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Last edited 21 May 2021
Consultation opens for code of practice for fire risk appraisal and assessment of external wall construction
On 20 April 2021, the Government commissioned the British Standards Institution (BSI) to draft a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) code of practice for assessors when examining external walls and cladding. PAS's are fast-track standards, specifications, codes of practice or guidelines developed by sponsoring organisations to meet an immediate market need.
PAS 9980 PAS 9980:2021 Fire risk appraisal and assessment of external wall construction and cladding of existing blocks of flats - Code of practice, is part of the Government’s effort to reform the building sector in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. The consultation closed on 20 May 2021. The anticipated publication date of the standard is autumn 2021.
 Purpose of the code of practice
The code of practice will help professionals provide consistent, risk-based and proportionate advice on whether remediation of the external walls is necessary. It addresses situations in which there is a single wall type or a mixture of different wall types. It also addresses buildings that are partially clad, as well as those that are fully clad, in combustible materials.
- External walls incorporating rainscreen cladding, with or without insulation in any associated cavity.
- External thermal insulation composite systems (ETICS), particularly those comprising rendered insulation.
- Insulated core (“sandwich”) panels.
- Glazed façades with infill/spandrel panels.
- Substrates including concrete blockwork, brick, steel framing systems (SFSs), timber framing and structural insulated panels (SIPs).
- Curtain walling.
Once approved, the code will support building professionals who undertake a fire risk appraisal and assessment (FRAA) of the external wall construction of existing multistorey, multi occupied residential buildings.
The PAS covers multistorey blocks of flats, but also includes the following types of buildings if, from the perspective of general fire strategy and means of escape design, and specifically evacuation strategy, they are similar in nature to a purpose built block of flats:
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. I welcome the launch of this consultation on a new code of practice, commissioned by the 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.”
Scott Steedman, Director-General of Standards at BSI said, “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.”
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- British Standards Institution BSI.
- BS 8414 Fire performance of external cladding systems.
- Building codes.
- Cladding for buildings.
- Code of practice.
- Publicly Available Specification PAS.
- Risk assessment under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
- The role of codes, standards and approvals in delivering fire safety.
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