Publication - Research and analysis

High pressure laminate cladding - data collection: summary report

Report on a data collection exercise to establish the extent of the use of external high pressure laminate (HPL) cladding across a number of building sectors in Scotland.

High pressure laminate cladding - data collection: summary report
4. Findings

4. Findings

4.1 Whole survey data summary

The HPL data collection identified a total of 393 buildings that have external HPL cladding installed across the eight sectors. Table 4.1 provides a summary of the findings across the eight sectors, numbers are also shown in figure 4.1.

A complete set of data returns was made by five of the sectors. The independent schools and hotel sectors were nearly 90% complete and the care home sector was 54% complete. The care home sector had a high number of buildings and a range of diverse ownerships, including local authorities and a range of private sector and charitable sector providers. Other sectors with larger numbers of buildings such as local authority schools and health buildings had lesser numbers of organisations to communicate with to ensure completion of the datasets.

The extent of use of HPL cladding across the eight sectors, varies from 1% to 12%. For high-rise domestic buildings there were 95 out of 774, or 12%, with external HPL cladding. The local authority school sector has 10% of schools with HPL. Prisons buildings are at 6%, although this is on a much smaller estate of buildings. Whilst the other sectors have between 1% and 5% with HPL.

Table 4.1: Summary of HPL data across eight sectors
  High rise domestic blocks Colleges and universities Local authority schools Independent schools Hospitals Prisons Hotels Care homes Totals
Number of buildings in survey 774 1,856 2,448 1,076 1,134 18 99 1,142 8547
Number of buildings with HPL installed 95 27 244 9 5 1 5 7 393
Number of buildings with HPL installed & storey floor ≥ 11m 95 10 17 1 0 0 5 0 128
Percentage of total Number of buildings in sector with HPL installed 12% 1% 10% 1% 0% 6% 5% 1%  
Percentage of total No. of buildings with HPL installed 24% 7% 62% 2% 1% 1% 1% 2%  
Percentage Completion 100% 100% 100% 89% 100% 100% 89% 54%  
Figure 4.1: Number of buildings with HPL across all sectors
Figure 4.1 displays the number of buildings that have external HPL cladding installed by building sector as follows: 95 high rise domestic buildings; 27 colleges and universities buildings; 253 buildings Local Authority and Independent Schools School buildings; 5 health buildings; 1 prison Building; 5 hotel buildings; 7 care home buildings.

4.2 High rise domestic buildings

4.2.1 Data summary

The high rise domestic buildings (HRDB)s in the data collection were all over 18 m. Local authorities supplied data for all of these buildings using building warrant records.

In total there were 95 HRDBs across six local authorities that have external HPL cladding installed. Of these 10 were in private ownership and one was owned by a registered social landlord. The remaining 84 were in local authority ownership.

The private blocks had been built with HPL cladding from the outset, with the building warrants being dated between 2005 and 2021. The local authority and Registered Social Landlord owned blocks were typically 1960s and 1970s high rises that had been overclad with HPL cladding from the mid-1990s through to around 2010.

The height of the 95 HRDBs varied from 20 m to 60 m, or between eight and 20 storeys.

The fire performance specification of the HPL cladding is summarised in table 4.2.

Table 4.2: Classification of HPL cladding in High Rise Domestic Buildings
Cladding specification Number of buildings
Class 0 41
Euroclass A1 / A2 6
Euroclass B 26
Euroclass C 0
Euroclass D 5
Euroclass E 0
Euroclass F 0
No classification given 17

Table 4.3 sets out the types of insulation used across the HRDBs.

Table 4.3: Insulation used with HPL cladding for High Rise Domestic Buildings
Insulation specification Number of buildings
Mineral wool 70
Phenolic 4
Polyurethane 3
Kingspan 1
No detail given / no insulation 17

The most common combinations of HPL fire performance classifications and insulation were as follows:

  • Euroclass A2 and phenolic insulation – 4
  • Euroclass B and mineral wool insulation – 25
  • Class 0 and mineral wool insulation – 40
  • Euroclass B and other insulation types – 0
  • Class 0 and other insulation types – 1
  • Euroclass C, D, E or F and mineral wool insulation – 5
  • Euroclass C, D, E or F and other insulation types – 0
  • No detail given / polyurethane insulation – 3.

