What is the guidance on replacing combustible materials on existing balconies?
Following Grenfell Tower Fire in June 2017, the Government updated the Approved Document B which states that ‘Relevant Buildings’ (residential or institutional buildings above 18m in height) as defined in Regulation 7(4) must achieve Euroclass A2-s1,d0 fire rating.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government released a number of advice notes alongside this, providing further guidance on making our buildings safer. The most recent of these came in January 2020, in which they stated that external walls of buildings, of any height, should not assist the spread of fire, in accordance with the functional Requirement B4 of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations.
Balconies made with combustible materials are a potential source of rapid-fire spread on the external wall of residential buildings. It is the view of the MGCLG Expert Panel that as a result, the design of balconies should not assist fire spread along the external wall. Furthermore, they suggest that it is the removal and replacement of any combustible material used in balcony construction is the clearest way to prevent external fire spread from balconies.
We've successfully helped to make thousands of balconies safe by replacing outdated composite and timber deck boards with our non-combustible paving and decking solutions. Enquire to learn more.