New building safety proposals include sprinkler systems for all new care homes as well as second staircases for new residential tower blocks.
The proposals do not go as far as measures being urged by the National Fire Chiefs Council, which is pressing for all new residential buildings over 18 metres (or seven storeys) to have more than one staircase. [See our previous report here.]
Minister for local government and building safety Lee Rowley said: “There are undoubtedly lessons still to be learnt from the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the Department for Housing is committed to working with the sector and residents to explore what more needs to be done to make new homes across the country safe.
“This consultation is the next step in the department’s work to improve building regulations and make sure they are as clear and effective as possible.”
Other measures being considered as part of the consultation include removing references to the national classifications (BS 476) from Approved Document B. This means the dual system currently in place will end and construction product manufacturers will be required to test their products to the British standard version of the European Standards.
The government will also be calling for evidence on revisions to Approved Document B covering materials and products used in external walls – seeking views from industry on what materials should be covered and how best to improve the clarity of the guidance.
The consultation can be found at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/sprinklers-in-care-homes-removal-of-national-classes-and-staircases-in-residential-buildings and closes at 11:45pm on 17 March 2023.