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Approved Document B amends guidance on fire safety

Approved Document B (ADB) was amended in June 2022, with the new guidelines laid out set to take effect from the 1st of December 2022 on projects in England. For those projects whose initial notice was given to a local authority prior to the 1st of December 2022 and either the building work has started or building work is starting within six months of the 1st of December, the prior guidelines still apply.

Fundamentally, the major amendments follow the assent of the Building Safety Act on the 28th of April 2022. Two of those amendments include a change of guidance applying above 11m (formally 18m) and a broader scope covering more building categories not previously under the requirements of Part B.

The document attached is up-to-date and relevant as of the date of this page being published.

A summary of changes

The main changes made by the 2022 amendments are those focused on fire safety provisions such as:

a. A ban of combustible materials both in and on the external walls of buildings. These are consequential amendments following the laying of the Building (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2022. Further updated provisions are included in Section 10 for residential buildings (purpose groups 1 and 2) with a storey of 11 metres or more in height.

b. A new recommendation for secure information boxes in blocks of flats with storeys over 11 metres.

c. A new recommendation for evacuation alert systems in blocks of flats with storeys over 18 metres.

d. Clarifications and corrections:

Clarification of further diagrams, further text clarifications and corrections.

The changes are set out in the June 2022 ADB amendment booklet and November 2022 correction notice.

What can we learn from changes to Approved Document B?

These changes to Part B have meant a restriction of the materials used to construct residential high-rise buildings with consideration for fire safety in mind. Further consideration has been given to elements of a building’s external envelope, such as the fire safety features in a balcony. With these changes in place, it shows a shift in the perception of the control of fire and fire safety more generally, making our buildings safer.

If you'd like to learn more about the crucial nature of fire safety in high-rise residential construction, book a CPD with Resibuild today:

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