Legislation bans combustible cladding on high-risk buildings

03 May 2022

Article: 56/1710

On 22 April 2022, legislation to improve fire safety and boost Scotland’s net-zero ambitions was presented to the Scottish Parliament. Under the legislation, developers will be banned from using combustible cladding on high-rise buildings. 

Since 2005, new cladding systems on high rise blocks of flats have either had to use non-combustible materials or pass a large-scale fire test. The building standards legislation removes the option of a fire test, completely prohibiting such materials from use on domestic and other high-risk buildings over the height of 11 metres such as care homes and hospitals, which contain:

  • a dwelling
  • a building used as a place of assembly
  • a building used as a place of entertainment or recreation
  • a hospital
  • a residential care building or sheltered housing complex, or a shared multi-occupancy residential building 

Further, the highest risk metal composite cladding material will be banned from any new building of any height, with replacement cladding also required to meet the new standards. 

The legislation also includes improvements to energy performance standards, aiming to make buildings easier to heat while ensuring they are well ventilated and comfortable to live in.

Changes to requirements on fire safety of cladding systems will be introduced on 1 June 2022, while improvements to energy and environmental standards will apply from 1 October 2022. The changes have been brought in following public consultations in 2021 on the fire safety of cladding systems and on energy and environmental standards. Supporting technical handbooks, which set out the full detail of changes, will be published from the start of May. 

Source: Scottish Government, 22 April 2022