Rockwool comments on Populus survey highlighting concerns over high-rise combustible materials

Rockwool comments on Populus survey highlighting concerns over high-rise combustible materials

74% of construction industry professionals believe that using combustible materials on mid-, high-rise and sensitive buildings should be banned, according to a new survey by research consultancy, Populus and commissioned by Rockwool.

The survey polled senior staff working in the construction, civil engineering and architectural industries who have responsibility for specifying or detailing construction materials. Its findings come as Dame Judith Hackitt prepares to publish the full recommendations of her post-Grenfell review of the building and fire regulatory system.

Of the 250 professionals surveyed, more than 70% say that following the Grenfell tragedy, they would be less likely to use combustible materials on new build and retrofit residential projects. Respondents clearly want more government leadership, with 60% saying the Government, rather than the construction industry, should be responsible for defining fire safety in buildings. Significantly, nearly two-thirds also think a major overhaul of fire safety regulations in England is necessary.

What’s more, 93 % of those surveyed support publicly disclosing all test results and data used to secure approval of building materials, while 62% want the Hackitt Review to recommend banning desktop studies as a route to compliance.

Rockwool Group Senior Vice President Gilles Maria comments: “It’s encouraging to see the UK construction industry advocating so strongly for banning combustible materials on mid-, high-rise, and sensitive buildings. The Government should take note of the industry sentiment and act quickly to require the use of non-combustible cladding and insulation materials on these types of buildings.”

In other findings:

  1. 70% believe that prescriptive regulations will be most effective in improving public safety (vs. 23% who believe in outcome-based regulations)
  2. 71% agree that there is a need to make changes to the guidance in the Approved Documents of the Building Regulations in relation to fire
  3. 85% of builders, architects and construction professionals support the Government providing grant funding for remedial works to make blocks safe.

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