Statute & Regulations Guidance

In December 2018, the government introduced an amendment to the Building Regulations (SI 2018/1230), which prohibits the use of ‘combustible cladding’ in high-rise residential buildings above 18m.

The amendment delivers on the government’s objective of a ban on combustible cladding. It effectively prohibits the use of combustible materials anywhere in the external walls of buildings over 18m in height which contain one or more dwellings.

The external walls of buildings other than those described in Regulation 7(4) of the Building Regulations (i.e. any building with height above 18m including one or more dwellings) should either meet the guidance given in paragraphs 12.5 to 12.8 or meet the performance criteria given in the BRE report: Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multi-storey buildings (BRE 135). The report considers build-ups of external walls using full-scale test data from BS 8414-1:2015 or BS 8414-2:2015.

The only recognised fire classification for materials is the European classification. The older British Standard classification, which was recognised in previous guidance, is not included in the new regulation. BS EN 13501-1 defines a material of class A1 if it will not contribute in any stage of the fire, including the fully developed fire. A material is classified as A2 if it will not significantly contribute to the fire load and fire growth in a developed fire.

In January 2020 MHCLG issued a consolidated note that brings together the advice(s) that were set out under MHCLG Advice Notes 1 through to 22. Essentially, these previous advice notes are superseded by the consolidated note. For brevity the key Advice Notes that are now incorporated into the consolidated note are as follows:

Advice Note 14 Advice on external wall systems that do not incorporate AluminiumComposite Materials
Advice Note 19 Advice for owners of buildings which include spandrel panels/window panels/infill panels
Advice Note 21 Advice Note on Balconies on Residential Buildings

Our knowledge and familiarity of the statute informs our approach and advice at every stage of our service provision. For more information please contact Shaun Harris.

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