CTI Briefing Paper highlights potential Timber Industry losses due to Combustible Materials Ban
The factsheet focuses on possible actions the Government could take to improve fire safety of buildings by setting a clear regulatory framework.
The paper also warns of the "unforeseen consequences to homeowners and the construction industry" that an indiscriminate ban on combustible materials could trigger and recommends the establishment of a "licensing system for use of materials."
"In order to improve the safety of buildings, the Government must ensure that any new regime is both enforceable and enforced," says the paper. "Arguably one of the challenges to date has been lack of adherence to and enforcement of, existing building regulations and guidance. There has also been some confusion and a lack of clarity in the existing regulatory framework. Unless there is a cultural shift, any changes to the regulatory framework will not have the intended effect of making buildings safer.
"As the London Fire Brigade said in its response to the Government’s consultation on banning combustible materials: 'a ban requires careful consideration to ensure there are not unintended consequences.”
"We therefore believe that a licensing system for use of materials – rather than an outright ban – is likely to be a more effective means of ensuring buildings are as safe as possible."
On the extent of combustible materials ban, the CTI "supports changes to limit the use of (and in some cases ban) combustible materials in taller buildings. However, the Government has not been clear regarding whether or not it intends any changes to apply simply to cladding, or to the structural wall in its entirety.
"If the scope of the ban were to include the structural wall as well as the cladding wall, then the impact will be a massive limitation in access to the materials available for building and the stifling of innovation, investment and employment."
Download the briefing paper here.