What is an External Wall Assessment?

After the residential block, Grenfell Tower, caught fire in North Kensington in June 2017, the importance of fire safety took centre stage.

Wide and far-reaching changes have been enacted ever since then to negate the chances of such a disaster from recurring. Part of the changes has been the introduction of health and safety assessments to ensure that tenants are well-protected.

The External Wall Assessment is one of such assessments that were designed to assess fire safety.

The purpose of the assessment is to assess the risk to occupants from a fire spreading over or within the external walls of the building and decide whether, in the specific circumstances of the building, remediation or other mitigating measures to address the risk are considered necessary.

Using the PAS9980 guidance, a surveying approach is adopted in order to provide information for project sites as part of our assessments. We consider and report on the overall fire safety measures in place to support our clients. This ultimately enables them to take proportionate and effective steps to improve fire safety in their buildings where necessary.

The External Wall Assessment was developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including lenders, fire engineers, values, and many other industry players.

FRAEW – Fire Risk Appraisals of External Walls (PAS 9980:2022)

What is PAS 9980:2022?

PAS 9980:2022 is a new code of practice providing a methodology for fire risk appraisals of external wall construction and cladding, which can be scaled up or down, depending on the complexity of the individual buildings, of existing multi-storey and multi-occupied residential buildings. It also addresses the risk of fire spread of other building types such as student accommodation and specialised housing. Developed by a steering group of field experts in construction, fire, housing, and safety, it is intended for use by competent fire engineers and building professionals when conducting fire risk appraisals of external walls (FRAEW).

Items reviewed in our assessments include:

Fire Strategy and Fire Risk Assessment, including Compartmentation and Fire Door Surveys

Cladding Configuration

Fire Performance

Our reports can be tailored and configured to specific requirements and upon completion, encompass all the relevant information regarding a building(s) in one detailed and informative report allowing you (if necessary) to look at any potential areas of concern and the level of risk associated with each.

PAS 9980:2022 is not intended as an alternative to the EWS1 (External wall Survey) form, which is for valuation purposes and is administered by RICS. If an initial external wall survey has been carried out and has highlighted risk, then our report will provide the necessary ancillary information to enable proportionate management of that risk and inform any further steps that should be considered.

PAS 9980:2022 emphasises the importance of proportionality in relation to risk and associated mitigation measures, including considerations of benefit, gained, practicality and cost.

EWS1 Forms

The EWS1 Form was created by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), The Building Societies Association (BSA) and UK Finance and came into effect from December 2019.

It is a document designed to allow residential building owners to confirm that an external wall system has been assessed by a suitable expert, providing assurance for lenders, valuers, residents, buyers and sellers. Please see our blog and a government update below:

EWS1 Surveys / External Wall Fire Review (EWFR)

The External Wall Fire Review Process (EWS)

We offer completion of the EWS1 forms once an External Cladding System Inspection has been carried out. All of our forms are processed via the FIA ‘Building Safety Information Portal’. The FIA has created a unique portal that provides a central readily accessible location for these forms. This ensures the delivery of a quality product for our clients and publicly available documents on completion.

https://buildingsafetyportal.co.uk/

https://www.fia.uk.com/ews1/ews1-frequently-asked-questions.html

What we can offer?

For cladding surveys, we typically follow a 4-stage process, our aim is to provide clients with value for money with regard to surveys. We build-in logical hold points at various stages of the process to enable clients time to review the information and make informed decisions.

These stages include:

Stage 1: Desk Top Review
Stage 2 – Preparatory Inspection Visit
Stage 3 – Inspection Visit
Stage 4 – Cladding System – Fire Safety Report

Our team are experienced in carrying out detailed inspections of buildings so best placed to complete the Fire Safety Report and the EWS1 certificate.

Please see link to current EWS1 form

See Our Accreditations & Certifications

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