Terraco EIFS Alpha System becomes the first EIFS / ETICS system to pass the SANS 8414-2-2017 fire performance test standard in South Africa.

These results indicate Terraco takes fire safety design seriously and is continuously innovating technologies towards better health and environment. 

South African National Standards (SANS) 8414-2 – 2017: Fire performance of external cladding systems is an internationally accredited fire test required to be undertaken under South African law. It is a large-scale fire performance test of the Terraco EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finish Systems) / ETICS (Exterior Thermal Insulation Composite Systems) Alpha Systems.

This test was commissioned by Terraco South Africa for testing the EIFS Alpha System in conjunction with the nominated and certified insulation supplier Technopol (Pty) Ltd (Manufacturer of certified fire retarded expanded polystyrene and mineral wool fire breaks)

Terraco’s best-selling EIFS Alpha System is often specified by architects and consultants alike for new and renovation projects. This EIFS system is based on using EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) as the insulation material. The principal reason for Terraco EIFS Alpha utilising EPS is because expanded polystyrene is typically the most cost effective insulation board used today, while Graphite Enhanced Expanded Polystyrene (G-EPS) offers approximately 10% more thermal efficiency and is especially suited to renovation work as thinner boards can be used.

 SANS 8414-2 is required under South African Fire Safety Laws to ensure insulated façade cladding systems fixed to non-load bearing substrates are designed not just with thermal performance in mind but also to prioritise fire safety compliance. The test means that the specified Terraco EIFS Alpha system is suitable for use on the fire rated substrate of Light weight Steel Frame (LSF) with non-combustible sheathing boards.

The test is required to be completed by all South African façade systems manufacturers and passed as per the test standard criteria, allowing the façade systems to be confidently specified on building projects in South Africa.

SANS 8414-2 is based on UK / EU EN BS 8414-2 where the same test rig is used. This is the first test completed by FireLab South Africa on the only test rig in South Africa. Terraco is currently the first and only EIFS company to successfully pass SANS 8414-2 in the country.

“This test allows our clients to know that the Terraco EIFS Alpha system is designed to meet the stringent requirements of the fire safety building regulations / requirements for building facades in South Africa.” said Margaux De Villiers, National Sales Director, Terraco South Africa.

The Test Method:

The test method used was Part 2, which is a test method for non-load bearing external cladding systems fixed to and supported by a structural steel frame. This is the SANS Full Scale Façade Fire Test Standard.

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The Terraco EIFS Alpha EIFS / ETICS System in this test is designed for mid rise and high rise buildings, with the specific inclusion of a 300mm mineral wool – non-combustible fire stops between building floors. Typically fire compartmentations between floors from the 2nd floor upwards at each subsequent floor level is specified. This ensures that in the event of a fire breaking out through a window or door on one floors, it does not continue to ‘leapfrog’ from floor to floor. The location of the horizontal mineral wool fire breaks is designed so that if a fire starts on floor level 1, the fire spread risk to other floors will dramatically reduce versus EIFS systems without fire breaks.

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The inclusion of fire breaks in Expanded Polystyrene based EIFS is a UK/EU norm and Terraco South Africa has followed this international best practice in the EIFS Systems design for the test. The Terraco EIFS Alpha System uses Fire retardant Expanded Polystyrene (XPS) which is certified according to EN 13501-1 and ETA / BBA Certification.