It’s your building, your money, and your responsibility.  You, your designers and your contractors have to get it right!


Let’s face it, as the building’s owner you are responsible for spending your resources wisely and getting what you’ve paid for. Fireproofing is one of, if not the most misunderstood, trade you might encounter.  While a relatively small trade by dollar volume when compared to the overall project cost; fireproofing can impact every square foot of the structure and every installing trade, large or small alike.

The fireproofing trade is replete with technical issues, coordination issues, product variables, cost issues, scheduling issues, and verification issues. Get it wrong and your initial costs goes up dramatically (I have seen them double), construction schedules get extended (not weeks but months), liabilities are increased, building values drop, maintenance costs increase, but most of all your personal safety and the safety of your occupants are put at risk.

Through my 40 years in the Industry, experience tells us your encounter with fireproofing will most likely be in one of the following three (3) scenarios:

  1. New construction- undoubtedly you will have the expertise of a professional designer.  Distracted by as many as 50 other trades mistakes can be made as they are not infallible.
  2. Small areas of repair-for whatever reason you might have discover a need for repair here or there.  Certainly you can hire a trade applicator to make the repairs at $1500 per day or you can now make the repairs with your own maintenance staff for a few hundred dollars.
  3. Details - You may have some questionable detail on how best to protect your structure.  These can be resolved through Engineering Judgments. 

We have to note that there are gray areas as well.  The issues might be “new’, it could be “a patch”, It could be a “detail”.  All these issues flow in and out of relatively so we have to remain flexible.  One rule does not cover everything, it is the broader perspective the often finds the resolution.


While there is no substitute for hiring a talented and experienced team of professionals and contractors, but now there is a way for you to educate yourself, not only on the basics but also on the more subtle aspects of the fireproofing process.  This is through the services of the Vellrath Group and its consultation, Engineering Judgments, educational services, Special Inspections, and of course our award winning Universal Fireproofing Patch kits

Specifically, on the new construction scenario, there is this requirement in the code that calls for a “Special Inspection”.  This Special Inspection is designed to provide you with the confidence that the specific thickness applied to the specific beam or column size, of a particular material does In fact provide the rating as determined by the design professional.  Pretty heady responsibility for the professional, but very important to you and your asset.

A second scenario is that some issue comes up regarding fireproofing.  It could be a specific detail, a material recommendation, a thickness calculation, an application procedure, whatever the case may be.  The Vellrath Group can provide an unbiased recommendation/resolution officially distributed through a PE stamped Engineering Judgment.

We at the Vellrath group think that being “unbiased” is crucial to the resolution options.  Over the years we have worked with and have installed materials from nearly all of the material manufacturers that produce SFRM.  We work with them all, we know them all, and we respect them and certainly will listen to their Input.  However, we will make our recommendation based on what is best for you, our client, not what is best for a sales commission.

If you are looking for a foundation upon which to make your fireproofing decisions, the Vellrath Group provides sound detailed and unbiased education, while also allowing everyone the opportunity to learn at a rate that works for them.

The program is based on you two hardbound books – a Handbook and Workbook. Each of them can also be electronically downloaded. The Handbook is a textbook producing a solid foundation for the understanding of fireproofing. The Workbook is a more hands-on product, putting the principles of fireproofing to work for you.

The material is also presented in unique and topical segments based upon the varied interpretations involved in fireproofing.  In addition, you’ll have the option to “Create Your Own” course by selecting only the chapters that may be of greatest interest or of most immediate need to your business….plus there many additional ways we can be of service to your company!

Whatever the level of your interface with fireproofing I will go back to what we said in the beginning: it is your building, it is your money, and it is your responsibility.

Maybe your interface with fireproofing will be less dramatic, as you notice, or a local fire official notices, or you insurance carrier notices that you have spots where the fireproofing has been disturbed.  The Vellrath Group manufacturers a Universal Fireproofing Patch (UFP) kit.  This fireproofing patch material has been thoroughly vetted by 3 international, independent recognized test laboratories, including UL, and is designed to be installed by anyone a little handy with a simple trowel.  We like to say we made our UFP material idiot proof; that may be a stretch so let’s call it idiot resistant.  Seriously, it is pretty easy to install.

A brief pitch about our product.  We did have it thermal performance verified at 3 independent laboratories.  We believe our UFP is the only material that has been tested specifically for thermal performance as a patch material not only as a SFRM material.  Our material density has been verified to be at the upper end of the medium density material making it stronger and more robust than other material.  Most important Is our adhesion/cohesion test results which came in nearly 5 times the published adhesion/cohesion results of the other material. 

Our corporate model of selling direct on line or thru distributors allows our overall cost to be much lower cost than through a trade applicator.  The savings are passed on to you.

A Message to Building Owners