THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY is now focused towards getting passive fire protection design correct at the get-go. This is one of the reasons for the FPANZ Passive Equipment Register, which helps to ensure Building Code-compliant products are being specified, consented and installed.
New qualification and guidance
FPANZ is also working with Competenz to create the NZQA level 3 installer’s qualification, prioritising the quality of the installation.
There may be a perception that we are simply focusing on penetration seals, but this is not the case. We also have a working group creating a new FPANZ guidance document for protective coatings, which will be launched in the first half of 2019. In addition, technical position statements are just about ready to go, and we are reviewing the first two for their imminent release.
FPANZ membership continues to grow, in particular the passive sector. There is increased interest in engaging with FPANZ as we continue to shake things up and start to bring positive change to industry. We are finding the passive sector is coming together to address the current topics, and FPANZ will continue to be its voice.
Listening to the BCAs
We are listening to building consent authorities (BCAs) and creating initiatives to provide a safer and more workable industry.
Auckland Council took the bold step of issuing the latest version of the passive position statement during 2018, and it has had an extremely positive effect – we believe New Zealand is better for it. Further details on the position statement can be found on the Auckland Council website.
2019 will be an exciting year. Even with last year’s projects, including the Passive Equipment Register, training development, new qualifications and technical guidance via position statements, the industry still has problems with commercial bias in certain areas of the build process.
We are working to mitigate that risk. There are several new initiatives to be undertaken by FPANZ this year that aim to plug the gaps – pun intended – and to offer positive improvement in the passive sector for all.
Interacting with global organisations
We are also in discussions with industry experts and other leading organisations around the globe to see what lessons can be applied to the New Zealand market. Last year, FireNZ had speakers and attendees who brought passive protection knowledge from other markets.
Niall Rowan, CEO of the Association for Specialist Fire Protection UK, visited New Zealand, and we will continue to bring industry experts here. The line-up for FireNZ 2019 will be announced shortly.
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