Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government – Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (S.I. 2018/ 1230) – Ban on Combustible Materials in External Walls of High-rise Buildings
On 29th November, the government announced changes to Building Regulations, which bring into force an outright ban on the use of materials which are not Euroclass A2, or better, in buildings with a sleeping risk, and that are more than 18 metres high. This is written into the legislation itself, and as such is effectively a ’ban’ as opposed to guidance.
Furthermore, local authorities will gain the government’s full backing, including financial support if necessary, to enable them to carry out emergency remediation work on affected private residential buildings above 18 metres, which do not have cladding materials that meet Euroclass A2, or better. The costs will then be recovered from the building owners. This will allow buildings to be made permanently safe without delay.
Currently, a total of 289 privately owned high-rise residential blocks have been identified as using similar aluminium composite (ACM) cladding to Grenfell. Only 40 of these buildings have so far had panels removed or started to be removed. At a further 147 buildings, there are plans underway or in development to remove panels. However, the status of 102 buildings still remains unclear.
The changes made by these regulations will initially apply in England, but it is likely that they will be transposed into Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These amended regulations come into effect on 21st December 2018.
The Secretary of State for Communities, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said, “Everyone has a right to feel safe in their homes and I have repeatedly made clear that building owners and developers must replace dangerous ACM cladding. And the costs must not be passed on to leaseholders. My message is clear – private building owners must pay for this work now or they should expect to pay more later.”
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