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Banning combustible materials in cladding systems in Wales

Objectives of the consultation

The Welsh Government, have reviewed the proposals contained in the recent Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) consultation in England, ‘Banning the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise buildings’, and concluded that the fundamental questions asked and actions proposed are relevant to Wales.

The Welsh Government agrees with the advice of the UK Government Expert Panel that systems which have passed the BS 8414 test and have been correctly installed and maintained and therefore meet Building Regulations’ guidance, provide a safe way to ensure that wall system will resist the spread of fire. However, the Welsh Ministers also recognise the concerns that the BS 8414 test does not offer as straightforward way of meeting the requirements of the Regulations as would a ban on the use of combustible materials. They also note Dame Judith’s view that using products which are non-combustible or limited combustibility is undoubtedly the lower risk option. Welsh Ministers therefore consider it right to consult on a ban which would, as a consequence, remove the flexibility offered to cladding design by the BS 8414 test on highrise residential buildings.

This consultation sought views on imposing a ban on certain materials in cladding systems. The consultation closed on 13 September 2018. The Welsh Government will produce a detailed impact assessment based on the information receive from this consultation to inform the final policy decision.

Supporting papers

To download the documents supporting this consultation, please follow the links below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE responded to this consultation in line with the response submitted to the consultation on banning combustible materials in cladding systems in England.

CIBSE supports the general approach of restricting use of combustible materials in cladding systems but believes that such restriction should be subject to a further review as findings emerge from the Public Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower Fire and as testing regimes develop over time. 

CIBSE agrees that a ban can only be delivered by legislation, through changes to the Building Regulations, otherwise it is only guidance. CIBSE also noted that over 450 buildings in England clad in material that is not permitted i.e. banned already, which shows that just changing the scope of what is banned alone will not solve the problems and there is a need for much more wide ranging change in the sector for the proposed ban to be genuinely effective.

To read the full CIBSE response, please follow the link below.

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