Services

External wall compliance survey and remedial works package

Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in 2017, there has rightly been an increased focus on fire safety in high rise buildings. Increasingly, this has consequences for landlords and homeowners, especially when applying for mortgage funding.

As new information came to light, MHCLG concluded that combustible cladding systems should be banned from all new high-rise buildings. New regulations came into effect on 21 December 2018 for all new planning applications.

MHCLG also published advice relating to cladding systems on existing buildings known. This advice recommends that cladding systems should be of limited combustibility (rated A2 or higher) and that they satisfy the performance criteria produced by BRE Global and set out in BR135. To assess overall combustibility, it is necessary to consider not just the materials used, but also how the cladding system was assembled and the correct provision of cavity barriers within the external wall.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), The Building Societies Association (BSA), and UK Finance agreed a new industry-wide valuation process which will help people buy and sell homes and re-mortgage in buildings above 18 metres (six storeys).


The industry is also encouraging the owners of these buildings to proactively pursue independent testing of external wall materials and construction to safely speed up the process for buyers and sellers. The RICS have developed the EWS1 Form to act as a fire safety compliance certificate for the external wall of relevant buildings. Only one assessment will be needed for each building and this will be valid for five years

External wall fire risk assessment 

It is a legal requirement for a responsible person (as defined within the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) to have an up-to-date fire risk assessment and to take general precautions for buildings within the scope of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Fire risk assessments should take into account the principles set out in the Fire Safety in Purpose-Built Blocks of Flats guidance published by the Local Government Association. Any fire risk assessment conducted should take in to account the likely fire performance of the external wall, as set out in section 72 of the LGA guidance.


NW Fire Engineering provide our clients with a bespoke fire risk assessment of the external wall considering the findings of the wall survey and the fire safety requirements of external fire spread.

Fire engineering design and fire strategy development

The fire safety design (or fire strategy) is a technical report documenting the legislative and client fire safety goals for a building.


A fire safety design can range from a basic description of how a building complies with industry design requirements, to a comprehensive fire engineered solution for specific design challenges.


NW Fire Engineering works closely with clients, design teams, contractors, and regulatory authorities to ensure all fire safety goals are achieved and potential risks are addressed within a cost effective and commercially aware fire safety design.

Fire safety design, and the development of an appropriate fire strategy, relies upon understanding the basis of design guidance and the ability to demonstrate that the project complies with local regulations.


We determine the most appropriate design guidance for a project so that it can meet the requirements of those regulations with minimal compromise to the project.


If a project does not easily meet the guidance, we draw on technical expertise in conjunction with a wide range of research outlets, to provide pragmatic fire engineering solutions.

Computational fluid dynami​​​​cs analysis 

Fire safety design, and the development of an appropriate fire strategy, relies upon understanding the basis of design guidance and the ability to demonstrate that the project complies with local regulations.


We determine the most appropriate design guidance for a project so that it can meet the requirements of those regulations with minimal compromise to the project.


If a project does not easily meet the guidance, we draw on technical expertise in conjunction with a wide range of research outlets, to provide pragmatic fire engineering solutions.

Structural fire compartmentation surveyance

The objective of fire compartmentation is to prevent the rapid spread of smoke and fire. By subdividing the building, we can protect escape routes, high risk or high value areas and prevent extensive losses.


 A suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment will typically involve a review of existing fire compartment measures. However, the scope of a fire risk assessment will not extensively cover every item of fire compartmentation. A more detailed survey may sometimes be recommended. Sampling can indicate the presence of significant issues, such as locating or confirming the presence of fire dampers or establishing if existing measures meet the requirements of current guidance or to meet other specific objectives.

What is included in a NW Fire Engineering compartmentation survey?

  • an assessment of the compartmentation strategy for the premises
  • a comprehensive visual inspection of the existing fire compartmentation provisions; which includes floors, walls, roof voids, basements, floor and ceiling voids, risers and shafts where present
  • an assessment of the condition of compartmentation and subsequent defects in accordance with relevant British Standards, Approved Document B of the Building Regulations and any site-specific fire strategy information made available
  • a detailed review of fire doors on the premises (which can also be undertaken as a separate exercise)
  • a clear action plan which outlines locations of defects, photographic evidence and suggested remedial actions to be taken
  • marking up of existing floor plans (if made available) to indicate the locations of compartment walls and fl

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