In response to a number of queries regarding the content of Guidance Note 18 and perceived lessening of standards the Building Control Alliance makes the following clarifying statement:
“The Building Control Alliance is a non-profit organisation representing the Building Control profession to which it acts as a mediation and advice service. The alliance produces guidance notes in areas of Building Control where there is a need for clarity of methodology in order for those within the industry to achieve compliance.
“With regard to Guidance Note 18, addressing the need to comply with Building Regulation Schedule 1 B4 (1) and the need for the external walls of the building to adequately resist the spread of fire over the walls – the guidance note relating to the cladding on tall buildings reiterates the guidance stated in Approved Document B only and does not suggest any avoidance of any requirements.
“It is important to state, as some quarters have suggested otherwise, that the guidance note outlines 4 options for demonstrating compliance with the need for the external walls of the building to adequately resist the spread of fire over the walls. In options 3 and 4, it clearly advises all those involved in ensuring that any conclusions resulting from studies are supported by hard test data and based on fact and NOT purely opinion*. The tests used should be those specified and carried out by UKAS accredited testing stations
The Building Control Alliance does not support or encourage any avoidance of the minimum standards laid down in the regulations.”
* Option 3 in the note refers to paragraph 12.5 in the Approved Document B volume 2 and the use of BR 135 for cladding using full-scale test data from BS 8414-1:2002 or BS 8414-2:2005.