CIC calls for an industry-imposed moratorium on the use of combustible materials in high rise cladding systems
At the CIC Members’ Conference, held on 17/18 May, members present welcomed the announcement by The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on 17 May, that the government will consult on banning the use of combustible materials in cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings.
The CIC Members present at the Conference, stressed that it was essential to begin the formal consultation as soon as possible. They also agreed that it would be appropriate for the industry itself to impose a moratorium on the use of combustible materials in cladding systems on buildings over 18 metres, until there is a clear decision by the government on the definition, classification, testing and use of combustible cladding & insulation materials for high-rise residential and other higher risk buildings. The use of combustible materials in cladding systems on buildings less than 18m high should be subject to careful review on a case-by-case basis.
The industry-imposed moratorium should be in conjunction with the work on fire and structural safety recommended in the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety
Professor John Nolan, chairman of CIC said, following the members conference: “"I would be very surprised if anyone in the UK was specifying combustible ACM and insulation combinations on high-rise buildings since the Grenfell disaster. The combustibility of facades and their various components is an extremely complicated issue which needs detailed further investigation and guidance. I therefore welcome the Secretary of State’s initiative to clarify the situation regarding the combustibility of all materials in high-rise cladding systems".
Graham Watts, CEO of CIC said “It is essential that the government makes a decision based on the widest range of expertise across all dutyholders engaged in the design, construction and management of high-rise buildings. This will take time and so the unanimous view of members at our Conference was to allay public fears and show leadership by urging the professions – as a whole – not to specify combustible cladding systems on high-rise residential and other higher risk buildings while the consultation is ongoing”.
CIC will make a formal response to the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire safety following two Council meetings in June, well before the deadline set by MHCLG (end of July) and CIC will respond, in due course, to the consultations on desk top studies in lieu of testing and on banning combustible materials in cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings.