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Staying safe in the event of a fire. Hygienic in daily use.

The standards for hygiene and fire protection are particularly high when construction materials are used in specialist medical facilities such as hospitals, specialist clinics, nursing homes and care homes. Transmission of diseases must be avoided and, in the event of a fire, the evacuation must be carried out smoothly and without injury to individuals. These and others are the high standards which apply both to the technical insulation of drinking water and hot water pipes as well as to air conditioning and air ducts. But what are the details that planners, insulators and operators need to consider?

 

Fire protection

Fire protection is regarded as particularly important in hospitals and care institutions. While building occupants in other public institutions can generally get themselves to safety on their own, many patients rely on others to assist them due to their restricted mobility. This ultimately results in an increase in the time required for evacuation. In order to also ensure maximum possible personal safety in this instance, there must be as long an evacuation time as possible and smoke emissions in the escape routes must be minimised.

 
In this respect, Kaimann's fire protection solutions are lifesavers. Thanks to innovative KaiCene technology, Kaiflex KKplus now meets the highest European smoke specifications with its s1 and s2 fire classification. In case of fire, it is flame retardant, does not drip and ensures minimal smoke emission. Visibility in escape routes remains good and the risk of poisoning is significantly reduced.

In order to enable rapid evacuation within a floor of a building, the floor must be divided into at least two fire compartments. The heat and cold insulation of air ducts and pipework, which is generally routed through walls and ceilings and therefore also runs through both fire compartments, must prevent fire – including heat, smoke and smoke fumes – from spreading into the other compartment through openings. The insulation product must therefore also act as a fire protection bulkhead.

Our standard product, Kaiflex KKplus, already fulfils fire-resistance class R90 in combination with the Kaiflex Pyrostar fire protection mat. Kaiflex KKplus s1 sheets are classified as “actively fire-proof”, thanks to INCERAM® cladding. Both products expand in the case of a fire and ensure that smoke and fire do not spread to adjacent rooms.

 

Protection from pathogens

 
While pathogens such as legionella in drinking water pose a threat even to people who are healthy, they can result in serious consequences for patients who already have weak immune systems. In addition to limiting water stagnation and regular drinking water analyses, construction measures must also be implemented to ensure this is actively prevented.

In order to comply with drinking water quality, the temperature in cold water pipes must not rise above 25 °C and in hot water pipes must not fall below 60 °C. In order to ensure this, pipes for cold drinking water should not be routed next to heat sources such as heating pipes without appropriate insulation. Conversely, hot water pipes must be protected from the effects of cold. Efficient insulation is therefore essential. This is the case in particular if these pipes have to pass through a shared supply channel for structural reasons.

With a thermal conductivity of λϑ = 0.038 W/(m·K) (s1 tube/sheet and s2 sheet) and λϑ = 0.033 W/(m·K) (s2 tube), the temperatures defined above for hot and cold water can be reliably maintained and Legionella formation prevented.

Further information on this is available in our special “Tap water – is it really clean”?.

 

Energy efficiency

Low thermal conductivity, however, is not only a benefit in terms of health. An optimal combination of fire protection and energy efficiency is also possible using Kaiflex KKplus s1/s2.

Air conditioning and air ducts or pipework often run for several hundred metres throughout the entire building. If these are poorly insulated or not insulated throughout, energy losses can be excessively high before the cold or heat even reaches its destination. This has negative impacts both on the indoor climate as well as on the medical institution’s balance sheet. Using Kaiflex KKplus s1 and s2, energy loss in air conditioning and air ducts can also be minimised which is good for the budget and good for the patients.

More information on this topic is available under “The best energy is the energy we do not use” .

 

Pollutant-free

To ensure patient well-being, room hygiene should be at the maximum possible level. Besides hygiene in rooms, attention should also be paid to structural hygiene in the form of pollutant elimination. Under certain circumstances, construction materials used may cause allergies, sickness or other damaging health effects which are not conducive to the healing process.

Kaiflex KKplus s1/s2 insulation products sufficiently comply with the absence of pollutants. They are not only free from formaldehyde which, for example, may give rise to allergies, irritations and headaches; but thanks to the closed cell structure, they are also resistant to moisture (water vapour permeability of up to μ ≥ 10,000) and are therefore also resistant to mildew and its spores and gases (mycotic volatile organic compounds (MVOC)). Volatile organic compounds can cause irritation to mucous membranes, dizziness and in very severe cases – organ damage. The main areas of use in the construction industry are thinners and adhesives. Kaiflex 505 adhesive is free from VOCs and is therefore also safe for use.

Further information on the absence of pollutants in our products is available here.

 

 

 

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