Since the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, the government has released a number of advice notes on building safety, particularly around tall buildings (defined as buildings over 18 metres, or six storeys high). This guidance requires, amongst other things, that building owners should understand the construction of the external walls, and how they may perform in the event of a fire.
To help leaseholders in tall buildings affected by the government guidance, UK Finance, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Building Societies Association devised the External Wall System1 form (EWS1 form) which is designed to provide a certificate to demonstrate that a building over 18 metres complies with the government guidance. The form is only designed to be completed for buildings over 18 metres (or six storeys, whichever is reached first) tall and only by experienced professionals. Where it is appropriate to use the form, it will state whether the building meets the required standards for external spread of fire or identify where it does not. Where it does not, where this is within our control, we will be carrying out remedial works to bring buildings up to the standard required.
Southern Housing Group has an ongoing programme in place to check our buildings and carry out any work required to ensure that our buildings comply with the government guidance and, for our tall buildings, to provide an EWS1 form for each.
Due to the limited number of qualified people in the country who can carry out this work, and the high demand for their services at the moment, it is likely to take some time before we have completed the detailed and intrusive surveys needed for this purpose on all these buildings.
All our blocks, regardless of height, are currently subject to individual Fire Risk Assessments. If you require the assessment for your building please contact us.