The outcome of the UK government’s in-depth assessment of the use of different cladding materials in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy has confirmed that timber, where necessary enhanced with flame retardant (depending on aspect), remains fit for purpose and compliant with new Building Regulations (in England), where the upper floor level of a building is less than 18m above ground, so enabling the market for this safe, versatile and attractive cladding material to continue to grow. Building Regulations are intended to ensure that a reasonable standard of life safety is provided in case of fire. The appropriate use of timber products can play a critical part in improving the performance of buildings in fire and in extending the time available to occupants to exit the building. Buildings where the upper floor level exceeds 18m above external ground level – which do not represent a significant market for timber cladding – pose special design and maintenance challenges and the decision to make non-combustible external cladding mandatory for this category was anticipated as a sensible design precaution in the wake of the lessons learned from Grenfell Tower.
WPS fire protection factsheet No.5 HERE.