9:42 AM, 12th June 2020, About A year ago 1
It is the responsibility of building owners in the private residential sector to carry out necessary measures to ensure the safety of their residents.
Since June, the government has been urging owners of private residential buildings over 18 metres to make urgent use of the free ACM screening tests, and to report the results to local authorities so that private sector blocks with ACM cladding systems can be identified.
We are also working with local authorities to identify privately owned residential buildings over 18 metres with ACM cladding systems. Financial support to local authorities for the work needed to collect data on high rise residential buildings and report on cladding was provided in line with the new burdens doctrine.
Work to reach private sector landlords continues – through industry bodies including the Home Builders Federation, Association of Residential Letting Agents, and the British Property Federation.
Private sector ACM cladding remediation fund
On 9 May 2019 the Secretary of State announced that the government will fully fund the removal and replacement of unsafe ACM cladding on private sector residential buildings 18 metres or over, with costs estimated at £200 million.
See further detail on how responsible entities can apply to the private sector ACM cladding remediation fund.
Advice for building owners
Shortly after the fire at Grenfell Tower, the independent expert advisory panel advised the government to undertake identification screening of residential buildings over 18 metres tall (in accordance with building regulations guidance on rain-screen cladding). This is in order to identify the type of aluminium composite material (ACM) used.
Those checking tests began at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) the following week.
On 6 July 2017, having also spoken to a group of technical experts from a wide range of professions and organisations, the expert panel recommended further large scale testing of cladding systems. This was to better understand better how different types of ACM panels behave with different types of insulation in a fire (these tests can be used to show compliance with the building regulations guidance).
These large scale tests, undertaken by the BRE, looked at 3 different types of ACM cladding combined with different types of insulation, in accordance with British Standard 8414. This involved building a 9-metre high demonstration wall with a complete cladding system fixed to it – including panels and insulation. This was then subjected to a fire designed to replicate the circumstances in which a severe fire breaks out of a window. The spreads of the fire up the outside wall, if any, was then monitored.
See the final consolidated advice after all the tests.
|Fire test report||ACM category and insulation type||Advice note|
|Fire test report 1 – 28 July 2017||Category 3 – Foam Insulation||Advice note 4 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 1 – 28 July 2017|
|Fire test report 2 – 3 August 2017||Category 3 – Mineral Wool||Advice note 5 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 2 – 2 August 2017|
|Fire test report 3 – 8 August 2017||Category 2 – PIR foam||Advice note 6 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 3 – 8 August 2017|
|Fire test report 4 – 11 August 2017||Category 2 – Mineral Wool||Advice note 7 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 4 – 11 August 2017|
|Fire test report 5 – 14 August 2017||Category 1 – Foam Insulation||Advice note 8 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 5 – 14 August 2017|
|Fire test report 6 – 25 August 2017||Category 1 – Mineral Wool||Advice note 10 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 6 – 25 August 2017|
|Fire test report 7 – 21 August 2017||Category 2 – Phenolic Foam||Advice note 9 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 7 – 21 August 2017|
Additional fire test reports on other cladding combinations in accordance with British Standard 8414 can be found on the BRE website.
The Industry Response Group was established by government in June 2017 to advise on immediate steps to ensure building safety. It complements the work of the Expert Panel.
In consultation with the Industry Response Group, independent expert advisory panel, building owners, and other experts, the government has developed an information note to assist building owners in considering what measures to take to make buildings safe – and how they could carry out remedial works on high rise residential buildings with ACM cladding.
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