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How do I achieve a Group 1-s fire rating?

Fire ratings for timber finishes explained

Ever spent a lot of time making a wall finish selection for your design only to have to change it because it doesn’t meet NZBC fire rating requirements for the space?

This common challenge facing architects and designers is something we have done a lot of work on at VidaSpace to help eliminate this. We have collaborated closely with one of the leading intumescent coating suppliers in the industry to provide a straight forward solution to this challenge. All our wood products meet a generic Group 3 rating and almost all of them are approved for coating with the intumescent coating –  FireShield 1FR to achieve a Group 1-s fire rating which means there is no limitations where these can be used in public spaces. We have made this very straight forward with each product online in the description tab detailing its generic fire rating and whether it is approved for application of Fireshield 1FR to achieve a Group 1-s rating. View Collections now

The New Zealand Building Code (NZBC) requirements for internal surface finishes are given in Clause 3.4(a) of the Code.  The Group Numbers (1-3) are a numeric representation of the performance achieved during the relevant fire test and are used as a standardised benchmark for the assessment of surface finish performance, with 1 being the best rating and 3 the minimum. Generally, to achieve a higher Group Number than 3 for timber, the products will have to be treated or lined with fire retardant materials. Fireshield provides a cost effective solution with clear or pigmented fire protection coatings for wood products, achieving a Group Number of 1-S.  This effectively means that timber can be used in any area of a building interior.

Fireshield is a leader not only in quality, architectural finish, cost effectiveness, ease of application, but also in environmental status. Their concern for health and the environment is paramount in everything they do. Their high-quality products are water-based, manufactured in Sweden under ISO14001, ISO9001, and a broad range of Green Building Certification Schemes in Europe.

Design Reference: A very handy reference of the Group Numbers in NZ compared to Australian and European test standards can be viewed on the NZBC website – Achieving NZBC Group Numbers from surface finishes from tests to overseas standards

What is intumescent coating? Intumescent coating is a layer of protective substance which works by chemical reaction generated by heat, resulting in swelling and formation of an insulating layer on the surface, with or without release of water. This type of coating provides a cost-effective as well as practical solution for fire protection and corrosion protection of structures made of alloys and steel [and wood], and can also be used in a decorative capacity. Corrosion Pedia

Our team of experts would love to assist you with selecting the best product and surface finish and the best application methods and pricing  – please call 0800 119 388 or email

Learn more about Group Fire Ratings

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