Dubai Municipality issues circular prohibiting engineering, contracting, manufacturing & real estate development firms from using combustible materials for buildings & facade cladding

Dubai Municipality issues circular prohibiting engineering contracting manufacturing real estate development

The Dubai Municipality’s Buildings Department has issued a circular prohibiting all consulting offices, contractors, suppliers and real estate developers in Dubai from using flammable materials, materials that are manufactured using flammable substances, and any system that hinders the ability of materials to resist fire.

The announcement is part of the Municipality’s efforts to enhance construction practices through the application of the highest international standards; to guarantee security and safety; and to preserve the public interest, including the well-being of people and the residents of buildings in particular, as well as to protect properties.  

The decision enforces the conditions and specifications set for thermal insulation in buildings under Administrative Decision No. 66 for the year 2003, the provisions of Circular No. 132 for the year 2005 on obtaining certificates and marks of conformity for materials and products used in thermal insulation systems, as well as Circular No. 186 for the year 2012’s guidelines on the use of incombustible materials in construction works.

The materials involved include those used for thermal insulation such as rock wool, polystyrene and bitumen as well as flammable installation materials that are allowed only when their fire retardant rates are within those approved by the Dubai Civil Defense Fire Code or the US Fire Code (NPFA5000) in the 5th, 10th, 8th, 37th, 3rd, 50th and 48th sections and Codes 286, 221, and 220, said Eng. Khalid Mohammed Saleh, Director of Dubai Municipality’s Buildings Department.

Eng. Saleh added that the materials used should prevent walls from catching fire, and that facade cladding systems should conform with the standards specified in the codes set out in the previous item (??).

The flame extension rates and smoke production for internal and external cladding materials and paint products should be around below 25 and below 450, according to flame spreading and  smoke-evolution standards and the criteria adopted in Civil Defense codes.

It is also forbidden to use any flammable materials that include paints, packaging materials, adhesives, fixtures used inside buildings, and hanging ceilings which have ignition resistance rates less than that of the wall resistance set out in the aforementioned items.

The Municipality advises that buildings should be divided into sections to prevent the spread of fire, per the stipulations of the adopted Civil Defense codes, and that sections that are resistant to and prevent the spread of fire (floors, residential units, office units, trade or industrial units) shallbe also separated.

Moreover, fire resistant barriers should prevent the spread of fire and smoke and should be continuous; they should cover all penetration and contact points between fire resistant sections at their vertical and horizontal directions (sides of walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, and holes).

The hidden gap above hanging ceilings is an integral part of the main gap below. Separating walls between fire resistant sections shall extend from the floor ground’s concrete slab to the next floor ground’s concrete slab, as each hidden space in the building and each facade cladding system is a contributing factor to the spread of fire and smoke.

The said gaps should thus be divided with bars to prevent the spread of fire and smoke at each penetration and contact point between the building’s sections at both vertical and horizontal directions. The distance between two windows in two fire resistant sections not be less than 1.2 meters at the vertical and horizontal directions.

All items mentioned in the Circular are detailed and integral parts of the approved standards of the Civil Defense Department, which are considered as the basic references for everything related to security, safety, prevention, and fire resistance.

​Accordingly, the Dubai Municipality calls on everyone to abide by the Circular’s stipulations in order to preserve the public interest.

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