BS6701: Amendment 1-2017

What you need to know about the new standard and
what you must do to incorporate it into your M&E design

Key date – the most significant change to Structured Cabling in over a decade

30th November 2017 saw the publication of BS6701: Amendment 1, prior to its adoption as a supplement to the upcoming BS7671 18th Edition of the IET Electrical Wiring Regulations in July 2018. The primary objective of the standard was to improve the performance of data and telecommunications cables in fire conditions.

The new BS6701: Amendment 1-2017 standard dictates a given EuroClass of Cca, S1b, d2, a2 cable construction in the permanent installation of both copper and fibre optic cables within a building.

This is to be applied to all UK construction projects, either new build, refurbishment or the extension of existing buildings where the installed cables are subject to the Construction Product Regulations.

Since the ratification of the Construction Product Regulations 2017, there has been a number of options within the EuroClass standards (see table below). The choice of which to implement has been left to each individual country within CENELEC to decide which construction is appropriate to meet the fire performance requirements of the building type on an individual basis. However, BS6701: A1-2017 has specified the Cca, S1b, d2, a2 EuroClass as the minimum standard throughout the UK.

Minimum BS6701:
A1-2017 UK threshold
EuroclassClassificationAdditionalAssessment and Verification of
Consistency of Performance Systems
 AEN ISO 1716 1+
Initial type-testing and factory inspection and
continuous surveillance of factory production
control (FPC) with audit testing of samples by
3rd party notified product certification body
B1ca
Very low contribution to fire
B1EN 50399
Heat release
Flame spread

EN 60332-1-2
Smoke production
(s1a,s1b,s2,s3)
EN 50399/EN 610-34-2

Acidity
(a1,a2,a3)

Flaming droplets
(d0,d1,d2)
B2ca
Low contribution to fire
B2
C1ca
Reduced contribution to fire
C3
Initial type-testing by 3rd party notified
testing laboratory
Dca
Improved contribution to fire
D
Eca
Basic flame retardance
EEN 60332-1-2 
Fca
Non flame retardant
F  4
Initial type-testing and FPC by manufacturer

What Does this Actually Mean?

It now means that ALL M&E Specification and Design documents requiring telecommunications cables must refer to BS6701: Amendment 1-2017 in the first instance for all projects to be issued after 30th November 2017, and be seen to be specifying a EuroClass Cca,s1b,d2,a2 cable type for all data/telecommunication cables – unless the client specifically asks for a different type of cable classification.

Because the cabling infrastructure is ultimately to be governed by BS7671, the decision on the type of cabling to be used must be made during the design phase, and ultimately approved by the client – not the installer.

Structured Cabling now supports most, if not all, modern intelligent building systems design and so covers much more than just traditional voice and data applications. BS6701: Amendment 1-2017 will now dictate all of these systems fall in line with the standard.

The changes required should be applied to all specification documents in development, alongside the current references to ISO 11801 and EN 50173 that exist on current specification template documents, readily available to consultants from the Connectix Business Development team.

This is the most significant change to structured cabling and infrastructure design in over a decade – act now to ensure you are up to date.

If your documentation does not refer to these Standards and you would like assistance in creating a template or individual Project Specification, please contact joe.cherry@connectix.co.uk or paul.mathews@connectix.co.uk, or call Connectix Cabling Systems on 01376-346600.

Connectix is a British based manufacturer of copper cabling systems, fibre optic connectivity and racks and enclosures for IT systems used in LANs, Data Centers, fibre metropolitan networks, harsh environment applications, broadcasting and residential, smart home and FTTx/telecom applications.

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