Three years after the Grenfell Tower fire disaster there are still many high-risk residential buildings with some form of dangerous cladding. The government has also revealed that local authorities are taking or have taken enforcement action against the owners of at least 30 buildings with Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding.
In response to the tragedy, the government brought into force new Building Regulations with further amendments coming into effect in November 2020. Reference is made to BS 8414 the British Standard describing test methods to assess fire safety of cladding applied to the external face of a building. Within the regulations however it clearly stipulates that with building of 18 metres or more in height, any insulation product, filler material (such as the core materials of metal composite panels, sandwich panels and window spandrel panels but not including gaskets, sealants and similar products) used in the construction of an external wall should be class A2-s1, d0 or Class A1 or better.
In 2017 the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government set up a Building Safety Programme Fund to repair unsafe residential buildings over 18 metres – this fund now stands at £1.6 billion. In a recent report the National Audit Office (NAO) revealed that tower blocks housing students are having dangerous cladding removed faster than those of owner-occupiers or private tenants. The NAO claims that only 149 of the 456-buildings identified have had unsafe cladding removed. But they have identified vast differences across sectors with 66.7% of student blocks and 46.8% of social housing buildings having had cladding replaced when compared to 13.5% of all private residential accommodation.
There are numerous supply-chain-related challenges facing the construction industry today. The COVID-19 pandemic has further delayed some retrofit cladding programmes due to global manufacturing and supply chain issues which has also impeded new high-rise residential build programmes. These problems can further jeopardise construction recladding schedules.
At the forefront of quality technical building envelope solutions, all PSP Group’s manufacturing processes take place in the UK within precision-controlled advanced factories in Shildon, County Durham. The company offers a range of A1 and A2 rated non-combustible cladding systems and has the technical ability to manufacture bespoke solutions to competently replace unsafe cladding.
Heath Hindmarch, Chairman of PSP Group said: “Many developers do have good intentions and are keen to complete the replacement cladding work but are struggling to find the right compliant systems and trusted manufacturing partners. As the leading manufacturer in our field, we work closely with our clients to build long-lasting working relationships. We invest in the latest technology and have tried and tested cladding systems to meet the latest regulations and we are keen to help making these buildings safe.”
The new Building Regulations state that all materials which become part of an external wall or specified attachment in a building which is more than 18m or more in height, must achieve European Classification A2-s1, d0 or Class A1, classified in accordance with BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009 entitled ‘Fire classification of construction products and building elements.’ The British Standard classification is not included in the new regulation, and therefore terms such as ‘class 0’ and ‘limited combustibility’ will no longer be applicable to buildings which fall within the identified categories.
PSP – Panel Options and Support
PSP design and manufacture a comprehensive range of integrated metal rainscreen facade systems that can be adapted to suit specific client needs to provide a visually stylish solution for almost any building.
- Matrix SF rainscreen systems are high tolerance fabricated panels supplied in thicknesses up to 4mm and up to 6m long but this is dictated by the material type and panel size.
- Matrix SFC rainscreen systems are available in a range of finishes and thicknesses, with fire rated cores and are ideal for providing a flat panel in large format modular grids.
- Matrix IP rainscreen systems were developed to provide a single skin panel solution based on narrow face widths that can be laid vertically or horizontally. The panels can be roll formed or CNC folded.
Matrix SF, Matrix SFC and Matrix IP are CWCT tested systems that can be manufactured from numerous non-combustible materials and finishes including:
- Solid aluminium classified as non-combustible
- Pre-coated classified as A1 fire rated
- Composite materials classified A2 fire rated
- Post powder coated classified A2 fire rated
- Solid Zinc classified as non-combustible
- Anodised steel classified as non-combustible
About PSP Group
The company manufactures all products using state-of-the-art fabrication equipment and a range of metals that are suited to an array of customer requirements. With a safety-driven strategy at the company’s core, each system is tailored to individual customer specifications.
High-quality, cost-effective systems are supported by a forward-thinking approach and consideration of the construction industry’s time-sensitive nature. All products and services are examined against their Environmental Management Programme and Quality Management Systems, which runs in accordance with ISO 9001:2015.
To find out more about PSP’s range of services and systems visit: www.pspuk.com