Residents and building owners are set to benefit from a new code of practice for professionals assessing buildings’ external walls and cladding systems.

As part of ambitious reform of the building sector, the government has commissioned the British Standards Institution (BSI) to draft a new code of practice for assessors when examining external walls and cladding.

This will 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.

Letting a Property – MPU

The code of practice 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 £5 billion 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.”

Scott Steedman, Director-General of Standards at BSI said:

“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 said:

“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.”

Once finalised later this year, the code of practice will supersede aspects of the consolidated advice note on external wall systems, originally published in January 2020.

The consultation can be viewed here.

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