What is the fire resistance performance of Gyproc plasterboard?

Fire resistance performance is based on complete ‘elements’ such as a partition, wall, ceiling membrane or floor, rather than the individual plasterboards that only form part of these constructions.

Building Regulations Approved Document B and supporting documentation (such as HTM05 and BB100) require these separate ‘elements’ of the building to provide minimum periods of fire resistance, expressed in minutes (usually 30, 60, 90 or 120). These required durations are generally based on the occupancy, use and size of the building and further details can be found in various tables in Approved Document B.

If we take a partition as an example of an ‘element’, in addition to the plasterboard linings themselves the system will also consist of metal studs, head and base channels and screw fixings. Since it is not possible to build a plasterboard partition without a supporting framework all of these components are vital to the overall fire resistance performance of the partition, therefore the plasterboard cannot be considered on its own in terms of fire resistance.

By varying the type of board and number of layers any of the commonly encountered fire resistance durations can be met. Partition fire testing is carried out in accordance with BS EN1364-1. Various factors will contribute to the overall fire resistance performance of a partition system in this test, such as:

  • Partition height
  • Board type, thickness and number of layers
  • Staggered board joints
  • Stud type, width and gauge
  • Stud centres
  • Screw fixing type, length and fixing centres
  • Insulation type and thickness
  • Jointing / plastering
  • Fixing details at the partition head and base

Similar factors also exist for ceiling membranes and floor elements, therefore when considering any of our systems in terms of fire resistance, reference should be made to the online White Book Specification Selector.