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
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
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