The assessment of compliance with building regulations was carried out on the basis of information given in manufacturers data sheets for 52 buildings, and using third party certification for two buildings. In 11 cases the use of a BRE test report was cited as the basis of compliance. In the remaining 30 cases no information could be provided.

The surface area coverage of HPL cladding across the 95 buildings is given in table 4.4.

Table 4.4: Surface area of HPL for High Rise Domestic Buildings
Coverage of HPL cladding Number of buildings
0% to 20% 56
21% to 40% 6
41% to 60% 0
61% to 80% 29
>81% 4
Not known or not stated 0

In 52 cases a fire safety risk assessment (FRA) had been carried out on the building and the cladding, and in 40 of these cases the FRA required some remedial action. The types of remedial action included the following:

  • Address shortcomings in cladding and fire compartmentation – 33
  • Cavity barrier type and location – 1
  • Cavity Barrier type and location - panel compliance queried – 1
  • incorrectly installed vertical firebreak reinstalled – 1
  • Missing section of mineral wool insulation replaced – 1
  • Missing section of vertical fire barrier – 1
  • Missing vertical firebreak to 2nd floor level replaced – 2.

4.3 Care homes

4.3.1 Data summary

The care home buildings in the data collection were all equal to or under 8 m. The building owners were local authorities, charitable organisations and private companies who supplied data for these buildings based upon the building warrant records or their own building records.

In total there were seven care home buildings across four local authorities that had external HPL cladding installed. Of these were four that were in charitable and private ownership. The remaining three care homes were in local authority or housing association ownership.

The building warrants of these seven care homes were dated between 1999 and 2016.

The height of the seven care homes varied from 1 m to 8 m, or between one storey and three storeys.

The fire performance specification of the HPL cladding is summarised in table 4.5.

Table 4.5: Classification of HPL cladding in care homes
Cladding specification Number of buildings
Class 0 5
Class 2 1
Euroclass A1 / A2 0
Euroclass B 0
Euroclass C 0
Euroclass D 1
Euroclass E 0
Euroclass F 0
No classification given 0

None of the seven care home buildings had any insulation materials exposed in the external wally cavity.

The assessment of compliance with building regulations was carried out on the basis of information given in manufacturers data sheets for three buildings, and using third party certification for one building. In the remaining three cases drawings and specifications were cited as evidence of compliance.

The surface area coverage of HPL cladding across the seven buildings is given in table 4.6.

Table 4.6: Surface area of HPL for care homes
Coverage of HPL cladding Number of buildings
0% to 20% 5
21% to 40% 2
41% to 60% 0
61% to 80% 0
>81% 0
Not known or not stated 0

In six cases a fire safety risk assessment had not been carried out on the building and the cladding, and in the one case where a fire safety risk assessment had been carried out no remedial actions were identified.

4.4 Hotels

4.4.1 Data summary

The hotel buildings in the data collection were all equal to or over 18 m in height. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and private hotel companies supplied data for these buildings based on operational records or building records.

In total there were five hotel buildings that have external HPL cladding installed across two local authorities. All five were in private ownership.

The hotel buildings have building warrants being dated between 1982 and 2008.

The height of the five hotel buildings varied from 18 m to 40 m, or between six storeys and 13 storeys.

The fire performance specification of the HPL cladding is summarised in table 4.7.

Table 4.7: Classification of HPL cladding in hotels
Cladding specification Number of buildings
Class 0 2
Euroclass A1 / A2 0
Euroclass B 1
Euroclass C 0
Euroclass D 0
Euroclass E 0
Euroclass F 0
No classification given 2

Only one of the five hotel buildings had any insulation materials exposed in the external wally cavity.

