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Legend: Explanations & Illustrations Rationale Note Revision history


3.15.1 General

Materials used in the construction of building elements shall comply with the provisions stated under this section in addition to the performance requirements, such as fire resistance rating and limit to spread of flame, stipulated in other relevant sections of this Code.

3.15.2 Intumescent paint

R Rationale - Clause 3.15.2

Intumescent paint is permissible for use as a passive fire protection system on structural steel. It is not applicable to industrial buildings as these buildings may contain harsh and/or adverse environment conditions that may affect the effective performance of intumescent paint applied on the structural steel.

! Note to QPs on Clause 3.15.2

1. For building exceeds 24m in habitable height, a Fire Safety Report shall be submitted together with the plan.

2. A separate set of plans indicating the locations of the structural steel members coated with intumescent paint shall be included in the Fire Safety Report and Building Owner Fire Safety manual, where applicable.

Intumescent paint is allowed to be used for protection of structural steel members of all buildings provided all of the following requirements are complied with:

a. The paint shall be of a proprietary system that has been demonstrated to achieve the fire resistance performance as required in BS 476 Part 20/21 or its equivalent, together with the specified weathering tests as specified in the BS 8202: Part 2.

b. Coating of intumescent paint onto structural steels, and subsequent maintenance shall conform to BS 8202: Part 2. Fire test for fire resistance performance shall be conducted on the specimens after the weather tests. The fire resistance rating of the tested specimen shall not diminish more than 25%, post- weathering tests.

c. A signage depicting the below minimum information shall be affixed at a conspicuous location:

(1) Name of supplier

(2) Fire resistance rating of the intumescent paint

(3) Date of painting

(4) Expected date of re-painting

(5) Caution note: “Caution – No other paint/coating shall be applied to the surfaces of the structural steel members protected by the intumescent paint system"

d. In buildings under PG VI and VIII, where there can be presence of corrosive atmosphere that can affect the effectiveness of intumescent paints for protection to structural steel members of buildings, such proposal shall be subjected to evaluation of the SCDF.

3.15.3 Flame retardant chemicals


Flame retardant chemicals can be used for upgrading of fire resistance rating or surface spread of flame of timber or any combustible materials, subject to the following:

! Note to QPs on Clause 3.15.3

The QP is responsible to inform the building owner and occupiers of the limitations on the use of flame retardant chemicals. In the course of using the premises, the building owner and occupiers shall not do anything to cause the retardant treatment to timber members to deteriorate.

a. the chemical treatment process is part of the manufacturing process to produce the finished product;

b. the chemical treatment is by means of pressure impregnation conforming to SS 572, or the manufacturer’s specification in accordance to the prototype test, for timber and other combustible materials respectively; and

c. the treated materials/products have been subjected to a fire test, as required under Cl 3.4.1 or Cl 3.13.1.

3.15.4 Elements of structure

All elements of structure shall be constructed of non-combustible materials in addition to the relevant provisions as follows:

a. Cl.3.3 for fire resistance of elements of structure

b. Cl.3.5.1, Cl.3.5.2 & Cl.3.5.4 for external walls

c. Cl.3.6.1a.(3), Cl.3.6.1b. & Cl.3.6.5 for separating walls

d. Cl.3.7.1c., Cl.3.7.1d., Cl.3.7.5 & Cl.3.7.6 for compartment walls and compartment floors

e. Cl.3.8.2c., Cl.3.8.4, Cl.3.8.7b., Cl.3.8.8b., Cl.3.8.8e. and Cl.3.8.9a. for protected shafts

3.15.5 Protection of openings

Materials used for the protection of openings shall comply with the relevant provisions of Cl.3.9 of this Code for protection of openings.

3.15.6 Exit staircases

Exit staircases shall be constructed of non-combustible materials to comply with the provisions of Cl.3.10.1.

3.15.7 Raised floors

Materials used for the construction of raised floors shall comply with the provisions of Cl.3.11.8a. and Cl.3.11.8e..

3.15.8 Ceiling and ceiling supports

a. Materials used for construction of ceiling and its supports shall comply with Table 3.13B, except for supports that are required to comply with Cl.3.11.9b..

b. Construction of ceilings and ceiling supports located within sprinkler-protected building shall comply with the provision of Cl.3.11.10b..

3.15.9 Fire-stopping

Materials used for fire-stopping shall comply with the relevant provisions of Cl.3.12.2 and Cl.3.12.3.

3.15.10 Surfaces of walls and ceilings

Materials used on the surfaces of walls and ceilings are required to meet the requirements for restriction of spread of flame, and shall comply with the performance requirements as stipulated under Cl.3.13.

3.15.11 Roof construction

Materials used for roof construction shall comply with the provisions of Cl.3.14.1 & Cl.3.14.2.

3.15.12 Internal non-load-bearing walls


Internal non-load-bearing walls in buildings shall comply with Table 3.13B and the materials for surface finishes of internal non-load-bearing walls shall not be treated as part of the wall and shall comply with the relevant provisions of Cl.3.13.

