Understanding and complying with Approved Document B

Since the ban on using combustible materials in residential buildings of 18 metres and higher, there have been many questions surrounding compliance. Ryno has launched IGNO in a bid to make it straightforward.

Following the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017, section B4 of the Building Regulations – which focus on external fire spread – came under review, resulting in updates and changes to the guidance around combustible cladding and fire risk.

In April 2019, after further amendments, an updated Document B came into force. The amended regulations ban the use of combustible materials in the external walls and specified attachments (such as balconies) of new buildings of 18 metres or more – or where work is carried out on existing buildings of the same height. These restrictions apply to residential blocks of flats, care homes, sheltered housing, student accommodation, hospitals and boarding school dormitories.

The government further clarified its position in July 2019 by advising building control officers to also check the cladding on buildings under 18 metres. They urge building owners to remove combustible materials from balconies if they are found in order to comply with Requirement B4.

In early 2020, housing secretary Robert Jenrick outlined plans to reduce the 18-metre threshold further, telling the House of Commons:

“We banned the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise buildings in December 2018… and today (20 January) I am announcing a consultation on the ban, again going significantly further, including by lowering the 18-metre height threshold to at most 11 metres.”

These amendments to the regulations have created a lot of uncertainty around the law and best practice. The industry has seen many substandard substitute balcony and cladding products popping up; shouting about fire-rating, but falling well short on technical characteristics, such as loading capacity.

To help customers meet Building Regulations and requirements under Regulation 38, Ryno has launched the IGNO range of non-combustible products, created following the same exhaustive design principles the company has always used.

IGNO is a mark of assurance on all Ryno non-combustible products for the construction sector. It signifies non-combustible innovation that goes beyond compliance to build in protection.

For more information and technical support, visit: www.rynogroup.co.uk or connect on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/ryno-ltd