2018年12月7日

Combustible cladding: new Regulations confirm ban

Summary

Taking forward the announcement of a ban on the use of combustible cladding the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 have now been made.

The Regulations ban the use of combustible materials in the external walls of residential buildings including flats, hospitals, residential care homes, dormitories in boarding schools and student accommodation, which are at least 18 metres in height.

The Regulations will apply to new buildings and also to buildings, which following a change of use, become a building within one of these categories. The Regulations will also apply to material alterations to existing buildings within one of these categories.

When are the Regulations in force?

The Regulations, laid in Parliament on 29 November 2018, come into force on 21 December 2018.

What buildings are covered?

The Regulations apply to any building with a storey (not including a roof-top plant area or any storey consisting exclusively of plant rooms) at least 18 metres above ground, and which contain

  • one or more dwellings
  • an institution
  • a room for residential purposes – excluding rooms in hostels, hotels or boarding houses

The Regulations will therefore apply to residential flats, hospitals, residential care homes, dormitories in boarding schools and student accommodation which are at least 18 metres in height.

What is the effect?

The Regulations mean that combustible materials will not be permitted on the external walls of new buildings or material alterations to the buildings caught by the Regulations.

The Regulations will also apply to buildings, where following a material change of use, the building becomes a type of building caught by the Regulations.

The Regulations require that materials which form part of the external wall or specified attachment have to achieve the requirements of European Classification A2-s1, d0 or A1 (Classified in accordance with BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009 entitled "Fire classification of construction products and building elements). There are limited exceptions, such as door frames and doors, electrical installations, certain parts of roofs, window frames and glass.

A specified attachment includes a balcony, sun-shade or solar panel attached to an external wall.

Are the Regulations retrospective?

Although the Regulations come into force on 21 December 2018, they are not retrospective.

The Regulations will not apply where;

  • a building notice or initial notice has been given to, or full plans deposited with, the local authority before 21 December 2018; and
  • the building work started before 21 December 2018; or is started within two months from 21 December 2018.

Replacement of ACM cladding

The Government has made it clear in its press release announcing the cladding ban that it expects unsafe ACM cladding on existing high-rise buildings to be replaced at no cost to the leaseholders.

The Government is already fully funding the replacement of unsafe ACM cladding on social housing buildings over 18 metres. And the Government has announced that it is giving support to local authorities to carry out emergency work to remove and replace unsafe ACM cladding on private residential buildings, and to recover the costs from building owners.

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