3.15.13 Composite panel

Composite panels used for the construction of internal non-load-bearing walls, as cladding to external/internal walls or as roof covering shall comply with all of the following criteria:

a. The outer layers shall be constructed of non-combustible material.

b. The core material (with aggregate thickness exceeding 1mm) of composite panel used for building interior shall meet the classification stipulated in Table 3.13B.

c. The composite panel used for external wall cladding shall be mounted against 1-hr fire-rated wall and shall comply with any of the following:

(1) Its core material shall meet at least:

(a) BS 476 Pt 4, or

(b) BS 476 Pt 11, or

(c) Class 0 flame-spread rating when tested in accordance with BS 476 Pt 6 & 7, or

(d) Class B classified under EN 13501-1.

(2) The panel assembly shall comply with NFPA 285.

d. Composite panel containing plastic shall also comply with Cl.3.15.19.

3.15.14 Fire-rated glass

In buildings which are protected by an automatic sprinkler system, fire-rated glass can be used for the construction of compartment walls, compartment floors, enclosures of smoke-stop lobbies and fire lift lobbies, and protected shafts not containing exit staircase and fire lift, subject to the following:

a. the walls shall have the necessary fire resistance, including insulation, when subject to test under BS 476 Part 20-23; and

b. the doors shall have the necessary fire resistance, including insulation, when subject to test under SS 332 or EN 1634-1; and

c. the walls and doors shall meet the requirement of Class A for Impact performance when tested under AS 2208 or Class 1 for Impact Level (drop height class) when tested under EN 12600.

3.15.15 Walls, ceilings, roof covering and finishes

R Rationale - Clause 3.15.15

General plastic materials can readily ignite, hasten fire spread and emit toxic gases and significant amount of smoke.

Walls, ceilings, floor, roof and finishes shall not contain any plastic material, unless the plastic material complies with the requirements stipulated in Cl.3.15.19.

3.15.16 Separation of areas undergoing A&A works


For additions and alterations to existing buildings, non-combustible partitions shall be used for separation of areas undergoing A&A works from other occupied areas of the building.

3.15.17 Partition for toilet cubicles

Materials with surface flame spread rating of not lower than Class 2 shall be used for the construction of partition for toilet cubicles. If the material used is of Class 3 surface flame spread rating, total exposed surface area of the partitions within the toilet shall not be more than 60m².

3.15.18 Timber floors

The use of timber floors is allowed under the following situations, provided it is protected to achieve the fire resistance rating required of the element of structure or compartment:

a. for an attic in buildings under PG I and II, or

b. in buildings designated for conservation where the timber floors are required to be retained, but subject to compliance with requirements stipulated under Cl.9.9.1, or

c. in buildings built before 1969 under Cl.9.9.1.

3.15.19 Use of plastics in building construction

a. General

(1) Tables 3.15A3.15B and 3.15C list the relevant fire test standards and acceptance criteria concerning the use of plastics for various building applications. Tables 3.15D  to 3.15K stipulate whether fire tests are exempted or required, depending on the situation, as well as the situations in which the use of plastics is disallowed regardless of the fire test results. The use plastics for wall, ceiling, roof covering, floor and related finishes is only allowed if the conditions stated are met.


(2) For each test category, only one fire test is needed to demonstrate the acceptable fire risk level.

(3) Fire retardants are also allowed to be used to enhance the fire performance of plastics for building construction provided the retardants are applied in suppliers’ factories according to the retardants’ respective standards. Accelerated weathering tests will also be required to assess the effect of weather on fire retardants applied on external building applications.

b. Acceptable fire tests and corresponding acceptance criteria

(1) For plastic floor material/finishes, see Table 3.15A.

(2) For plastic wall and ceiling material/finishes, see Table 3.15B.

(3) For plastic roof covering, see Table 3.15C.

c. Conditions for the use of plastics in various building applications

(1) For plastic floor finishes (uncovered), see Diagram 3.15.19c.(1) and Table 3.15D.

(2) For plastic material cast into (embedded within) structural floor system, see Diagram 3.15.19c.(2) and Table 3.15E.

(3) For plastic floor finishes (covered), see Diagram 3.15.19c.(3) and Table 3.15F.

(4) For plastic wall or ceiling material/finishes, see Diagram 3.15.19c.(4) and  Table 3.15G.

(5) For composite panel containing plastic used as wall or ceiling material/ finishes, see Diagram 3.15.19c.(5) and Table 3.15H.

(6) For plastic material embedded in masonry wall/ceiling, see Diagram 3.15.19c.(6) and Table 3.15I.

(7) For plastic roof covering, see Table 3.15J.

(8) For composite panel containing plastic used as roof covering, see Table 3.15K.

3.15.20 UPVC window frame

Window frames made partly or wholly of UPVC are allowed to be used in buildings provided they are listed under the product listing scheme and comply with the requirements stipulated in Table 3.15.20.

Building type Installation height (measured from the level of fire engine accessway/access road) Length of window Length of masonry wall break between windows
Non-sprinkler-protected Sprinkler-protected Horizontal Vertical
PG I No restriction
PG II < 60m No restriction < 3m > 1m > 1.5m
PG III & VII < 15m < 24m < 3m > 1m > 1.5m
PG IV, V, VI & VIII < 15m < 24m < 5m > 1m > 1.5m

Updated 1 September 2022