News

Consultation published on banning the use of combustible materials in construction

Housing Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP announced on the 18th June that a consultation on banning the use of combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise buildings which are 18m tall or over, has been published.

The cladding believed to have been used on Grenfell Tower was unlawful under existing building regulations and should not have been used. The government now wants to ensure that there is no doubt about which materials can be used on high-rise residential buildings.

This consultation is inviting views on the proposal to revise building regulations to ban the use of combustible materials in the inner leaf, insulation and cladding of external wall systems on these buildings.

Now residents, industry professionals and other parties will be able to have their say on proposals that affect the safety of homes.

Legally, the government is required to consult any substantial changed to the building regulations before any change in the law. This consultation will end 14th August 2018.

Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

“The Grenfell Tower fire was an appalling tragedy and we must do everything we can to ensure a disaster like this never happens again.”

“I have listened carefully to concerns and I intend to ban the use of combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise residential buildings, subject to consultation.”

“The cladding believed to have been used on Grenfell Tower was unlawful under existing building regulations. It should not have been used. But I believe that the changes on which we are consulting will offer even greater certainty to concerned residents and to the construction industry.”

Following her review of fire safety and building regulations, Dame Judith Hackitt has recommended that a simpler and more robust approach to the construction and ongoing management of high-rise buildings is needed.

The government has welcomed her report and has committed to the following:

• banning or restricting the use of desktop studies from being used to assess the fire performance of cladding systems, unless our consultation demonstrates that they can be safely used; the consultation has closed and we are reviewing responses
• change the law to achieve meaningful and lasting reform of the regulatory system, with strong sanctions for those who fail to comply
• invite views on how the government could implement major reform of the regulatory system in line with Dame Judith’s review
• clarify building regulations fire safety guidance (Approved Document B)

For more information on the consultation you can visit https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/banning-the-use-of-combustible-materials-in-the-external-walls-of-high-rise-residential-buildings