Government completes large-scale fire safety testing programme

The final wall cladding combination tested as part of the government’s series of large-scale fire safety tests has passed and meets current Building Regulations guidance.

This final test was of a wall cladding system consisting of aluminium composite material cladding with a limited combustibility filler (category 1 in screening tests) with stone wool insulation.

The government’s expert panel has advised that the results show that this combination of materials can be compliant when installed and maintained properly. While government has not been informed of any tall buildings over 18 metres in England using this particular combination of materials in their wall system, it could offer a possible solution for some buildings with other cladding systems which have been identified as a fire hazard through previous large-scale tests.

The clear advice from the expert panel remains that building owners need to continue to take professional advice regarding remedial work that takes into account the specific circumstances of their building.

In a statement, the Department for Communities and Local Government, said: “The purpose of the testing programme was to develop a better understanding of how different types of cladding panels behave with different types of insulation in a fire. This is so building owners and their professional advisors can make informed decisions. Results of all seven large-scale tests are available and government will shortly publish consolidated advice to landlords based on all the seven tests.”

The government announced an independent review of building regulations and fire safety on 28 July 2017 in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. The review will examine the regulatory system around the design, construction and ongoing management of buildings in relation to fire safety as well as related compliance and enforcement issues.

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