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
6. Conclusions and recommendations

6. Conclusions and recommendations

6.1 Conclusions

The Scottish Government have carried out data collection on HPL cladding and the following points are concluded:

  • A total of 393 buildings that had external HPL cladding installed across the eight building sectors. 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 extent of use of HPL cladding across the eight sectors, varies from 1% to 12%, however the number of buildings in each sectors varied substantially.
  • The geographical distribution of the buildings that have external HPL cladding installed across the eight building sectors is concentrated in ten local authorities, accounting for 78% of the buildings.
  • High-rise domestic buildings: the majority of buildings have the highest levels of fire performance, either Class 0 from the BS classification, or A1/A2/B Euro-classification. The insulation is mineral wool in the majority of cases, with lesser buildings with combustible insulation. The extent of HPL cladding coverage on the buildings is variable, with four being more than 80% clad and 62 less than 40%.
  • Care homes: five buildings have a high level of fire performance, in these cases Class 0, two buildings have lesser fire performance. No care home buildings have insulation exposed in the cavity. The seven care homes have less than 40% cladding coverage.
  • Hotels: three buildings have a high level of fire performance, either Class 0 from the BS classification, or B Euro-classification. Mineral wool insulation is present on one building, but no other insulation is present for the other four buildings. The five hotels have less than 40% cladding coverage.
  • Prisons: only one prison building had HPL cladding, which had a Euroclass D specification with phenolic insulation. The extent of cladding was less than 20%, and therefore a limited amount across a two storey building.
  • Schools: these sectors had the largest number of buildings at 253, and across the widest geographic coverage of 26 local authorities. The fire performance is dispersed across the classifications, although a majority of known classifications are in the higher performing categories, either Class 0 from the BS classification, or A1/A2/B Euro-classification. Insulation exposed in the cladding cavity is limited to a minority of school buildings. The extent of HPL cladding coverage on the buildings is towards the lower end, with only three being more than 80% clad and 147 less than 20%.
  • Universities and colleges: this sector had 27 buildings with HPL. The fire performance is dispersed across the classifications, although a majority of known classifications are in the higher performing categories, either Class 0 from the BS classification, or A1/A2/B Euro-classification. Insulation exposed in the cladding cavity is limited to a minority of buildings. The extent of HPL cladding coverage on the these buildings is towards the lower end, with none being more than 80% clad and 16 out of 27 less than 20%.

6.2 Recommendations

The following recommendations are intended for the owners and managers of buildings:

  • Consider the external wall, including HPL, as part of a holistic fire risk assessment of a building.
  • Use the Scottish Advice Note (2021) to assess and manage the risk from HPL cladding. The scope of the guidance is residential buildings, which cover multi-storey blocks of flats, care homes, hotels, hospitals and other residential buildings.
  • For non-residential buildings consider the HPL cladding as part of the holistic approach to managing risk including the means of escape in the event of fire.
  • For domestic blocks of flats, use the Practical Guide for External Wall Appraisals (to be published 2021) for the approach and methodology for assessing the HPL cladding system.
  • Reference to building standards and related guidance should use the relevant version of the technical handbooks applicable on the date of building warrant application.

Contact

Email: William.Welsh@gov.scot