Government announces combustible cladding ban on high rise buildings above 18m

High rise building cladding ban over 18m
David Ewing

Combustible cladding is to be banned for all new hospitals, care homes, student accommodation and residential buildings above 18m (60ft) in height in England.

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire made the announcement at the recent Conservative Party conference. In a keynote speech to the conference held in Birmingham, Mr Brokenshire said the "unimaginable horror" of the Grenfell disaster, which cost the lives of 72 people, has "underlined the need" to ensure "such a disaster cannot happen again".

“I can confirm that I will change the building regulations to ban the use of combustible materials for all new high rise residential buildings, hospitals, registered care homes and student accommodation above 18m. “And bring about a change in culture on building safety.”

The ban, which follows a lengthy government consultation will be implemented through changes to building regulations to be brought forward by the end of the year. It is likely to cover all combustible materials, including cladding, on new buildings but it will not be applied retrospectively where materials have already been fitted.”

“At the moment the Building Regulations state all insulation and filler materials for cladding on high-rise buildings must be of "limited combustibility". Materials that would be allowed are those classed as A1 or A2 under the European Classification system.

What does A1 and A2 rating mean?

Approved Document B – Fire Safety defines products achieving an A1 classification as non-combustible and products achieving an A2 classification as being of limited combustibility and make no significant contribution to fire growth.

Class A1

Products are described as having no contribution to fire at any stage. The BS EN 13501 test sets several thresholds for combustion performance when tested to both EN ISO 1716 and EN ISO 1182. A1 certified products have no sustained flaming when tested. Typical products meeting this classification include most inorganic materials such as metal, stone, and glass.

Class A2

Products are described as having no significant contribution to fire at any stage. A2 certified products can sustain flame for no more than 20 seconds. A typical product meeting this classification is plasterboard.

In contrast, products with a rating of B-F are classified as combustible.

Further information

Approved Documents and additional guidance from LABC, BCA and more:

Approved Document B England (Fire Safety)

Approved Document B Wales (Fire Safety)


Are Schools banned?

Submitted 8 months 3 weeks ago

The 1st paragraph says schools are banned but the Secretary of State quote in the 3rd paragraph didn't include this use.

See also MHCLG's statement here:


Submitted 8 months 3 weeks ago

Hi there

Thanks for pointing out our error. You're right - schools aren't mentioned in the statement and we've removed it from the article.

Julie, LABC

External Surfaces

Submitted 2 months 3 weeks ago

Reg 7(2) states that all material needs to be A1 or A2 does this apply to a spray applied paint that is being used to cover existing cladding on a conversion from office to residential accommodation and is over 18m

Reply to: External Surfaces

Submitted 2 months 2 weeks ago

Hi David, thanks for the enquiry.

The existing cladding with the spray applied paint finish and all the materials in the external wall will need to meet European classification A2-s1, d0 or Class A1, apart from those materials excluded by Regulation 7 (3). You should submit full details to your local building control team with your building regulations application. You can find your local team by entering the postcode of your project in the 'find your council' bar at the top of our website.

Kind regards,

John, LABC

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