Danube launches fire resistant aluminium panels to combat Dubai high-rise blazes

Building company Danube has unveiled a new aluminium composite panel (ACP) designed to minimise the risk of fire, the first such material in the Middle East.

The move comes as around 270 construction projects in Dubai have been put on hold as they do not comply with Civil Defence safety standards.

Fire regulations concerning cladding and facades have been circulated to architects and developers by municipality officials in an attempt to clear some of this backlog. However the full regulatory codes have not been formally introduced.

Danube’s material is called Alcopanel. It is non-combustible, emits little smoke and minimises the risk of droplets. It has a central fire resistant core and can be either 4.4mm or 6mm thick. The company says it can produce around 4,000,000m2 each year from its plant in Jebel Ali, Dubai, using machinery imported from the US, South Korea and China and assembled on site.

The product is set to be used on the Riyadh Metro development and the company is in talks with what it described as “seven or eight major projects.” The product is now available on the general market.

Rizwan Sajan founder and chairman of Danube Group said: ““Today’s opening is a strong testimonial that Danube is leading transformation in the building material’s industry. We have been able to successfully set up this facility with the support the UAE government and I have extremely happy to be the first and only company to make available the non-combustible ACP.

“I think it is the best time to market this project as the hazards of fire have been much in the public eye. As well as a materials company we are also a developer and I want people who buy our properties to know that they are safe.

“Being an active participant in the real estate industry in the UAE, the introduction of the new law by the UAE Civil Defence, to use A2 materials is a new light to ensure customer safety and eliminate loss of life due to fire.”

The product is available in 15 metallic finishes as well as 15 solid/plane finishes in more than 10,000 colors that can be customized to suit threquirements of a wide array of developers across the region.

All products under the Alucopanel Middle East portfolio have received international certifications including the EXOVA Warrington fire- UK, Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants- UAE and BM Trada UK.

In the face of mounting fire-related accidents, such as The Adress Hotel and towers in Dubai Marina earlier this year, Danube Group opened conversations with local government bodies, appealing for the use of non-combustible panels.

Further to which, the UAE government has passed on a mandate to clad Midrise and High-rise building with only Euroclass A2 materials. Almost 90% of the building built in the GCC before the year 2012, are cladded with non-fire-retardant grade aluminium composite panels.