The government followed up recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt’s interim report on Building Regulations and fire safety with a consultation on proposed amendments to the guidance on desktop studies set out in Approved Document B. The amendments to Appendix A clarify the existing text, create new requirements for desktop studies and provide guidance on use of all desktop studies to meet Part B requirements (which cover fire safety), including cladding and external insulation. An alternative approach would be to prohibit the use of desktop studies, either for all fire test classifications or specifically for those relating to the BS 8414 full scale cladding test. Before making that decision the government says that it needs to better understand the impacts of these options.
The government’s response to the consultation, which closed on 25 May, will also take into account findings and recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report.
The Government has also commissioned the British Standards Institution (BSI) to draft a standard for the extended application of BS 8414 results. This will provide detailed rules for assessments relating to cladding systems, in support of the new proposed requirements. Once the new British Standard is introduced for cladding systems, following it would be the expectation.
See: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ government-consults-on-proposals-to-toughen-ruleson-building-safety and https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/ uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data /file/698899/Desktop_Studies_Consultation.pdf