Skip to content

Fire Stopping and BIM

Solibri is your trusted partner when it comes to fire stopping and digital quality assurance. Read more about BIM and fire stopping and contact us!
Fire safety article 1 2022 07 11 072554 rowc

Fire stopping, also known as compartmentation, has three elements
1) the fire-rated walls, floors or ceilings being penetrated
2) the services, cables or cable trays that make up the object creating the penetration and
3) the materials and methods used to seal the penetrations to prevent the spread of fire and smoke between different compartments within a building.

Fire stopping design in BIM projects

Designers and engineers in charge of designing fire safety related areas in a building have fire stopping design as one part of their responsibilities. In a building when pipes, ducts, cables and similar need to pass through walls, fire protection is used to prevent the spread of fire and/or to give people enough time to safely exit the building.

For designers and engineers to be able to design these in a way that everything is compliant with rules and regulations takes a lot of manual work if the building design is not done with the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM). The more complex the project is the more time fire safety related design such as fire stopping design takes. If the building design is done using 2D or 3D design without necessary non-geometric data, fire stopping design and auditing might take many weeks or months.

In a BIM project the 3D design of a building also has non-geometric data such as materials, measurements, weights of objects and product information for example. When this is the case, designers and people in charge of auditing or quality assurance of fire stopping design can use specialist software solutions such as Solibri to check that the model complies with rules and regulations within minutes and hours compared to days and weeks in non-BIM projects!

Fire stopping design in BIM projects
Fire stopping design in BIM projects

BIM and passive fire safety protection 

BIM quality assurance softwares such as the Solibri can be used to check that a design or BIM model is compliant with both active and passive fire protection regulations and requirements.
Active fire safety includes topics such as life safety systems, fire alarms, fire suppressions and smoke controls.
Passive fire protection
includes fire-resistant materials used in filling openings in walls, floor and ceilings but also in doors, dampers and penetration sealants.

Fire-resistance rated walls are a common issue throughout a building’s lifetime. If the type of fire-resistance rated walls is not identified properly on drawings or in models, there is often confusion about ratings for doors, penetrations, and other opening protection.
BIM models
allow different kinds of fire resistance walls to be visualised and differentiated within the model and can be set up to limit and restrict penetrations and openings. This makes a big difference to the past when drawings and 2D plans where different types of walls were noted and distinguishable.

Solibri - Digital quality assurance for fire stopping

With Solibri software it is possible to do fire stopping related quality assurance during the design phase of a building project for example check if openings, spacing and fabrics comply with regulations and identify potential issues such as services clashing with builders works in connection (BWIC). 

Solibri software has a powerful rule-based algorithm that checks the quality of a BIM model and it identifies and allocates potential issues based on the severity of the issue (red, yellow and green issues). The parameters on what kind of issues are severe (red), potentially severe (yellow) and acceptable (green) can be modified easily. Solibri users can then check each issue, communicate with designers and other stakeholders and resolve issues all in one user interface.

Solibri’s built-in rules for fire stopping compliance checking

There are four built-in rules in Solibri related to fire stopping. The fire stopping identity rule, the fire stopping distance rule, the fire seal dimension rule and the fire seal positions in walls and floors. Each of these rules have ready made parameters that can be modified depending on the project requirements.

Solibri’s built-in rules for fire stopping compliance checking
Solibri’s built-in rules for fire stopping compliance checking
Fire Stopping identity rule

- Fire Stopping Planning

  • Identification of all services penetrating compartmentation walls and floors – including where voids are not present
  • Fire stopping planning identification services that have been allocated a BWIC /Fire Seal component
Fire Stopping distance rule

- Optionally check service distance with Fire Seal -set to off

  • Generic distance checks between services for planning purposes to detect proximity issues

- Optionally check service distance with Fire Seal set to on

  • Check fire seal proximity to other Fire Seals /BWIC’s
  • Checking service distance to Fire Seal /BWIC edges
  • Check services are completely covered by Fire Seal/BWIC
  • Check service distances in Fire Seal /BWIC
Fire Seal dimension Rule

- Check min/max sizes of Fire Seals according to manufacturer's specifications defined in a spreadsheet

Fire Seal Positions in Walls and Floors

- Check for Fire Seal /BWIC positions within compartment walls and floors, drop head conditions etc.

- Check Fire Seals fit BWIC 100 % with edges fully touching

What is the benefit of Solibri?

Using Solibri, managers and specialists involved in Fire stopping design and installations can check quickly and easily that fire protection related requirements are met already during the design process and then use the confirmed design in installations.

The process of checking a design and doing necessary quality assurance that used to take weeks, can now be done in days! Design and build faster, better and more profitably using Solibri.


When interested in starting to use Solibri fill in the form and get in touch with our Customer Success Team who will get back to you as soon as possible!