New cladding recommendations

October 22nd 2019

Advice Notice 14 (AN14) was issued by the Government at the end of 2018 outlining post Grenfell recommendations to ensure the highest possible standards are met at buildings more than 18 meters in height.  In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy,  the Government’s initial focus was on buildings where Aluminium Composite Cladding (ACM) is present, this was used in cladding systems at Grenfell Tower and found to be highly combustible.

We published guidance to clients earlier this year and you can read that on our website https://www.pennycuick.co.uk/cladding-ensuring-your-building-complies-with-requirements/.

The Queen’s speech in October confirmed a raft of measures covering all of the recommendations of the Hackitt review with an emphasis on clear accountability for the safety of high rise buildings throughout the design, construction and occupation,  with clear competence requirements to ensure high standards are upheld.

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing residents of 18m+ buildings is the lack of availability of the original construction records to determine the materials used and assembly methods. Both are essential to assessing overall combustibility of the construction, but are complex to identify, requiring further investigation of by suitably qualified independent professional advisers like Pennycuick Collins.  The absence of detailed information on the materials used at high rise developments is causing further problems for residents trying to buy or sell a home in an affected property.  Some mortgage lenders are refusing to lend or dragging their heels at schemes where the materials used can’t be ascertained. This is becoming a major cause for concern, especially at a time when demand for services of accredited experts is excessively high, causing further delay to the process.

Our surveyors are following developments closely and adhering to requirements of the professional bodies we are members of, notably the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA). We are currently advising clients at several UK schemes to ascertain whether materials meet the required safety standards, where this is not the case we putting into place a remedial course of action to ensure standards are met.