9 October 2019

Cladding podcast

Construction partner Andrew Parker and associate Dan Cudlipp talk to podcast host Miri Stickland about the impact of recent regulatory changes to the use of cladding on high rise buildings and who is responsible for the cost of replacing existing combustible cladding.

Some excerpts include:

“The Building Regulations require that building work must be carried out with adequate and appropriate materials in the circumstances. A second limb to that has now been introduced to ban combustible materials on residential buildings over 18 metres high. However, these changes won’t alone require remedial action to be taken in relation to completed buildings with combustible cladding. The trigger there is the fact that the building in question didn’t comply with the Regulations as they stood at the time when it was erected, extended or refurbished.”

“The Government has made funds available to replace existing combustible cladding, but the general feeling is that amount won’t be enough. There is also a requirement for anyone making an application to that fund to take steps to pursue those responsible for the defective cladding in the first place, but quite how far they will have to go remains to be seen. Ultimately, where the defect is a design issue, those parties responsible for the design and build of the building in the first place are going to have to answer those claims, which in turn means we are seeing a hardening in the professional indemnity insurance market.”

“In terms of hard and fast conclusions coming out of the Grenfell Enquiry, that is a couple of years away. Until we have those conclusions, it is difficult to know what the ultimate reaction of the industry will be. In the interim, where there are choices available, we are seeing people taking the more cautious approach, although obviously that has to considered in a commercial context as well.”

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