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Use of desktop studies in assessing safety of building materials

1 May 2018

Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Committee, has written to the Secretary of State to call for a ban on the use of desktop studies in the safety assessment of materials used in the cladding of high-rise buildings.

Government consultation

The Government launched a consultation on desktop studies, where materials are assessed rather than tested for fire safety, on 11 April.

The Chair's letter to Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire MP describes the use of desktop studies as ‘clearly dangerous' and calls for them to be prohibited for so long as combustible materials are permitted to be used in the cladding of high-rise buildings.

"We are concerned that the over-use of desktop studies may be a contributory factor to a weaker, less stringent regulatory regime and increases the likelihood of dangerous materials being used on high-rise residential buildings,"  the letter states.

The letter also reiterates the Committee's view that the use of combustible materials in the cladding of high-rise buildings should be banned altogether as opposed to favouring a risk-based approach to building regulations and guidance.

The Committee has previously written on the issue of building regulations to Dame Judith Hackitt, who is leading the Independent Review set up by the Government following the fire at Grenfell Tower in June last year.

Further information

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