Table 4.8 sets out the types of insulation used across the hotels.

Table 4.8: Insulation used with HPL cladding for hotels
Insulation specification Number of buildings
Mineral wool 1
Phenolic 0
Polyurethane 0
No detail given / no insulation 4

The most common combinations of HPL fire performance classifications and insulation were as follows:

  • Euroclass A2 and phenolic insulation – 0
  • Euroclass B and mineral wool insulation – 1
  • Class 0 and mineral wool insulation – 0
  • Euroclass B and other insulation types – 0
  • Class 0 and other insulation types – 0
  • Euroclass C, D, E or F and mineral wool insulation – 0
  • Euroclass C, D, E or F and other insulation types – 0
  • No detail given / no insulation – 4.

The assessment of compliance with building regulations was carried out on the basis of information given in manufacturers data sheets for two buildings, and using a Building Warrant completion certificate for one building. In the remaining two cases no information could be provided.

The surface area coverage of HPL cladding across the five buildings is given in table 4.9.

Table 4.9: Surface area of HPL for hotels
Coverage of HPL cladding Number of buildings
0% to 20% 2
21% to 40% 3
41% to 60% 0
61% to 80% 0
>81% 0
Not known or not stated 0

In 3 cases a fire safety risk assessment had been carried out on the building and the cladding, and in 2 of these cases the FRA required some remedial action. The types of remedial action included the following:

  • The risk assessment requires production of a BR135 assessment to justify the use of Trespa and the cavity barrier design as signed off by building control, which has been put to the original contractor and discussions are ongoing – 1
  • Insert extra fire dampening in some voids – 1.

4.5 Prisons

4.5.1 Data summary

The Scottish Prison Service supplied the data for all of the buildings in their estate using their building records.

The single prison building in the data collection is 4 m in height. The building had been built with HPL cladding from the outset, with the building warrant dated from 2009. The single building was two storeys in height.

The fire performance specification of the HPL cladding was Euroclass D, which was used with phenolic insulation.

The assessment of compliance with building regulations was carried out on the basis a fire safety strategy report, by a fire engineering specialist.

The surface area coverage of HPL cladding for the building was less than 20%.

4.6 Schools – local authority and independent

4.6.1 Data summary

The maximum height of the local authority (LA) and independent school buildings in the data collection was 15 m at the floor level of the top most storey. Local authorities and independent schools supplied data for all of these buildings using building warrant records and building records.

In total there were 253 schools buildings across 26 local authorities that have external HPL cladding installed. Of these 244 were in local authority ownership while the remaining 9 were owned or operated by independent schools.

The 253 schools buildings that have external HPL cladding installed have building warrants dated between 1970 and 2019.

The height of the schools buildings varies up to a maximum of 15 m, or between one storey and six storeys.

The fire performance specification of the HPL cladding is summarised in table 4.10.

Table 4.10: Classification of HPL cladding in local authority and independent school buildings
Cladding specification Number of buildings
Class 0 98
Class 1 4
Class 2 3
Euroclass A1 / A2 4
Euroclass B 30
Euroclass C 3
Euroclass D 52
Euroclass E 0
Euroclass F 0
No classification given 59

Table 4.11 sets out the types of insulation used across the LA and independent school buildings where any insulation materials were exposed in the external wall cavity.

Table 4.11: Insulation used with HPL cladding for local authority and independent school buildings
Insulation specification Number of buildings
Mineral wool 13
Phenolic 28
Polyurethane 1
Polyisocyanurate 5
Expanded Polystyrene 1
No detail given / no insulation 4

The most common combinations of HPL fire performance classifications and insulation were as follows:

  • Euroclass A2 and phenolic insulation – 0
  • Euroclass B and mineral wool insulation – 0
  • Class 0 and mineral wool insulation – 11
  • Class 1 and 2 phenolic insulation – 2
  • Class 2 and polyurethane – 1
  • Euroclass B and other insulation types – 7
  • Class 0 and other insulation types – 2
  • Euroclass C, D, E or F and mineral wool insulation – 2
  • Euroclass C, D, E or F and other insulation types – 8
  • No detail given / various insulation – 19.

