Amendments to ADB and impact on insulation

In June 2022 HM Government introduced the latest set of amendments to Approved Document B: Fire safety, amendments that came into effect in December 2022. The implementation date means that if a project had received its building notice, initial notice or full plans before December 2022 and work starts before June 2023, the old regulations can be applied. If these conditions are not met the new updated regulations are relevant to the project.

Before we look at the impact of the new amendments on flat roof insulation, we’ll provide a quick reminder of the importance and significance of the Approved Documents.  

The 4 Nations of the United Kingdom publish statutory instruments (legal requirements) for the construction of dwellings (homes) and non-dwellings. These documents set the minimum legal requirements for life safety. Those documents are:

• England = The Building Regulations.

• Scotland = The Building (Scotland) Regulations.

• Wales = The Building Regulations.

• Northern Ireland = Building Regulations (Northern Ireland).

To help the construction industry comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations the relevant ministerial department within the Governments of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland publish guidance documents called Approved documents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, whilst in Scotland they are referred to as Technical Handbooks. These guidance document provide one method of demonstrating and achieving compliance with the Building Regulations and are therefore typically followed as they provide the simplest method to comply.

Approved Document B covers fire safety, both internal and external, with a focus on roofs and walls contained within section B4.

Now the easy bit!

The December 2022 amendments made some significant changes to the overall regulations but the good news for the flat roofing industry is that none of them impacted on the types of insulation that can be used in a flat roof, the relevant parts of the regulations remain as they have since the 2018 amendments when specified attachments were introduced. So it’s business as usual with one minor change to note.

The Regulation 7(3)(e) exemption has been expanded to include ‘insulation and waterproofing materials up to 300mm above ground level’, so insulation in this application no longer needs to achieve class A1 or A2 to BS EN 13501-5 (what is generally called non-combustible). Not a change relevant to every project but certainly relevant to those with an insulated ground level podium.

Next month: ROCKWOOL® Hardrock Multi-Fix Recovery Board