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Façade engineering specialists join forces on updated fire safety guidance

14 August 2023

THE CENTRE for Window and Cladding Technology’s Technical Committee and The Society of Façade Engineering’s Fire Committee have issued updated guidance to provide greater clarity on the fire safety requirements for cladding systems and external walls.

Back in November 2018, the Government announced changes to the Building Regulations in order to implement the ban on the use of combustible material in the external walls of certain high-rise buildings in England.

Issue 2 of the free guidance document has been produced following a general review and in response to changes to the Building Regulations and Approved Document B guidance published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in June last year.

This updated guidance proposes a “practical and pragmatic interpretation” where conflicting interpretations have already been identified or where the potential for conflicting interpretations may be possible. Importantly, the guidance is not intended to ‘bypass’ the amendments to Building Regulation 7, Requirement B4 or the guidance contained in Approved Document B.

The new document is based on the “best knowledge available” at the time of publication. Due to the continuing development of policy and Government guidance, it should be read in conjunction with the relevant current Government guidance on ‘the ban on combustible materials’.

Maintained and revised

The intention is that this document will be maintained and revised as further information becomes available. Feedback from the fire sector is an important part of this process. If current practitioners identify any gaps in the guidance or encounter conflict, inconsistency or disagreement over different interpretations, they re advised to e-mail feedback to cwct@cwct.co.uk and sfe@cibse.org.

This publication is intended for use only by appropriately competent designers, specifiers and others (with relevant experience) having regard to the particular circumstances and requirements of each case. Professional judgement should be exercised, including the reasonable skill and care to be expected of a professional of the relevant discipline set in that context.

*Download Issue 2 of the guidance. Issue 1 (published in September 2020) is also available online