Remediate combustible timber or composite balconies to achieve fire safety
Resolving Fire safety concerns in residential multi-occupancy buildings poses a major challenge for property managers and specifiers. We spoke to Richard Izzard, managing director of aluminium decking manufacturer AliDeck, to find out more about successful fire safety remediation of balconies.
Following Grenfell, the parameters for compliant specification of materials for multi-occupancy buildings has changed immeasurably. As these changes to regulations have been announced relatively piecemeal since 2017, keeping track of current requirements has proved challenging for even the most conscientious specifier or property manager.
Complicating matters further is the effective failure of the EWS1 scheme, which was derailed almost immediately following launch when the Government amended its building safety guidance in the MHCLG Consolidated Advice Note of January 2020. Since then, leaseholders and prospective buyers have faced demands from lenders for completed and passing EWS1 forms for multi-occupancy buildings of any height. The result of this has been nothing less than chaos, with waits for surveys measured in years rather than months.
Richard Izzard, managing director of AliDeck, said “Over the last couple of years, we have worked with many building owners and managers as they have attempted to make their properties fire safe. Helping them navigate the new regulations and understand their new obligations has been a core element of our service.”
As part of this commitment to supporting the housing management sector, AliDeck has developed a solutions-based CPD on fire safety remediation for balconies, terraces and walkways. Delivered as a webinar via Zoom or Teams, the CPD is designed to aid interested parties such as housing associations, local authorities, and property managers in understanding the nature of the issues and the surest routes to successfully resolving them.
“Fire safety remediation has rapidly become the major concern for existing multi-occupancy buildings,” explained Richard. “With the new regulations and the problems caused by EWS1, these refurbishment works are essential and urgent but understanding the precise nature of the issues is key.”
“We have supplied balcony decking materials to a great deal of fire safety and EWS1 remediation projects now,” continued Richard. “We were already very well-versed in handling major projects so were able to rely on our knowledge and experience to adequately service the requirements of this new kind of regeneration works. We have found that for remediation projects, guaranteed compliance and cost-effectiveness are the absolute drivers in the decision-making process, factors that our range of products more than satisfies.”
The EuroClass A Rating for fire performance that AliDeck’s aluminium decking carries is an instant route to compliance with regulations, resolving the bulk of concerns for EWS1-failed balconies. With aluminium decking acting as an easy-to-install direct replacement for timber or composite decking, the logistics of refurbishing even large buildings with many decked areas are relatively straightforward.
“We are always happy to collaborate closely with our refurbishment customers,” said Richard. “Not only does this help us achieve maximum cost-effectiveness by being able to precisely plan materials quantities, it also allows us to design the products in to the building correctly for simple installation and a tailored, project-specific schedule.”
While remediation is certainly proving a major challenge for building owners and leaseholders, the emergence of simple, effective, off-the-shelf solutions to the problem such as those manufactured by AliDeck offers light at the end of the tunnel. With the further insight provided by AliDeck’s CPD programme and their keenness to offer in-depth technical support, property managers can be reassured that their fire safety works can be readily and easily tackled.
If you would like to arrange AliDeck’s fire safety remediation CPD for your organisation or find out more about their non-combustible balcony component systems, contact AliDeck on 01622 534 032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.