Combustible Materials And The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 - The Year In Review

Shortly before the turn of the New Year it was the anniversary of the coming into force of the Building (Amendment) Regulations 20181. As 2020 begins, we look back on the status of those regulations, relevant developments during the course of their first year in force and a brief look towards what we expect to see in 2020.

The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018

We first reported on the significant changes to the Building Regulations 2010 in our December 2018 update, The ban on combustible materials in the external wall of buildings.

Here we summarised the key changes to the Building Regulations 2010 following the publication of the Hackitt Final Report in May 2018. Those changes were followed by, and now need to be read alongside, a "clarified version" of the Approved Document B guidance, which was published in July 2019 following a consultation period with industry that closed in March 2019 requesting feedback on the technical fire safety aspects of the new building regulations (see, Fire safety in high rise buildings - the next steps).

One area that remains open to interpretation is the combustibility of materials used in fixtures and devices attached to an external wall (as opposed to those forming part of the external wall itself), which are designed to reduce a building's heat (for example, shutters, blinds and awnings). Following judicial review and a judgment released in November 20192, the British Blind & Shutter Association successfully overturned that part of the Building Regulations relating to such fixtures3.

We noted that further legislation is expected to address all 53 of the recommendations from the Hackitt Report. A Building Safety Bill was announced in the Queen's Speech (see, The Queen's speech sets out what's next for building safety reforms) as was a proposal that developers of new build high rise buildings will be obliged to join a New Home Ombudsman4. With the Government now having a majority, we are hopeful that there will be announcements in this area shortly.

Do Approved Inspectors owe a duty of care?

We also considered whether or not Approved Inspectors (exercising their functions under Part II of the Building Act 1984) owe a duty under s1(1) of the Defective Premises Act 1972. In our article, Do Approved Inspectors owe a duty under s1(1) of the Defective Premises Act 1972 in the exercise of their building control functions?, we highlighted that the Court of Appeal5 had provided binding and persuasive authority...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT