Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
October 23, 2020


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ACM cladding remediation works “begun or completed on 77% of identified high-rise buildings”, says MHCLG

In the latest figures revealed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG), remediation works to remove and replace unsafe Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) cladding have either started or been completed on 77% of those high-rise buildings identified.

This figure is an increase of 10 since August, says MHCLG, while 41% of buildings have completed all remediation works – an increase of 22. However, this does leave another 105 buildings where work hasn’t begun – only eight of these are vacant.

The data was released by the Government on 15th October and is correct from 30th September, as part of its Building Safety Programme Monthly Data Release.

The removal of ACM cladding from high-rise buildings came as a result of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, with the UK Government having commissioned a series of large-scale system tests to assess how different ACM panels with different insulation types behave in a fire. Urgent advice was then provided to building owners who would need to take action.

With 23% of the high-rise buildings that were identified as ‘unlikely to meet Building Regulations’ by the Government still yet to begin any remediation work, many in the sector will argue that the process has not been carried out quickly enough.

MHCLG does point out in its latest Building Safety Data Release that the task is a “complex process”, with remediation work “addressing any issues with the exterior cladding system and broader fire safety systems for each building… All of this work takes time and varies considerably depending on the building structure.”

The estimated total number of high-rise multi-occupied buildings (18m or more in height) in England is 12,500 – 456 were identified as high risk, with “ACM cladding systems unlikely to meet Building Regulations”. Commentators in the industry, however, regularly argue that there are many more thousands of potential ‘at risk’ buildings with unsafe cladding – campaigners continue to highlight the dangers of not identifying other buildings “with just as dangerous non-ACM cladding” as high risk.

The majority of social sector buildings (95%) have either completed or started remediation, while only 61% of private sector buildings have started the process.

The debate over the available funds for the replacement of ACM cladding on high-rise buildings in the private sector remains, as demonstrated in a spotlight video on the BBC earlier this week. In the video, a private leaseholder in Leeds explains the costs being passed on to them for remediation works could result in a repair bill of tens of thousands of pounds. While the Government says funds have been made available, including a £1billion Building Safety Fund investment announced in March, campaigners say it simply does not go far enough.

Read the full Building Safety Programme Monthly Data Release.

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