Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, the Scottish Government took the swift decision to establish a Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety to review Scotland's building and fire safety regulatory frameworks. As part of the group's actions relating to building standards, two expert panels were created. One to review compliance and enforcement aspects of the building standards system and one to review the fire safety aspects primarily relating to high rise domestic buildings.
Recommendations from these reviews have already been implemented including tightening up of controls over combustible cladding, improved escape and assistance to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in unlikely event that partial or full evacuation of residents in new high rise domestic buildings is required. More recently, automatic fire suppression systems are now mandatory in all new build blocks of flats, social housing and shared multi-occupancy residential buildings. The Building Standards Futures Board has also been established to oversee longer term ambitions to improve compliance with building regulations.
This ongoing review has seen a panel of experts consider a ban on the highest risk cladding material and give further consideration to acceptable façade system testing. We believe the proposed actions set out by the review panel, offer the opportunity to ensure that future buildings in Scotland's are even safer for the people of Scotland who will live in, and use them each day.
I am grateful to the many panel members who gave their time and expert knowledge on how best to further improve fire safety of cladding systems used in buildings. I would also like to express my gratitude to former minister, Kevin Stewart, for his prior support and direction in moving this important work forward.
This consultation consolidates the recommendations made by the expert panel and seeks views on proposed changes to building regulations and supporting guidance contained in Section 2: fire of the technical handbooks.
I hope you will take this opportunity to give us your thoughts.
Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government