While aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding gives a beautiful touch to any building as well as offers protection for inner layers acting as a rain screen. As alluring as the metallic finish looks to people passing by, keep in mind that the use of ACM cladding materials has been carefully monitored and now heavily regulated since the Grenfell Tower fire.
An expert advisory panel advised the government to undertake identification screening of residential buildings that tower over 18 metres tall for safety measures. ACM claddings come in different types, which means that to be able to utilize these for your structure, you may need an inspection beforehand.
ACM Cladding And Combustibility
Some kinds of ACM cladding are highly combustible and can cause fires to spread at a fast rate. While not all kinds are dangerous, it is important to use the right type. The panels must include materials of Class A2 to s3, d2 or better in order to meet BS EN 13501-1, which proves that the panels are safe for use when it comes to buildings that are over 18 metres tall.
ACM Panel Testing
Shortly after the fire of the Grenfell Tower, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) studied and identified the type of ACM used for the tower. Combined with different types of insulation, they tested these cladding panels with fire to see what was safe enough to use to ensure history does not repeat itself.
The UK government has since issued free safety checks for ACM cladding, which is done by looking at an edge that has been cut where the lamination is visible. In cases where there is no cut edge, a hole in the panel needs to be cut. This will indicate if the panel contains combustible materials that can endanger the lives of people who live or work in the building.
What To Do If Your Cladding Is Deemed Unsafe For Use
If you have sent your cladding sample in and it has been deemed unsafe for use, then it is best to go for a re-clad in order to keep your building safe from potential fire hazards, as well as staying in line with UK laws regarding fire safety and prevention. If you are a building owner who deals with the private residential sector, it becomes your responsibility to ensure the safety of residents by carrying out necessary measures.
With testing available free of charge, you will be able to identify areas that need improvement and changes when it comes to ACM cladding. The best course of action to take is to consult with a competant and professional contractor (like Stanlil) that can help with the fill process from start to finish – including grant applications.
Picking the proper building materials for a safe structure when it comes to all kinds of hazards is important and is required by law for the safety of all those who reside in a building. A residential tower that houses hundreds or even thousands of tenants means that hazards have to be constantly monitored, and in turn ensuring that the buildings are always up to date. It is important to prevent the fire hazards that take the lives of many, as evident in the Grenfell Tower fire.
Stanlil are a commercial building and UK main contractor specialising in construction jobs all over the UK. Contact our team who will help organise building inspections, and provide you with the best course of action for both safety and aesthetic value.