Applicable since 21st December 2018, the changes to Regulation 7 of the Building Regulations 2010 – Materials and Workmanship restrict the types of materials that can be used in a specific range of high-risk buildings with a storey over 18m above ground level. These are relevant only to buildings and building work that fall within scope in England after that date – that is buildings which contain one or more dwellings, an institution, or a room for residential purposes. This currently covers:
- Sheltered housing
- Student accommodation
- Care homes
- Boarding school dormitories
- There is also ongoing discussion around extending this to government-funded school buildings in the future
For these buildings, external walls can only be constructed with materials achieving a European Class A1 or A2-s1, d0 in accordance with BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009
. There is a long list of exemptions to this rule, including products such as doors and door frames, window frames and glass, membranes, thermal break materials, seals, gaskets, fixings, sealants and backer rods.
Other buildings with a storey 18m above ground level, such as office blocks and hotels, are still permitted to use systems which meet the requirements of BR 135 using the BS 8414 large-scale system test. A new standard, BS 9414, has also been developed, which allows careful extended applications of BR 135 compliant systems.
Guidance on how to meet the regulatory fire safety requirements is set out in the Approved Documents B
, volumes 1 (dwellinghouses) and 2 (buildings other than dwellinghouses). Published in April 2019, one notable change in the new document is that the ‘reaction to fire’ performance for many individual products is now classified under the harmonised European Standard BS EN 13501-1 (or Euroclasses). However, where no harmonised standard exists, the British Standards are still recognised, and the transpositions for this are set out in Table B1 within the appendix.
The regulatory landscape is, however, still evolving in this area. Further consultations and reviews have been introduced in 2020 and the information in this blog will be updated as and when any changes are introduced.
This test has now been superseded by BS EN 13501-1:2018