Buildings: Insulation

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 22nd June 2021.

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Photo of Thangam Debbonaire Thangam Debbonaire Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether Trespa Meteon FR cladding has been subject to fully independent, government-recognised fire tests; what assessment his Department has made of whether that cladding is fire-safe; and whether his Department has plans to commission independent tests for individual cladding products.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Trespa Meteon FR is a High Pressure Laminate (HPL). In the summer of 2019, the Department commissioned a large scale (BS 8414) test of an external wall system which included an FR HPL (Class B-s1, d0) and mineral wool insulation (class A1). The test was successful as the system met the criteria of BR 135 Fire performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multistorey buildings. The results can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-test-report-mhclg-bs-8414-hpl.

The Department also commissioned research into the burning behaviours of a range of non-ACM cladding materials including HPL. The aim was to identify if there were other types of cladding that burn like the type of metal composite material which was present on the Grenfell Tower, which was an aluminium composite material (ACM) with an unmodified polyethylene core (called ACM PE, or 'ACM category 3'). The research was published in March 2020 and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-performance-of-cladding-materials-research.

The findings of both the large-scale test and the aforementioned research supported the advice provided by the Expert Panel – notably building safety advice for building owners, including around fire doors – that ACM PE presents the most significant fire hazard. The consolidated advice note, including the expert panel advice with regards to HPL, can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/869532/Building_safety_advice_for_building_owners_including_fire_doors_January_2020.pdf.

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