Policy Change Not Climate Change

The Offsite Hub this week discusses with Anthony Thistleton and Andrew Waugh from Waugh Thistleton, the impact the proposed Government Building Regulations extending the ban of combustible materials could have on the construction industry and what you can do to help. 

The Government is consulting on extending the ban on combustible materials to more building types and is proposing to lower the height from 18m to 11m, which will include all buildings of four storeys and above. This ban will severely inhibit our ability to decarbonise the UK construction industry.

The ban excludes the use of CLT or glulam in external walls of residential buildings and has already had a significant impact on the use of CLT in the UK. The ban is unnecessary as demonstrated by a significant volume of research around the safety of engineered timber systems in the UK and abroad.

The consultation on the ban on combustible materials closes at 23:45 on May 25th and we are encouraging as strong and wide a response from our industry as possible over the next month.

The issue

Whilst we unreservedly support stronger measures regarding the safety of buildings we argue that structural timber, when correctly designed, tested, and constructed, poses no greater threat to occupants, and is crucial to meeting our carbon emission targets for 2050 due its lower embodied carbon and carbon storage capability.

Together with Urban Splash we have created a model response that supports the key messages of the Timber Trade Federation and the Architects Climate Action Network:

  • Focus the ban on combustible cladding
  • Take a science-based approach
  • Align legislation with the Scottish approach

How you can help

  • Complete the MHCLG's survey and share a link to this page with others you think will have a view on this issue.
  • Use social media to raise the profile of the campaign's messages to maximise exposure and create interest in this issue.

 


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