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RIBA responds to the Government’s ban on combustible cladding

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has responded to the news from the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government that the Government will ban combustible materials on all high-rise residential buildings over 18m, as well as on schools, care homes and hospitals.

01 October 2018

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today, Monday 1 October, responded to the news from the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government that the Government will ban combustible materials on all high-rise residential buildings over 18m, as well as on schools, care homes and hospitals.

In response, Adrian Dobson, RIBA Director of Professional Services says,

“It is good news that the Government has acted on the RIBA’s recommendations to ban combustible cladding on high-rise residential buildings over 18m. The ban needs to be accompanied by clear guidance and effective enforcement to promote fire safety and leave no room for cutting corners.

However, toxic smoke inhalation from the burning cladding very likely contributed to the disproportionately high loss of life at the Grenfell Tower disaster. Permitting all products classified as A2 does not place any limits on toxic smoke production and flaming particles/droplets. In our view, this is not an adequate response to the tragic loss of life and might still put the public and the Fire and Rescue authorities at unnecessary risk.”

-Ends-

Notes to editors

1. For further press information contact Elise Neve elise.neve@riba.org +44 (0)20 7307 3761

2. The RIBA recommends European Classification A1 rather than A2 be used for significant products in the external wall construction, to protect against production of smoke and flaming particles/droplets. If the government decides to proceed with the ban using the lower classification (A2), the RIBA recommends that this be strictly limited to A2-s1, d0. This would ensure very limited smoke production and no flaming particles/droplets from permitted products. See the RIBA consultation response for more information.

3. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. www.architecture.com. Follow us on Twitter for regular RIBA updates www.twitter.com/RIBA

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