Vivalda, the UK’s largest distributor and fabricator of architectural cladding systems, has welcomed the government’s intention to ban the use of combustible materials on all high-rise developments.
Announced by housing minister James Brokenshire at the Conservative Party Conference, the new Building Regulations will be introduced for external wall systems banning plastics, wood and other products that include combustible materials found in some aluminium composite panel systems.
However, Vivalda’s managing director, Ben Jayes, is calling for further clarification on whether the ban would apply to any material in wall construction from the internal face of the wall through to its external face, as first proposed.
He said: “For months now, we’ve been calling for a much more robust approach from the regulators, who should treat all proposed cladding systems as a single, integrated product; not a group of unrelated sub-components. For this reason, we decided last year to supply only A1 and A2 products to all high-rise building projects. The devil is certainly in the detail where complex cladding systems are concerned. Specifiers and contractors want clear and robust guidance on cladding safety – that’s why we’re pushing for the regulations to include complete systems, fixings, insulation and all.
“A total ban on all combustible materials on high-rise developments is still the gold standard for which we’re lobbying. Whatever the government concludes on this issue, we think the industry needs to take action and set new, unrivalled standards of building quality for all cladding systems used on tall buildings.”