Document B.
If we meet our objectives in a building,
occupants should be able to escape
relatively safely should a fire break
out, but if we get it wrong someone
coulddie.
If I were a contractor installing a gas
fire or similar appliance, I would have
to be Gas Safe registered because of
the accepted danger of flammable
gas. Sadly, as the installer of life safety
systems I do not have to be registered
in any way, and I would not have to
prove my skills and knowledge. PFP
can be installed by any one of the 12
or more trades that work around any
building, new or under maintenance.
These various trades create holes in the
compartment boundaries that have to
be sealed with materials that will resist
the spread of smoke and flames for
the required period. The regulations do
not require those doing the work to
prove their qualifications.
The requirement for added protection
to the structural frame is very
clear to everyone and an easily
quantifiable cost that is usually let
as a definable contract. The detail of
compartmentation, however, is very
diverse, and while fire doors are the
largest hole in any compartment wall
so again, easily quantifiable, most of
the fire sealing is a minor element of
the plumbing, heating, electrical or
other service work and so included in
the contracts for those services. The
materials required for fire stopping
or fire sealing are all readily available
and extensively tested by their
manufacturers. ADB defines standards
that must be met by products but
simply does not require the products
to carry certification just as these
guidelines do not require my company
to be a registered installer. Certification
of products and installers is advised in
ADB as a recommendation.
I know that as my staff work on our
contracts we often see the other
trades leaving holes and voids in
compartment boundaries and, despite
reporting this to the main contractor,
are often told it is none of their
business. The fact is that the detail
of such work is not inspected as it
is not separately measured. For the
same reason the products used are
notchecked.
A sensitive restoration
requiring blasting,
priming and cathodic
protection to the
Grade I listed Victorian
Greenhouse at
Temperate House, Kew
Gardens
If we meet our
objectives in a
building,
occupants
should be able
to escape
relatively
safely should a
fire break out,
but if we get
it wrong
someone
could die
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
46 | SYSTEM BUILDING SERVICES
Why is all this important?
Our industry has warned that the
slackness in this system would cause a
major catastrophe, and this has now
happened with the Grenfell Tower fire.
The structural stability was fine, but the
spread of fire from the compartment
of origin was swift and deadly in the
worst possible way. The requirements
of the regulations were clearly not met,
and the failures within the structure will
be the basis of criminal prosecutions.
We await the outcome of the public
inquiry with sadness, knowing that it
could all have been avoided.
Comments in previous editions of
The
Parliamentary Review
point out that
the construction industry works on
one to three per cent margins and so
risk is passed down the contract chain.
Another specialist contractor writing
in the
Review
said: “People are cutting
corners just to beat us and that is not
good enough. If it takes a serious injury
for things to change then it is already
too late.” Grenfell would appear to
have happened because many similar
warnings were ignored, the risks
passed down and many corners cut.
We are now finding major property
companies examining their projects
and building stock to see if they do
actually fall short of the requirements
as Grenfell obviously did. Specialist
inspectors are being employed
to check the accuracy of the risk
assessments that are in place, and local
authority building control bodies are
being more attentive to the credentials
of the materials being used.
SBS has followed the advice in ADB
and established our company as a
FIRAS-accredited installer of all types of
PFP; we have a detailed QA system and
keep auditable records of our work to
show our clients, their insurers and the
authorities how our work complies with
the requirements. As a FIRAS contractor
we only use third-party certificated
products as recommended in ADB. This
Best Practice system has allowed us
to complete work on such projects as
Wembley Stadium, The Royal London
Hospital, The Temperate House at Kew
Gardens and 135 Bishopsgate.
It is our opinion that the construction
industry needs major reform with
regard to fire and public safety, and
we applaud the recommendations
made recently by Dame Judith Hackitt
with this objective in mind.
It is our
opinion that
the
construction
industry needs
major reform
with regard to
fire and public
safety
Passive fire protection to
a very high decorative
standard at the Olympic
Visitors Centre in the
rapidly-evolving heart of
east London
47TMS SUPPORT SOLUTIONS |
AEROSPACE, DEFENCE & SECURITY
TMS is a premier technical
support provider to the MoD
Director Theresa Cannon
Based in Lincolnshire, TMS Support Solutions Ltd is an
engineering service support company supplying both the
defence and commercial sectors. Founded by Brian Cannon
in 1991, after he had spent a full career in the army, the company
is now managed by Brian’s children, Theresa and Timothey. It is
one of the few remaining privately and family-owned businesses
in the sector, and it prides itself on delivering tailored, agile
solutions to even the most complex of customer requirements.
Directors Theresa and Timothey Cannon explain more.
With around 50 staff, of whom 70 per cent are ex-forces engineers, we provide
product through-life support, planning and management services to include all
aspects of technical documentation as well as training, software and safety and
environmental services. We work directly with the Ministry of Defence and with
larger prime contractors such as BAE Systems, Raytheon and Terberg DTS.
The problem
The issues in our industry include fierce competition and shrinking defence
investment in equipment support, the MoD’s appetite for purchasing capital
equipment from overseas suppliers, numerous government Strategic Defence
Reviews, a £20-billion defence deficit, and other external threats, such as the
unknowns of Brexit throughout 2018 and 2019. Small and medium-sized
enterprises like us therefore have to continuously adapt, innovate and evolve
to remain in business. Wheth er expanding their portfolio of product offerings,
investing beyond the horizon into new sectors or just becoming more agile, every
FACTS ABOUT
TMS SUPPORT SOLUTIONS
»Directors: Theresa and
Timothey Cannon
»Founded in 1991
»Based in Lincolnshire
»Services: Support engineering
»No. of employees: 50
»Over 70 per cent of employees
are veterans
»www.tmsss.com
TMS Support Solutions

www.sbs-limited.com

This article was sponsored by System Building Services. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster