Combustible Cladding Ban Update

Posted on March 3, 2020 in General Info

Combustible Cladding Ban

Combustible cladding ban set to be extended to buildings with four or more storeys

A ban on the use of combustible cladding on high-rise buildings is set to be extended to cover all buildings with four or more storeys (or +11 metres in height) under plans the government is putting out to consultation.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick gave an update on the Building Safety Programme to the House of Commons on 20th January 2020, telling MPs that although the government banned the use of combustible materials in the external walls of new schools, hospitals, care homes, student accommodation and for residential buildings of more than 18 metres in height in December 2018, they now plan to go significantly further, by lowering the 18 metre height threshold to at most 11 metres.

The announcement was made as part of a raft of new measures being proposed to improve fire safety in high rise buildings in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, including the creation of a new building and safety regulator and the appointment of a chief inspector of buildings to speed up remediation work.

Building owners are responsible for ensuring their buildings are safe, but recent high-rise fires, including one in a block of student flats in Bolton in November 2019, have highlighted that many building owners have still not taken sufficient measures to ensure the safety of residents in buildings at all heights.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Home Office have identified more than 400 high rise buildings with unsafe ACM cladding which has an unmodified polyethylene core, which the ban states should now not be used on buildings of any height. Councils will be expected to start enforcement against building owners who have not started remediation work to remove unsafe ACM material from their buildings by the end January 2020.