Back in June, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) announced that there would be new guidance in place in response to the changes in fire safety regulations. The document itself, which has been two years in the making, is targeted at those who initially design and specify flat roofing and waterproofing systems. While this doesn’t directly target us, it will impact the work that we do with flat roofing.
Behind The Document
The fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017 spurred on a range of fire hazard risk assessments across the country with the aim of reducing the number of flammable materials that are used on properties across the country. This has included a review of the materials that are used in flat roofing.
A statement released by the NFRC states that:
“The guidance follows dialogue with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). It focuses on Approved Document B, which was amended in 2019 following the Government’s ban on using combustible materials in the external walls of high rise residential buildings of 18 metres and over.
Approved Document B now states that any products with membranes forming part of external walls on high rise residential buildings need to meet the BS EN 13501-1 fire class requirements and achieve a result that deems them non-combustible.
In addition to explaining changes to fire safety legislation, the new guidance addresses questions that have been raised regarding the implications of the new regulations on flat roofing and waterproofing membranes. These include queries about how to interpret sections in Approved Document B referring to ‘specified attachments’ and roofs that connect to external walls.
The document clarifies the definitions of an external wall and that a ‘specified attachment’ is a balcony or solar panel attached to an external wall. It explains how waterproofing membranes can be used on balconies and how these structures are differentiated from roof terraces. Using insulation as part of the roof dressed up the wall, which is known as a ‘thermal break’, is also discussed.”
If you have any questions on the information we have discussed you can either visit the National Association of Roofing Contractors website or get in touch with a member of our team today who will be happy to assist you. Check back to our blogs regularly for more information and the latest news.