During the summer of 2018, the Government consulted on how to introduce a ban on the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings.

This followed a statement to Parliament on the Government’s response to the Grenfell Tower in which the Secretary of State reaffirmed the Government’s intention to introduce such a ban.

Its response to the 460 replies it received to the resulting consultation has now been published and can be found here.

Having taken account of the feedback produced by the consultation, the Government has decided that the ban will apply to all new residential buildings above 18m in height and will apply not only to residential buildings but also to new dormitories in boarding schools, student accommodation, registered care homes and hospitals above that height.

The ban will limit materials to products achieving a European Classification of Class A1 or A2-s1,d0 when tested in accordance with BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009.

The response concludes that the ban will be implemented through changes to the Building Regulations and these have appeared as the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (available here).

Coming into force on 21 December 2018, the amended Regulations specify that materials must achieve the European Classification with certain exemptions for products where a Class A1 or Class A2-s1,d0 does not exist or is not readily available.

These products include: door frames and doors; seals, gaskets, fixings, sealants and backer rods; membranes; and insulation and water proofing materials used below ground level.

The ban will also apply where building work is being carried out, in line with the definition of building work in the amended Building Regulations, including changes of use and material alterations.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: “I have repeatedly made clear that building owners and developers must replace dangerous aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding. And the costs must not be passed on to leaseholders. My message is clear — private building owners must pay for this work now or they should expect to pay more later.”

Last reviewed 7 December 2018