The assessment of compliance with building regulations was carried out on the basis of information given in manufacturers data sheets for 158 buildings, and using third party certification for 21 buildings. Of the remaining cases, 26 demonstrated compliance by others means while no information could be provided in 48 cases.

The surface area coverage of HPL cladding across the 253 buildings is given in table 4.12.

Table 4.12: Surface area of HPL for local authority and independent school buildings
Coverage of HPL cladding Number of buildings
0% to 20% 147
21% to 40% 64
41% to 60% 25
61% to 80% 10
>81% 3
Not known or not stated 4

In 26 cases a fire safety risk assessment had been carried out on the building and the cladding, and in none of these cases was remedial action required.

4.7 Universities and colleges

4.7.1 Data summary

The maximum height of the university and college buildings in the data collection was 18 m at the floor level of the top most storey. Universities and colleges of further education (FE) supplied the data for all of these buildings using their systems of record.

In total there were 27 university and college buildings across twelve local authorities. Of these nine were owned by colleges of FE, 15 were owned by universities while the remainder were in private or local authority ownership.

The 27 university and college buildings that have external HPL cladding installed have building warrants dated between 1994 and 2019. The height of the 27 university and college buildings varies from 3 m to 18 m, or between one storey and six storeys.

The fire performance specification of the HPL cladding is summarised in table 4.13.

Table 4.13: Classification of HPL cladding in college and university buildings
Cladding specification Number of buildings
Class 0 5
Class 1 1
Class 2 2
Class 3 1
Euroclass A1 / A2 1
Euroclass B 9
Euroclass C 1
Euroclass D 6
Euroclass E 0
Euroclass F 0
No classification given 1

Table 4.14 sets out the types of insulation used across the 10 college and university buildings where any insulation materials were exposed in the external wall cavity.

Table 4.14: Insulation used with HPL cladding for college and university buildings
Insulation specification Number of buildings
Mineral wool 5
Phenolic 3
Polyurethane 0
Polyisocyanurate 1
No detail given / no insulation 1

The most common combinations of HPL fire performance classifications and insulation were as follows:

  • Euroclass A2 and mineral wool insulation – 1
  • Euroclass B and mineral wool insulation – 1
  • Class 0 and mineral wool insulation – 1
  • Class 2 and phenolic insulation – 2
  • Euroclass B and other insulation types – 1
  • Class 0 and other insulation types – 0
  • Euroclass C, D, E or F and mineral wool insulation – 2
  • Euroclass C, D, E or F and other insulation types – 1
  • No detail given / no insulation – 1.

The assessment of compliance with building regulations was carried out on the basis of information given in manufacturers data sheets for 14 buildings, and using third party certification for five buildings. In one case the use of a BRE test report was cited as the basis of compliance. In the remaining seven cases no information could be provided.

The surface area coverage of HPL cladding across the 27 buildings is given in table 4.15.

Table 4.15: Surface area of HPL for college and university buildings
Coverage of HPL cladding Number of buildings
0% to 20% 16
21% to 40% 1
41% to 60% 5
61% to 80% 5
>81% 0
Not known or not stated 0

In seven cases a fire safety risk assessment had been carried out on the building and the cladding, and in two of these cases the FRA required some remedial action to be taken. The types of remedial action included the following:

  • The cladding will be removed and replaced with non-combustible material.
  • The remedial work identified is the replacement of the panels, these are to be replaced with 8mm Trespa Meteon Fire Rated (FR).

4.8 Health buildings

4.8.1 Data summary

The National Health Service had undertaken a separate, pre-emptive data collection on health buildings that have external HPL cladding installed prior to this data collection. The NHS submitted a positive HPL return based on the separate data collection, which identified five buildings across four NHS Boards that may have external HPL cladding installed. No further details were supplied on these buildings.


Contact

Email: William.Welsh@gov.scot