Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Combustible ban to cost £337m over next 10 years

The government’s ban on combustible cladding on high-rise blocks will cost up to £337m over the next decade, official documents have forecast. 

The impact assessment on the combustible ban announced by communities secretary James Brokenshire has estimated the annual direct cost to developers and owners at between £249m and £337m over 10 years.

The assessment has been drawn up by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to estimate the costs of different options available to ministers, including a ‘do nothing’ option.

The MHCLG analysis outlines two options: option 1 includes a partial ban, which would allow a mixture of combustible and non-combustible materials; option 2, which the government has chosen, is a full ban.

Balconies are set to cost the most to adapt, with cost estimates ranging from £250 to £750 per unit as timber decking and joists are replaced.

The combustibles ban applies to all new buildings containing flats over 18 m tall.

The new measures also cover hospitals, residential care homes, dormitories in boarding schools and student accommodation.

The MHCLG added that schools over 18 m built as part of the government’s centrally delivered build programmes will also not use combustible materials on external walls, in line with the terms of the ban.

Earlier this year Mr Brokenshire (pictured) said that he wished to “learn and apply” the lessons from the Grenfell Tower fire last July.

The ban on combustible materials follows on from the report by Dame Hackitt, which called for a new regulatory system for fire safety, but stopped short of proposing an outright ban on the use of combustible cladding.

Announcing the new regulations Mr Brokenshire said: “Everyone has a right to feel safe in their homes and I have repeatedly made clear that building owners and developers must replace dangerous ACM cladding. And the costs must not be passed on to leaseholders.

“My message is clear: private building owners must pay for this work now or they should expect to pay more later.”

In a statement, the MHCLG added: “Local authorities will get the government’s full backing, including financial support if necessary, to enable them to carry out emergency work on affected private residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding.

“They will recover the costs from building owners. This will allow buildings to be made permanently safe without delay.”

The new regulations also may have an impact on buildings over 18 m in height constructed out of engineered timber.

In a note on timber building, the impact assessment stated: “The policy prohibits the use of timber materials in the external wall of buildings within the scope.

“Currently the number of projects above 18 m in height where load-bearing structural timber elements are used remains relatively small. The effect of the ban on the use of engineered timber remains limited in the short term.

“There is however a growing number of buildings above 18 m in height using engineered timber as part of their structure. Engineered timber offers an alternative to traditional methods of construction in buildings within the scope of the policy. It is therefore likely to slow down the use of engineered timber in future development in the medium to long term.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.