Building Safety Programme - monthly data release: data as at 16 February 2018

Following the Grenfell tragedy, the Government established a Building Safety Programme with the aim of ensuring residents of high-rise residential properties are safe, now and in the future, from the risk of fire.

The Building Safety Programme regularly publishes data regarding the number of high-rise residential and public buildings in England that have Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding, including statistics regarding the number of buildings with ACM cladding that contravenes the Building Regulations 2010.

A summary of the salient figures from the Building Safety Programme’s latest data release, setting out its review of residential buildings over 18 metres, as of 16 February 2018, is set out below.

  1. In total, 314 properties have ACM cladding. Of this figure 301 (ie 95.9%) have failed the BRE test[1].
  2. The highest number (105 of 301) of properties with ACM panels that failed the test had category 3 ACM panels with Mineral Wool insulation or similar.
  3. Of the 301 buildings with ACM panelling that failed the BRE test, 130 were private residential buildings and 158 were social residential buildings.
  4. Remedial works have been initiated on 58% of the 158 social residential buildings that have ACM cladding that fails the BRE test. Of these, seven buildings have finished the remediation process.
The testing process

The Government appointed an expert panel, of industry experts with experience in fire and building safety, to recommend any immediate action that should be taken to improve public safety. The expert panel has advised that “the clearest way of ensuring an external wall system adequately resists external fire spread” is to either:

  1. ensure all the relevant elements of the wall are of limited combustibility, or
  2. use an external wall system that can be shown to pass a large scale test conducted to BS 8414.
Remediation - advice and progress

The Department of Communities and Local Government advises that the remedial work process is a complex job involving major work. The remedial work will vary depending on the type and existence of existing fire safety systems and the structure of the building.

In light of this, the Government has produced an informal note to assist building owners carrying out remedial works of this nature. The note is comprehensive and detailed, setting out guidance throughout the cycle of the remedial works process. This includes a list of professional advisors that the building owner should consider engaging (such as Building Surveyors and Architects) and where to find them; and tips on the procurement process, including for example advice regarding frameworks that comply with OJEU notices.

[1] For more information regarding the results of the BRE testing please see this link to the table

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.