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Why Soltherm no longer install Dry Fix systems in the UK

In 2015, Soltherm instigated a programme aimed at the assessment of long-term performance and safety of External Wall Insulation (EWI). After the Grenfell Tragedy, the programme elements relating to the evaluation of fire risk were prioritised and intensified.

Soltherm have over 40 years of experience installing EWI systems across Europe. This experience has helped to develop significant knowledge and intelligence on how EWI systems perform.

 

Our extensive testing has found that:

During a fire, Dry Fix systems are a risk during the evacuation of buildings due to the plastic fixings melting and or failing, causing tonnes of unsupported render to fall on people exiting the property.

There is a reduced compartmentalisation of fire, enabling fire to spread quickly and dangerously

The systems are susceptible to vandalism due to the ease at which the systems can burn.

These systems have no effective fire barrier leading to fire sucking and stack effect leading to dynamic burning of insulation across the whole property.

Mass emissions of toxic gasses.

 

Conclusions 

Soltherm does not allow the installation of Dry Fix systems in the way it has become so prevalent in the UK. The UK market is alone in recognizing this method of installation on such a large scale and in such environmental conditions.

  • Economic arguments to support the use of Dry Fix seem are irrelevant, and absurd. The marginal savings of a small percentage do not balance out the hazards this system creates, and our report considers and dismisses the economic argument for this method of the system.
  • Soltherm strongly asserts that the Dry Fix solution must be tested in compliance with the standard BS 8414, irrelevant of the insulation material used.
  • While the certifying bodies have implemented tests for mechanical strength; they currently do not allow for fire situations and the effect a fire may have on the fixing and the insulation material. 

If the Grenfell tragedy is to bring any positive effects and provoke the industry to take necessary and concrete repair actions, then a ban on using Dry Fix in retrofit renovation needs to be enforced.

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The highest quality is our main priority.

All our products are manufactured at one of the most advanced production lines in Europe under the supervision of specialist technicians from the company laboratories, paints and ceramic products. The process is ISO certified and supervised by Global Quality.

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