Review Panel on Building Standards (Fire Safety) in Scotland: report

Report by Dr Paul Stollard on recommendations of the Review Panel on Building Standards (Fire Safety) in Scotland.

Conclusions and Recommendations

47. The Review Panel worked to ensure this report would be available to support a consultation on their conclusions in the summer of 2018. They also expressed their willingness to reconvene to consider the responses to this consultation and any additional issues which are raised, or which result from the Grenfell Inquiry.

48. The principal 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 (2.4 - 2.7):

4.1 Any building with a storey at over 11m above the ground should require A2 or better.

4.2 All entertainment and assembly buildings, residential care homes and hospitals of any height should also only be A2 or better.

4.3 BS8414 (and BR135) would remain as an alternative method of providing evidence to show compliance.

4.4 It is unhelpful and unnecessary to retain the British Standards as well as the European Standards in the guidance for "reaction to fire" tests.

5) Changes are needed to the simple guidance on Escape (2.9). In domestic buildings over 18m there should be:

5.1 Two stairways.

5.2 Fire service activated evacuation sounders in each flat.

6) The requirement for automatic fire suppression systems (2.15) should be extended to some additional building groups:

6.1 HMOs used for "care" 24/7 and HMOs with 10 or more residents.

6.2 Flats provided it can be done with simpler installations.

6.3 Single detached dwellings should not be included.


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