Fire spread amendment to NI building regs

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An amendment to the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 (as amended) has been made to address concerns in relation to external fire spread issues on external walls.

The Building (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022 also include specified attachments of buildings and refer to an up-to-date atlas of radon maps to establish the need for radon protection measures (or not) in dwellings. 

The Statutory Rule introduces a new prescriptive regulation in Part B (Materials and workmanship) of the building regulations to require materials which become part of an external wall or specified attachment of a ‘relevant building’ to achieve a minimum performance classification in relation to ‘reaction to fire’. In effect it bans the use of combustible materials on external walls and certain attachments on such buildings.

Amends to Part A (Interpretation and general) of the building regulations applies the new requirement in Part B to buildings which become a ‘relevant building’ after a material change of use.

The amendments also introduce a new definition of ‘radon affected area’ in Part C (site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture) of the building regulations to reference an updated atlas of radon maps. These new maps, based on the most recent radon surveys in Northern Ireland, will be used to determine if radon protection measures are necessary or not in dwellings. 

The Building (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022 comes into operation on 1 April 2022. The amending Statutory Rule can be found here.

Image credit | iStock
 

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