Uncertainty over the combustibles ban could delay projects

Andrew Mellor_PRP

Even building inspectors are confused and manufacturers haven’t caught up with gaps in the market, says BD’s new technical columnist, Andrew Mellor

When James Brokenshire announced at the start of last summer that the government would be consulting on the banning of the use of combustible materials in facades in England it was expected by the industry and welcomed by many.

His further announcement, last autumn, that the ban would apply to the majority of buildings over 18m with sleeping accommodation, came as no surprise to most in the industry.

Perhaps what was a surprise was that hotels were not included, and that new facades on hotels could continue to use combustible materials, albeit not without testing to BS8414. Why were hotels deemed to be safer than other types of buildings with sleeping accommodation, especially as occupants would be unfamiliar with the building and its fire strategy, such as escape routes?

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