Installing wall panels in commercial establishments

Two most crucial factors while laying out a commercial set up are – Hygiene and Fire Safety. There are various norms, rules and regulations laid to read and understand how to ensure optimum of both. To ensure best of both, one of the most accepted solutions is installing wall panels.

Wall panels, also known as wall claddings are high quality panels that can be fitted on walls. These panels are durable, waterproof, stain resistant, easy to install and easy to maintain. Since, hygiene is very important especially in establishments like restaurants and canteens where food is to be made and served, one needs to be extra cautious as even though we make sure that the floors and surfaces are clean, we often forget about the walls. Thus, it is advisable to install wall panels instead of using traditional materials like stone, brick, wood etc which are difficult to manage as well as prone to bacterial activities. Wall panels can be cleaned with a quick wipe and reduce the risk of bacteria’s. It also looks stylish and modern thus giving your establishment an aesthetic appeal.

Selecting correct wall panel is also equally important. You may consider purchasing plastic panels but they may not be fire proof because they are made of plastic and they will melt if exposed to very high temperatures for a long period of time. Thus, you may consider installing Metal Composite panels. Aluminium being the ideal choice of material, you can opt for Fire retardant panels or FR panels of this material category. Some of the standards you should look for in these panels are as below:

Fire Behaviour / Class Standard Criteria
German National Acceptance criteria1 DIN 4102-1 Class B1
European Union Acceptance criteria2 EN ISO 13501-1 Class B
Flamming Droplets EN 11925 – (d0 ) Flaming droplets- None
Fire Growth rate EN ISO 13823 – (s1) FIGRA ≤200 W.s-1
Total heat release in first 600sec THR600s≤ 7.5 MJ
Smoke growth rate SMOGRA ≤ 30m2.s-2
Lateral flame spread LFS < edge of specimen
Total smoke produced in first 600sec TSP600s≤ 50m2
British fire standard3 BS 476 Class 0
Fire propagation Index (I) Part 6 Overall I<12 & sub i1< 6
Flame spread on Surface Part 7 < 165mm for class 1

Thus while constructing any commercial establishment make sure the choice of construction material is right and there are sufficient security checks conducted during and post construction. Installing wall panels is one of the ideal practises to ensure safety and hygiene, there are many more such cautions to be considered.

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