News: Residential

Combustible material and residential balconies: new Government advice

The Government has urged building owners to remove combustible materials from residential balconies. This follows a number of significant balcony fires in London in the past 12 months and is an acknowledgement that balconies constructed from combustible materials can promote rapid external fire spread.

Timber has become increasingly popular in recent years to provide balcony decking, solar shading and privacy screens. Amendments to the Building Regulations in December 2018 specifically prevent the use of combustible material such as timber for balconies on certain residential buildings over 18m in height, but the new Regulations do not apply retrospectively. However, the latest Government advice relates to existing buildings, particularly residential properties with multiple dwellings and includes low-rise buildings under the 18m threshold.

Building owners need to establish what materials have been used, assess the risks, keep residents informed and advise the fire brigade if urgent concerns exist.

The Government Advice Note states that: “the clearest way to prevent the risk of external fire spread is to remove and replace any combustible material with one that is non-combustible (classified as A1 or A2-s1, d0)”.

TFT has experience of coordinating external wall/fire safety investigations and overseeing remedial works.

Please contact Simon Young MRICS if you have any concerns.

TFT advises Grainger on £22.1M scheme

TFT has provided Technical Due Diligence (TFT) advice to Grainger for their acquisition of the 233 apartment PRS element within the Rock Shopping Centre in Bury. The interest was acquired from JV Kennedy Wilson Europe and Fairfax Financial.

The 140,800 sq ft residential scheme includes a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom flats and sits in the heart of the 550,000 sq ft retail and leisure complex.

Greenwich Regeneration meets with Royal approval

TFT Project Management has led the regeneration of Greenwich Town Centre on behalf of Greenwich Hospital. This includes the restoration of Greenwich Market and the site was recently visited by HRH Prince Andrew, who spent time touring the market and meeting the extensive team involved in the works.

TFT’s key team, Dan Henn and Andy Ferrznolo, were introduced to Prince Andrew during his tour prior to the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the completion of the market’s restoration.