The European Reaction to Fire classification consolidated test standards from EU member states into one common test standard – The Euroclass system
ExtraCare Longbridge in Birmingham (United Kingdom) with Rockpanel Woods FS-Xtra facade cladding

Video: More about the Euroclass system

The Euroclass system classifies the behaviour and contribution of construction materials in a fire. These products are rated A1-F, dependent upon the contribution to the fire load, with Classes A1 & A2 being the best (non or limited combustibility) and further classifications of B-F (combustible).

A Euro classification of F is the weakest (unacceptable fire behaviour) and either is not tested, does not meet the requirements of the higher classes or the manufacturer has decided not to declare the fire properties for the product. This is an important difference when making comparisons with the UK Class 0, which indicates only the surface spread of flames, not the combustibility or contribution of the product itself in the event of being involved in a fire.

In other words, Class 0 says nothing about the combustibility of the material when a fire occurs.

Refurbishment three high-rise residential towers, The Crofts in Birmingham, United Kingdom with Rockpanel Colours in FS-Xtra grade

The choice for a Class 0 product might be prompted by the (false) comparison to Euroclass B. However, as we have seen, this product may not even achieve a Euroclass B. Furthermore, using Class 0 as a benchmark may mean that a combustible product is specified.

If unsure of the type of facade cladding for high-rise buildings and their fire performance qualities, it is best to avoid risks altogether and simply choose non-combustible (Euroclass A2 or better) products. Design out the risk and be assured a building will always comply to future building regulations.

Beaumont Court and Richmond House in Southend on Sea, Essex (United Kingdom) with Rockpanel Stones FS-Xtra facade cladding

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