SBC High Rise External Wall Systems FAQs
In November 2020, a supplement to the UK government’s Advice for Building Owners of Multi-storey, Multi-occupied Residential Buildings was published advising professional judgement to be made regarding the safety of external wall system on high rise blocks where combustible materials other than cladding have been used; to determine whether replacement is required.
To assist experts with assessing the external walls, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) issued guidance in March 2021 detailing the types of external wall systems (EWS) other than cladding (an EWS1 form) and the circumstances where an EWS1 form is needed – more specifically in circumstances where a building is over 18m and:
- There is cladding or curtain wall glazing on the building or;
- There are balconies which stack vertically above each other and either both the balustrades and decking are constructed with combustible materials (e.g. timber) or the decking is constructed with combustible materials and the balconies are directly linked by combustible material.
Although our five high rise blocks (High Croft, High Plash, The Towers, Harrow Court and Brent Court) do not have cladding or balconies, they require an EWS1 form because the insulated infill panels (below the windows) are stacked vertically.
Fire Safety team