BRE has completed the third in the government’s series of fire safety tests of cladding and insulation combinations.
The tests have been designed to improve the understanding of how different cladding and insulation behaves during fires on a larger scale than previously conducted.
Results have already been published from the first two tests.
The third test comprised a wall cladding system consisting of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding with a fire retardant polyethylene filler (category 2 in screening tests) with PIR foam insulation.
The government’s expert panel advises that the results show that the combination of materials used in the test does not meet current Building Regulations guidance.
In England there are an estimated 13 buildings measuring over 18m tall, with a combination of ACM with a fire retardant polyethylene filler with PIR foam insulation. Cladding samples from each of these buildings had already failed earlier combustibility tests conducted by Building Research Establishment (BRE) and their owners were sent government advice detailing the immediate interim safety measures that needed to be completed.
With the latest tests providing further evidence about the fire risks, the Government has now provided these building owners with additional detailed advice setting out the actions they need to take to ensure the safety of residents. Government is working closely with these building owners to ensure this advice is being followed.
The government has also commissioned a seventh large scale test to explore fire risks more fully, and BRE is testing ACM with fire retardant polyethylene filler (category 2 in screening tests) with phenolic foam insulation. Results of all remaining tests will be published when they are available.
An independent review of building regulations and fire safety was announced on 28th July 2017, designed to examine the regulatory system around the design, construction and on-going management of buildings in relation to fire safety as well as related compliance and enforcement issues.
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