The GAI would like to make you aware that the UK Government has launched a consultation of the Clarification of Approved Document B (ADB), following work undertaken by the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) earlier this year.

The consultation focuses on the clarity and the usability of the documents. In addition the consultation is also taking on learning from the Grenfell Public Inquiry and various other consultations that are currently running including the use of combustible materials and the use of assessments in lieu of fire tests.

The GAI will be producing a response on behalf of the ironmongery industry and is therefore asking for your participation in this submission. This is your opportunity to help shape the future of these hugely influential fire safety documents.

The GAI have created a survey based on MHCLG equivalent which can be answered here.

Approved Document B Volumes 1 & 2 can be downloaded here.

We would request that any comments be sent by the 6th of September 2018.

In summary, the consultation asks for comment and evidence on a number of proposed clarifications to ADB including:

  • Moving the guidance for flats to Volume 1.
  • Clearly differentiating between external fire spread on the external walls of the building and fire spread from one building to another.
  • Using European classifications for fire resistance and reaction to fire within the main body of the document to prevent confusion and align the Approved Document with international norms. Retaining advice on British Standards to allow for conversions, if needed.
  • Consolidating guidance on fire dampers and ventilation systems into one place (current guidance is in two locations).
  • Moving guidance on the provision of information (regulation 38) and insulated core panels from the appendices into the main body of the document.
  • Where possible specifying the period of fire resistance for a construction in the body of the text rather than relying on tables in the back.
  • Removing unnecessary informative advice which is outside the scope of the regulations.
  • Clarity of signposting towards other standards or guidance documents or approved documents.
  • Whether there is any guidance in ADB which should be in an industry standard instead.Overall timescales of review of ADB.

Overall timescales of review of ADB

MHCLG have advised that in early Autumn 2018 they will launch a wider technical call for evidence of ADB and supporting documents. In late autumn 2018 we expect an announcement of the outcome of the consultations into the use of combustible materials and the use of assessments in lieu of fire tests, and in early 2019 the publishing of a clarified ADB and roadmap for wider technical policy changes.