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Non-Combustibility Levels

Volume 81: debated on Monday 17 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what evidence he has as to the reproduce-ability and repeatability of the new BS476 part II test for defining the alternative levels of non-combustibility under the draft approved documents relating to the Building Act 1984.

On the basis of tests carried out by a number of laboratories the British Standards Institution committee was satisfied that the level of reproductability and reoperability was satisfactory. The fire research station is satisfied that in this repect the part II test is as good as if not better than the existing part 4 test.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is satisfied with the data available to him to set the criteria for defining the alternative levels of non-combustibility under the draft approved documents relating to the Building Act 1984.

Evidence from actual fires and from tests undertaken by the fire research station indicates that the use of non-combustible materials with less than 0·5 mm combustible facing will not, in the circumstances specified in the approved documents, increase the risk to the safety of the occupants of buildings. Such use is already permitted in Scotland and in inner London

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what evidence he has of the effect of his proposal under the approved documents relating to the Building Act 1984 to allow composite materials with less than 0·5 mm of combustible facing each side to go untested by allowing the requirements for non combustibility to be limited to the core of such materials, on safety standards.

My right hon. Friend is satisfied that the test data presented by the fire research station to the British Standards committee responsible for fire tests is adequate for defining the alternative levels of performance under the part II test for the purposes of the building regulations.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what evidence he has to the effect on standards of life safety of the changes to the non-combustibility requirements embodied in the approved documents with respect to the Building Act 1984; and if he will make a statement.

The evidence from existing use, investigation of actual fires and from tests indicates that the proposed changes will not affect life safety standards.