This report presents the conclusions and recommendations of the Review Panel on Building Standards (Fire Safety) in Scotland, established by a Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety in September 2017 as part of their response to the fire at Grenfell Tower. The Review Panel met three times and after each meeting the agreed notes of its discussions were reviewed by an international group of fire safety regulators. The principal conclusions and recommendations are:
1) The current structure of mandatory functional standards supported with performance based or prescriptive guidance in the Technical Handbooks works and should be retained.
2) The Technical Handbooks should make clearer the status, functions and limitations of the guidance.
3) A better mechanism is required for the verification of fire safety engineering solutions for complex buildings and this might be in the form of a national "hub" to verify such applications.
4) Changes are needed to the simple guidance on external cladding, cavities and fire spread on external walls. In particular, the restrictions on the use of certain materials should be applied to all buildings with a storey at a height of over 11m, rather than 18m as at present. Further, these restrictions should apply to entertainment and assembly buildings, residential care homes and hospitals of any height. However, full scale fire testing should still be an alternative method of showing compliance.
5) Changes are needed to the simple guidance on escape. In particular, in domestic buildings over 18m there should be two stairways and fire service activated evacuation sounders in each flat.
6) The requirement for automatic fire suppression systems should be extended to some additional building groups. In particular, Houses in Multiple Occupation ( HMOs) used for "care" 24/7 and HMOs with 10 or more residents.
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