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Government consult on banning combustible cladding 21/06/2018 Labelled as Consultation, Regulation

As promised in response to publication of Dame Judith Hackitt's review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, the Government have issued a consultation paper on banning the use of combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise residential buildings.


The Government had previously issued an earlier consultation paper on banning or restricting the use of desktop studies being used to assess the fire performance of cladding systems, unless the outcome of that consultation demonstrates that they can be safely used. That consultation has closed and we are awaiting the Government's response.


In her final report Dame Judith Hackitt stopped short of recommending a ban on the use of combustible material but stated that using products which are non-combustible or of limited combustibility is undoubtedly the lower risk option than undergoing a full system test.


In this latest consultation paper issued on 18 June, the Government is consulting on proposals to ban combustible materials for residential buildings 18 metres or over, and whether only materials in those top 2 European classes for fire performance - reflective of the approach taken in Scotland - should be allowed over the entire external wall system - from the internal face of the wall through to its external face - with limited exemptions covering parts of the wall (such as paint) that do not present a significant contribution to the risk of fire spread.


Residents, industry and other interested parties will be able to have their say on proposals affecting the safety of homes.


The consultation will end on 14 August 2018.


ARCH Chief Executive John Bibby comments:


"It was disappointing that Dame Judith in her final report did not recommend banning the use of combustible material on high rise residential buildings and the Government's decision to consult on this matter is therefore welcome.


In responding to the Government's earlier consultation on the use of "desk-top" studies ARCH made the point thatthe tragic fire and significant loss of life at Grenfell Tower clearly demonstrate that the current system of building regulations and fire safety is not fit for purpose and many residents of high rise residential buildings have lost faith in the professional and technical classes responsible for cladding works to these buildings.


We made the point that inorder to rebuild trust with residents and provide them with the maximum reassurance as to the safety of construction materials and products used in the construction, maintenance and refurbishment of high rise residential buildings, the use of assessments in lieu of fire tests should be prohibited for all construction products used on such buildings.


For these very same reasons ARCH would support a ban on the use of combustible materials for cladding high rise residential buildings." 

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