Following a recent amendment to the Building Regulations 2018 in England, landlords of flats within high rise buildings, need to be aware of the new requirements which aim to improve fire safety.
The amendment requires that any materials used in external walls of high-rise residential buildings (over 18m high) must be class A2-s1d0 or be classified as A1 fire resistant. This impacts on the installation of any new gas boilers in residential buildings as the material requirement bans flues that contain combustible materials.
This presents an issue for boiler flues, as currently there are no flue systems on the market that do not contain a plastic inner, which of course is combustible. According to one supplier Ideal;
“Currently, to our knowledge, no flue system on the market fulfils this requirement. The flues fitted with Ideal domestic boilers comprises a steel painted outer air duct and internal polypropylene plastic inner flue duct. As the inner flue material is classed as a combustible material according to the standard this type of flue can no longer be fitted to achieve compliance with Building Regulations.” 30 August 2019
The government department in charge of regulation, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), have started a review into boiler flues, but have advised this could take 6-9 months and the outcome is unknown. In other industries many other building components such as uPVC doors and windows are exempt from the ruling. The latest update does offer some hope to Landlords affected with a temporary solution:
“In the interim, local authorities have discretion under section 8 of the Building Act to relax requirements of the regulations on a case by case basis where it is considered that the requirements would be unreasonable in a particular circumstance*.”
This means that in some cases where the local authority can be satisfied that there is minimal fire risk to the building and alternative heating solutions are not a viable option, flues with plastic components can be considered.
This is an interim solution and we will continue to watch the advice from the MHCLG and indeed look at how the flues are developed. If you are a landlord of a flat within a high rise building and are looking at your options for a new boiler, then please get in touch.
At Carshalton Boilers we specialise in Boiler installations and pride ourselves on the superb service we offer all our customers. To find out more about our services or to book an appointment, call us today on 020 83958060.