Combustible cladding ban to include CLT timber

The Ministry of Housing has announced further details of its ban of combustible cladding on tower blocks following the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire.

The ban, which comes into force this month, will limit materials to products achieving a European Classification of Class A1 or A2-s1,d0. It includes “all elements of the wall construction from the outer to the inner faces. Commentators have raised concerns that CLT timber will be outlawed in walls over 18 metres as a result. The new ruling states: “The policy prohibits the use of timber materials in the external wall of buildings within the scope.”

The ban “on the use of combustible materials” applies to buildings that are more than 18 metres in height, but will not apply to refurbishments. It will however “also apply where building work is carried out, in line with the definition of building work in the Building Regulations, including changes of use and material alterations.”

Secretary of State for Housing James Brokenshire also announced a change to health and safety regulations that would enable local authorities to remove ACM (Aluminium Composite Material) from private landlords’ buildings, potentially with financial support from Government.

He said:

“I have repeatedly made clear that building owners and developers must replace dangerous ACM cladding, and the costs must not be passed onto leaseholders.”

He added:

“Private building owners must pay for this work now or they should expect to pay more later.”