RSUA has responded to the consultation on amendments to The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 (as amended) and associated technical guidance. The consultation focussed on potential changes to building regulations dealing with fire safety in the aftermath of the fire at Grenfell Tower and responses were collated by RSUA Immediate Past President, Joan McCoy.
The consultation sought opinions on a range of issues and RSUA has provided some key commentary as follows:
- RSUA supports the principle that combustible materials should be banned through law, however any ban and exemption needs to reflect the complexity of the construction process and the multitude of materials and components that make up modern external wall construction as well as the magnitude of risk in relation to the use of materials and products.
- RSUA recommends that the restriction on the use of combustible materials in and on the external walls of buildings including attachments should be extended to include hotels, hostels and boarding houses.
- RSUA recommends that the height threshold should restrict the use of combustible materials in external walls in all buildings where the top floor is more than 18m above ground level, or the top floor is more than five storeys above the ground level storey (whichever is reached first).
- RSUA agrees metal composite panels with a polyethylene core of 30% or more should be banned from being used in external wall construction of any building regardless of height or purpose
The full detail of RSUA’s comprehensive response can be viewed here.