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Updated NSSS includes new intumescent paint section

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The British Constructional Steelwork Association (BSCA) has published the 7th edition of the National Structural Steelwork Specification for buildings (NSSS).

The latest edition has been extensively updated and represents the biggest change since its introduction in 1989. One of the main changes is the inclusion of a new section on intumescent paint systems.

Following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire and the call from Dame Judith Hackitt for industry not to wait for legislation, Ana Girao Coelho, BCSA Engineering Director said: “the BCSA and the wider constructional steelwork community decided to take ownership of the specification, application and inspection of intumescent paint systems.”

Section 10 of the NSSS now includes comprehensive information on intumescent paint systems and in order to improve quality, it encourages the paint systems to be applied in the workshop rather than on-site.

Other significant changes include a mandatory requirement for all steelwork contractors to put in place a third party certified welding quality management system to BS EN ISO 3834.

The main body of the NSSS is limited to Execution Class 2, but this version also contains an Annex of the requirements for Execution Class 3 for static structures and an Annex giving general guidance on Execution Class 3 for buildings subject to fatigue, such as crane supporting structures.

To allow steelwork contractors time to put in place the necessary third party systems to comply with the Specification it has been decided that the NSSS will not come in to force until 1st January 2021.

Hard copies of the 7th edition of the NSSS, which now includes BCSA member listings, can be obtained from and are priced at £20 for BCSA members and £25 for non-members.

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