Consultation to establish new code of practice for external walls

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The British Standards Institution (BSI) has been commissioned by the government to establish a new code of practice for assessors when examining external walls and cladding

The new code of practice aims to ensure external wall assessments are carried out to a high and consistent standard, giving building owners clarity on the fire risk of the construction of external walls.

It will help professionals provide consistent, risk-based and proportionate advice on whether remediation of the external walls is necessary.

Building safety minister Lord Greenhalgh, said: “As part of the biggest improvements to building safety standards in 40 years, we are taking firm action to ensure homes and buildings are safer.

“This includes investing over £5bn to help protect hundreds of thousands of leaseholders from the cost of replacing unsafe cladding on their homes.

“I welcome the launch of this consultation on a new code of practice, commissioned by government, which will ensure greater clarity and consistency for those completing assessments of external walls and a clear steer on where remediation is, or is not, required.”

‘Supporting building professionals’

Scott Steedman, director-general of standards at BSI, commented: “BSI, in its role as the UK National Standards Body, has opened a public consultation on the proposed new code of practice to support building professionals to undertake fire risk appraisals and assessments of the external wall construction of existing multistorey, multi-occupied residential buildings.

“We welcome all comments on the draft standard, especially from people living or working on or in these types of buildings, including residents and people from the construction, fire, housing and safety industries.

“The consultation closes on 20 May 2021 and we aim to publish the standard in the autumn, after all comments have been reviewed by the expert steering group.”

Mark Hardingham, National Fire Chiefs Council chair, added: “We welcome this consultation on the new draft code of practice for assessors when examining external walls and cladding.

“To ensure that a wide range of views are considered before it is finalised, we want to encourage interested stakeholders to engage with it over the next few weeks.”

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