Five updates on building and fire safety

01 May 2019

This includes an update on the new government testing programme on other types of cladding.

1. Other types of cladding – new government testing programme

The Government has announced the start of its programme of combustibility tests on cladding that is not aluminium composite material (ACM). The tests are expected to complete in early summer and will assess the performance of the following cladding materials:

  • aluminium honeycomb panels
  • high pressure laminate panels
  • brick slips
  • reconstituted stone
  • zinc composite panels
  • copper composite panels.

The Federation will work with the Government to help communicate the results of these tests to our members. If you have any questions relating to these tests, please get in touch.

2. The new regulatory system – consultation due soon

In the next few weeks, we’re expecting a major consultation on the new system to keep buildings safe, which will set out the Government’s proposals for implementing the recommendations of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety

Following this consultation, we expect the Government to put forward a Bill in Parliament in early 2020 to enact the legislation required.

We know many of our members have been actively preparing for the new system, and we’re looking at how we can share knowledge and experience so far to support housing associations as we move into a new regulatory environment.

3. Fire door testing programme – latest information 

We know there is a widespread problem with glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) composite doors and that testing is being conducted on other types of door.

Many of our members are already managing this additional risk, but those who are uncertain about any GRP fire doors should check the door manufacturer’s current test evidence to ensure it meets requirements.

We’re involved in discussions about an industry-led remediation plan, led by MHCLG with the Association of Composite Door Manufacturers and the Local Government Association, and we’ll continue to press the Government for action.

We are hoping to provide more details soon. In the meantime, please refer to the updated fire door FAQ, written by MHCLG, for more information.

4. Grenfell Tower public inquiry interim – report published soon

We are expecting the interim report from phase one of the Grenfell Tower inquiry to be published soon. 

The inquiry has now formally written to core participants about the interim recommendations and is currently considering a range of suggestions made by expert witnesses and legal representatives. The expert witnesses have each produced formal advice on interim recommendations, which will be published alongside the interim report.

More information is available on the Grenfell Tower inquiry website.

5. Sign up to get these updates straight to your inbox

We will keep members updated as we hear more from the Government on building and fire safety in the coming weeks and months. You can sign up to our mailing list to get the latest updates by email. 

We've also launched a new building safety knowledge hub for social landlords with the Local Government Association (LGA). Find out more