Remediate combustible balcony and terrace decks with fire resistant aluminium decking

As legislation has continued to evolve following Grenfell, achieving fire safety has become the major challenge for property managers and building owners across the UK. We spoke to Richard Izzard, managing director of aluminium decking manufacturer AliDeck, to find out more about effective solutions for full compliance.

Fire safety remains the major concern in the housing sector. Despite several years of legislation and regulation updates, however, a settled conclusion seems remote. The industry-led EWS1 initiative attempted to provide clarity on risk for lenders and unblock the market but was quickly undermined by changing Government advice relating to height of affected buildings.

As a result, many hundreds of thousands of high and low-rise leaseholders are trapped in unmortgageable homes as lenders insist on successful completion of EWS1 fire surveys before offering loans, unwilling to bear the risk otherwise.

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Richard Izzard, AliDeck managing director, said “New regulations post-Grenfell required that materials in the external envelope of buildings be fire rated to A2-s1, d0 at minimum, which ruled out the use of combustible materials such as timber and composite decking.”

“With the Government stating in their updated Advice Note in January 2020 that combustible materials on existing buildings of any height should be removed and replaced “as soon as practical” the end result has been that a huge amount of buildings with combustible balconies and terraces have failed EWS1 surveys.”

The only route to resolving a failed fire risk assessment survey is to fully remediate the fire-safety defects and to replace combustible materials with non-combustible alternatives. These essential works, of course, represent significant cost and upheaval. However, the development of comprehensive, compliant off-the-shelf solutions such as the AliDeck system of balcony and terrace components provides a quick-win for impacted buildings.

A good case in point is the recent refurbishment works completed using AliDeck at a public sector residential facility in Lancashire. Comprised of timber decking and joists, the roof terrace represented an unacceptable fire risk and required full remediation.

“A combination of our aluminium decking boards, joists, and pedestals was used to create a total replacement for this terrace,” explained Richard. “The excellent structural properties of our products provided the stability to easily achieve the large build-up height between the roof surface and the decking level, and with far fewer joists used than in the timber original.”

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“Our products were designed to act as a direct replacement for combustible decking systems and this installation underlines that. The works were completed quickly and without fault, resolving the fire risk issue at a stroke,” concluded Richard.

An interesting factor to this remediation project is that it was carried out by AliDeck approved installers; JB Project Services Ltd. Taking advantage of the Training Academy service offered by AliDeck, the Blackpool-based construction company are fully-conversant in all aspects of the AliDeck systems, delivering peace-of-mind to building owners looking to undertake complex remediation works.

“My team were very happy with the AliDeck products used here,” said Jim Boggis, managing director at JB Project Services. “Our client required the existing terrace area to be seamlessly replaced with minimal disruption to their staff or residents. The AliDeck System is easy to work with and enables us to complete installs to our usual high standard in very short timeframes, leading to a perfect outcome on this project.”

This close collaboration between installer and manufacturer to ensure successful results on crucial fire issues is precisely the level of support that the housing sector requires to move to a fire-safe future. With a large network of approved installers across the UK able to offer installation, AliDeck should be the first port of call for any balcony, terrace or walkway fire remediation enquiry.

To find out more about the AliDeck system, call 01622 534 032 or email info@alideck.co.uk.