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Scottish Government review of external cladding systems in Scotland

SFHA members are invited to share any feedback on these proposed changes.

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The Scottish Government has this week released a report on the use of external high pressure laminate (HPL) cladding system across a number of sectors in Scotland.

Following a data collection exercise involving both residential and non-residential buildings, it was found that total of 393 buildings that had external HPL cladding installed. This included 95 high-rise domestic buildings, located across six local authorities, the majority of which had the highest levels of fire performance (either Class 0 or A1/A2/B).

The report also notes that level of risk from HPL systems is not as high as the risk from systems using Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) panels with a polyethylene core, as used on Grenfell Tower. However, it is recommended that owners of domestic buildings refer to the recently published Scottish Advice Note (2021) to assess and manage the risk from HPL cladding. It also highlights that a Practical Guide for External Wall Appraisals is to be published later in 2021.

The Scottish Government is also currently consulting on proposed changes to building standards in relation to external cladding systems, following the recommendations of an expert panel. The consultation, which can be found here and closes on 8 October, seeks views on the following:

  • the wording of mandatory standard 2.7 relating to fire spread on external walls
  • consideration of a definition and ban on the highest risk metal composite material (MCM) cladding panels
  • options to improving standards and guidance on cladding systems, including the continued role of the large-scale fire test, BS 8414
  • consequential matters – combustible exemptions
  • impact assessments.

SFHA members are invited to share any feedback on these proposed changes by getting in touch with Cassandra Dove, SFHA Policy and Research Lead, cdove@sfha.co.uk

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