Guidance

Aluminium composite material cladding

Information and advice for building owners, landlords and leaseholders where aluminium composite cladding is present on their building.

Advice for building owners

Shortly after the fire at Grenfell Tower, the independent expert advisory panel advised the government to undertake identification screening of residential buildings over 18 metres tall (in accordance with building regulations guidance on rain-screen cladding). This is in order to identify the type of aluminium composite material (ACM) used.

Those checking tests began at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) the following week.

On 6 July 2017, having also spoken to a group of technical experts from a wide range of professions and organisations, the expert panel recommended further large scale testing of cladding systems. This was to better understand better how different types of ACM panels behave with different types of insulation in a fire (these tests can be used to show compliance with the building regulations guidance).

These large scale tests, undertaken by the BRE, looked at 3 different types of ACM cladding combined with different types of insulation, in accordance with British Standard 8414. This involved building a 9-metre high demonstration wall with a complete cladding system fixed to it - including panels and insulation. This was then subjected to a fire designed to replicate the circumstances in which a severe fire breaks out of a window. The spreads of the fire up the outside wall, if any, was then monitored.

See the final consolidated advice after all the tests.

Fire test report ACM category and insulation type Advice note
Fire test report 1 - 28 July 2017 Category 3 - Foam Insulation Advice note 4 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 1 - 28 July 2017
Fire test report 2 - 3 August 2017 Category 3 – Mineral Wool Advice note 5 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 2 – 2 August 2017
Fire test report 3 - 8 August 2017 Category 2 – PIR foam Advice note 6 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 3 – 8 August 2017
Fire test report 4 - 11 August 2017 Category 2 – Mineral Wool Advice note 7 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 4 – 11 August 2017
Fire test report 5 - 14 August 2017 Category 1 – Foam Insulation Advice note 8 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 5 – 14 August 2017
Fire test report 6 - 25 August 2017 Category 1 – Mineral Wool Advice note 10 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 6 – 25 August 2017
Fire test report 7 - 21 August 2017 Category 2 – Phenolic Foam Advice note 9 – Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 7 – 21 August 2017

Additional fire test reports on other cladding combinations in accordance with British Standard 8414 can be found on the BRE website.

The Industry Response Group was established by government in June 2017 to advise on immediate steps to ensure building safety. It complements the work of the Expert Panel.

In consultation with the Industry Response Group, independent expert advisory panel, building owners, and other experts, the government has developed an information note to assist building owners in considering what measures to take to make buildings safe - and how they could carry out remedial works on high rise residential buildings with ACM cladding.

Information note for building owners

Action for private sector residential landlords

It is the responsibility of building owners in the private residential sector to carry out necessary measures to ensure the safety of their residents.

Since June, the government has been urging owners of private residential buildings over 18 metres to make urgent use of the free ACM screening tests, and to report the results to local authorities so that private sector blocks with ACM cladding systems can be identified.

We are also working with local authorities to identify privately owned residential buildings over 18 metres with ACM cladding systems. Financial support to local authorities for the work needed to collect data on high rise residential buildings and report on cladding was provided in line with the new burdens doctrine.

Work to reach private sector landlords continues - through industry bodies including the Home Builders Federation, Association of Residential Letting Agents, and the British Property Federation.

ACM remediation data

MHCLG collects and holds information about residential buildings over 18 metres in England (including hotels and student accommodation) and some buildings owned by the public sector, in particular those which have Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding.

The data enables the department to formulate a policy response to the discovery of what appears to be unsafe cladding on a number of buildings in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire and to assure itself and its stakeholders that fire safety risks (including cladding and any other significant risks identified) to these buildings are being managed. Where this includes personal data, MHCLG is the data controller.

The Data Protection Officer can be contacted at dataprotection@communities.gov.uk. Find out more about how the Building Safety Programme handles data responsibly.

Aggregate data related to the Building Safety Programme are published at regular intervals. The data release has a particular focus on buildings identified with ACM cladding by tenure and remediation progress. Data releases can be found below.

2017 ACM fire test reports

Following the Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017, the government commissioned a series of large scale fire tests of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding. These were intended to establish how different types of ACM panels in combination with different types of insulation behave in a fire.

Published 21 November 2018
Last updated 6 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added link to Building Safety Programme: monthly data release - November 2018
  2. First published.