Cladding ban announced by UK Government
Article update: the Welsh government will be enforcing a cladding ban which applies the same restrictions as in England. The below provides more information on what the ban includes and how it will affect buildings in the relevant regions.
The Government this week announced a ban on combustible cladding (I.e Euroclass B or lower) materials in non-loadbearing facade cladding systems. The ban relates to new buildings with floors above 18m and covers schools, residential (including hotels, boarding houses, hostels), hospitals, care homes and student accommodation.
The ban is expected to be implemented through the changes to Building Regulations in autumn this year.
In a surprise move, the Government stopped short of a retrospective ban on existing combustible cladding systems. Whilst this does not necessarily mean that existing properties are unsafe (there are many factors to ensuring that a building performs adequately in a fire), investors and occupiers will wish to obtain specialist advice particularly in relation to residential assets over 18m in height.
Alan Pemberton, TFT Managing Partner says:
Although the government is implementing a ban on combustible cladding and insulation for residential buildings over 18m, this is not to be applied retrospectively, but where does this leave existing buildings or developments under construction? Potentially blighted and unsafe to occupy?
Existing occupied buildings must be fully assessed and evaluated by a suitable qualified person, not only in terms of life safety means of escape, but property protection for risk of fire ignition and spread. Buildings insurance will also be a determining factor with construction approved by insurers to ensure cover provision.
In our view, for buildings under construction and not yet complete, the industry has a duty to construct safe buildings (irrespective of whether works were in compliance yesterday or even today, not just when the ban came into force), especially based on the information now known regarding certain products and materials.
For more information, please contact Simon Young at firstname.lastname@example.org