Fire safety is the key issue of our times. While the new build sector has relatively easily made the transition to using fire safe materials, the issue of combustible material in the external walls of existing buildings has caused major concerns for all stakeholders. We spoke to Richard Izzard, managing director of aluminium decking manufacturer AliDeck, to find out more about successful fire remediation of combustible balconies.

Leaseholders and building owners up and down the country have been caught in an incredibly frustrating and difficult situation across the last 18 months. In the aftermath of the Grenfell fire, mortgage lenders became increasingly reluctant to provide loans on properties in high-rise buildings. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the BSA, and UK Finance developed the External Wall Fire Review scheme (and its EWS1 survey form) in an attempt to provide an industry-led solution.


Following the Grenfell tragedy, root and branch change has been demanded across construction practice and the regulatory landscape has consequently been in a state of evolution. Against the backdrop of a raft of updates in legislation and building regulations, as well as multiple Advice Notes addressing fire safety in the external envelope of buildings, industry stakeholders and BSI recently published a new British Standard for balcony design; BS8579:2020. We spoke to Richard Izzard, managing director of aluminium decking manufacturer AliDeck, to find out more.

Aluminium decking

As fire-safety concerns continue to pose major challenge for housing providers across the UK, successful remediations are to be celebrated. We spoke with Richard Izzard, managing director at aluminium decking manufacturer AliDeck, about a recent retrofit project in Lewisham.

With the ongoing flammable cladding and fire-safety crisis occupying the trade headlines on a daily basis, it is easy to begin to feel an uncomfortable familiarity with the scandal and to perhaps start to lose sight of its devastating impact, both on building owners in the housing sector and on residents.


locking package

Working with established manufacturer partner FUHR, Carl F Groupco has created a bespoke stainless-steel locking package for Senior Architectural Systems PURe® aluminium door range. Carl F Groupco’s hardware met the fenestration system company’s requirements for quality and innovation for its high-performance door profile, which features an expanded polyurethane thermal barrier for advanced thermal performance.

curtain walling

Mention curtain walling to any specifier or contractor and it’s an odds on bet they won’t associate the term with residential projects. However, technical developments have gradually extended the design scope of such systems, first to multiple occupancy housing and subsequently to individual architect-designed homes.
So, what has prompted this? When you look at what curtain walling is this should come as no real surprise. Essentially, it is a façade with framing made of metal, PVCu or timber with vertical or horizontal elements. These are anchored to the supporting structure to provide the functions of an external wall without it being load-bearing. This has positive benefits in terms of installation speed and cost.


External Fire Wall Review

Following the Grenfell tragedy, various building regulation updates and Government initiatives attempted to resolve the flammable cladding issue by outlawing combustible materials and mandating its replacement in existing buildings with non-combustible alternatives.

The External Wall Fire Review/EWS1 process was developed as a solution to this issue via a cross-industry working group consisting of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Building Societies Association (BSA), and UK Finance. Launched in December 2019, this process was intended to provide a framework by which mortgage lenders could be assured that the risk on their loans was suitably mitigated, unblocking the logjam and allowing homeowners to sell their properties.

combustible materials

Smoking remains one of the leading causes of fires, with hundreds of fires around the country caused by discarded cigarettes each year. In November 2019, The Cube in Bolton was devastated by a fire [2] now concluded to have been started by a discarded cigarette on a combustible balcony. This is, sadly, a staggeringly common occurrence with a litany of balcony fires caused by smoking materials the length and breadth of the country.