Today eco-friendly wood products are widely designed for building structures, facades and interior decoration. Sustainable construction means that the flame retardant treatment of wooden construction materials should support the goal of creating healthy and safe living environments throughout the lifecycle of the products.
Wooden construction materials must fulfil strict fire safety regulations, which depend on the type of building and wood product in question. Besides this ultimate requirement, designers of the building must also consider other aspects when choosing the optimal fire protection solution: durable and environmentally friendly flame retardant treatment, the total cost of the solution as well as visual values of natural wood.
BIO-BASED FLAME RETARDANT TREATMENT ADDS SAFETY
One of the key drivers for using wood in buildings is to decrease the ecological footprint of construction. Another important motivation is health and safety: natural wood materials help create healthy and pleasant interiors with good indoor air quality.
In this respect, it makes no sense to use boric acid and other toxins for the fire protection of buildings. However, traditional solutions based on toxic substances are still widely used to fire-protect natural wood.
Today, architects, wood producers and contractors can choose to use a reliable bio-based flame retardant to fire-protect wood products. Let’s look at the grounds for this decision.
CHOOSE FLAME RETARDANT TREATMENT CAREFULLY
Many fire retardant products promise to be service-free and claim that they do not leach or lose their efficiency. Such claims about the durability of the reaction to fire performance are in many cases false and very dangerous.
Coating wood with paints, varnishes and other coatings always affects the reaction to fire properties of treated wood. As such, manufacturers of cladding and other wooden construction products should always ensure the appropriate reaction to fire behaviour of their coated wood products.
Get more information about the durable fire protection of wood products:
ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE OF BIO-BASED FLAME RETARDANTS
The new generation flame retardants developed by Nordtreat are water-based, bio-based and pH-neutral. They do not contain boric acid, formaldehyde, halogens, carcinogenic or other toxic substances.
Nordtreat’s flame retardant NT DECO fulfils not only the fire safety regulations according to fire classification B-s1,d0 – it also has A+/M1 emission class and is LEED v4 compliant. The carbon handprint of NT DECO is 2 kg CO2e/m2 (EN 15804+A2 & ISO 14025 / ISO 21930).
NT DECO is also the first flame retardant in the world with a verified EPD (Environmental Product Declaration). The EPD describes the environmental impact of the product throughout its life cycle.
Furthermore, on weather-exposed surfaces, NT DECO has been tested to meet the requirements of EN 16755 DRF class EXT. In exterior use, NT DECO has also Weather Guard™ weather protection and toned colours are also UV protected.
ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES AND COST-EFFICIENT FIRE PROTECTION
The cost of fire protection should be considered throughout the life cycle of the wood product in question – and even beyond that. Leading building developers and construction companies demand certifications and high standards of sustainability from their suppliers, including the chemicals used in their buildings. The whole chain from the manufacturing of the chemicals to the eventual disposal of the building materials should be evaluated.
This is why we at Nordtreat contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We are also committed to the principles of the UN Global Compact, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s fundamental conventions, as well as the OECD guidelines for multinational companies. More information is available in Nordtreat’s Code of Conduct.
SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION FOR INDUSTRIAL AND ON-SITE TREATMENTS
Industrial flame retardant treatment of wood products must be tested and certified, as in the case of Nordtreat flame retardants. We support industrial manufacturers in certifying their treatment process when using Nordtreat flame retardants.
When an on-site application of flame retardant is the optimal choice, the safe and easy-to-use NT DECO saves costs and maintains a safe working environment. For example, CLT interior surfaces can be fire-protected with a controlled and documented on-site treatment.
We train and authorise professional surface treaters in using our flame retardants. Such treatment is documented and ensures compliance with B-s1, d0 reaction to fire performance of the treated wood surfaces.
HOW TO FOLLOW ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF FLAME RETARDANTS
An ideal way to keep up to date with the latest fire safety regulations and standards as well as Nordtreat solutions developments is to contact Nordtreat and subscribe to our newsletter.
This blog post has been originally published in September 2018 and updated in February 2023.