Non-aluminium composite material cladding

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

The government’s building safety programme has focused primarily on immediate interim mitigation actions and permanent replacement of unsafe aluminium composite material (ACM) panels on high-rise buildings because of the acute risks posed by such panels.

The Independent Expert Advisory Panel also advised the department to establish a research project to test and improve the evidence available on the behaviour of a range of non-ACM materials used in cladding systems when subjected to fire. The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has been commissioned to undertake this project. This programme is on-going and tests are expected to conclude in the summer.

Following further advice from the Independent Expert Advisory Panel, the government also commissioned a large scale test on a high pressure laminate panel (HPL) system.

This large scale test, undertaken by the Fire Protection Association (FPA), tested a HPL panel system with stone wool insulation, in accordance with British Standard 8414. This test involves building a 9-metre high 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 spread of the fire up the outside wall, if any, was then monitored.

The test was carried out on 11 July 2019. The test achieved a BR 135 classification and the independent report has been published. In conjunction with the Independent Expert Advisory Panel additional detail on the use of HPL in external walls has now been provided in a further advice note, which should be considered alongside previous advice.

Action for building owners

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

Since June 2017, the government has urged owners of buildings over 18 metres to satisfy themselves that their buildings are safe. Building owners should follow the advice set out in advice note 14 and advice note 22.

Data collection

We are also working with local authorities to gather information on the external walls of buildings.

Published 18 July 2019