Buildings: Materials

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 29th January 2020.

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Photo of Steve Reed Steve Reed Shadow Minister (Education) (Children and Families)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department (a) is undertaking and (b) plans to undertake on the toxicity of gases produced by the burning of (i) ACM cladding, (ii) high pressure laminate cladding and (iii) other building materials.

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

On 29 November 2018 the Government introduced a ban of combustible materials in the external wall of buildings including blocks of flat, student accommodation and care homes more than 18 metres in height. The ban requires that all materials which become part of an external wall or specified attachment achieve European Class A2-s1, d0 or Class A1, other than those covered by exemptions. This means that materials are classified by smoke production as well as combustibility and production of droplets. These classifications impose the maximum possible restriction on smoke production.

In addition, the Government published, on 18 December, a call for evidence to form the basis for a technical review of Approved Document B (Fire Safety). Paragraphs 38 to 41 address the issue of smoke and toxicity. The call for evidence closed on 1 March 2019, the Department published in September 2019 an analysis of the responses to the call for evidence which is available at

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/technical-review-of-approved-document-b-of-the-building-regulations-a-call-for-evidence

The Secretary of State announced in his letter to the house on 20 January 2020 that he will set out detailed plans for the full technical review of fire safety guidance in February, including a review of smoke and toxicity.

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