Help shape our response to the latest technical review of Approved Document B – member briefing

02 February 2023

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is currently consulting on proposed amendments to Approved Document B – the guidance on meeting the fire safety requirements set out in building regulations.

Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, the government committed to reviewing Approved Document B, and as part of this consultation are proposing the following changes:

  • To require sprinklers in all new care homes, regardless of the height of the building.
  • To remove the national classification system for describing construction products’ reaction to fire and fire resistance, and require all relevant construction products to be classified to the British Standards version of the European Classification.
  • To require new residential buildings that are above 30m in height to be designed and built with two staircases.

The NHF supports the government’s proposal to require sprinklers in all new care homes. We are seeking clarity from the government on the specific definition of care home in this context.

We support the government’s proposals to ensure new residential buildings are fit for purpose. We are keen to understand the evidence behind the decision to set 30m as the maximum height threshold for using a single staircase in residential buildings, and why a lower threshold was not recommended. We also support the government’s proposed approach to withdrawing the use of national classifications for reaction to fire and fire resistance of construction products.

The NHF will be responding to this consultation on behalf of the sector, and we welcome our members’ views to inform our submission. To help shape our response we are seeking views from members in response to the questions and proposals outlined in our briefing.

We are asking housing associations to get in touch and share their views by no later than Monday 6 March 2023.

Who to speak to

Victoria Moffett, Head of Building and Fire Safety Programmes