Government bans using combustible materials in high rise residences

Regulations were laid before Parliament on 29 November 2018 and will come into force on 21 December 2018. The Regulations ban the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings and apply to all new residential buildings, boarding school dormitories, student accommodation, registered care homes and hospitals above 18 metres. Existing buildings within one of these categories will be covered by the ban where building work is a "material change of use”.

Please click here for the Government’s press release.

Anyone signed up to a live building contract, or with a project about to start, needs to consider how change in law risks are dealt with. For example, under the unamended JCT Design and Build Contract 2016, a concern for Employers must be clause 2.15.2.1 and the possibility that compliance with the amended regulations will necessitate alterations which give rise to a Change. Given the increased cost of A1 and A2 cladding, a Change could end up resulting in significant additional costs for Employers.

If you are currently negotiating a building contract which will commence before the Regulations are changed, then a carefully worded Schedule of Amendments could be used to address this issue.

 

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