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This page was last updated 10 May 2021.
Where we use the 18m height demarcation, it is important to note that we are referring to the government's definition of "high-rise residential multi-occupied buildings of 18 metres or more in height, or more than 6 storeys (whichever is reached first)."
For buildings over six storeys, an EWS1 form should be required where:
• There is cladding or curtain wall glazing on the building or
• there are balconies which stack vertically above each other and either both the balustrades and decking are constructed with combustible materials (e.g. timber) or the decking is constructed with combustible materials and the balconies are directly linked by combustible material.
For buildings of five or six storeys, an EWS1 form should be required where:
• There is a significant amount of cladding on the building (deemed as approximately one quarter of the whole elevation estimated from what is visible standing at ground level is a significant amount) or
• there are ACM, MCM or HPL panels on the building or
• there are balconies which stack vertically above each other and either both the balustrades and decking are constructed with combustible materials (e.g.timber), or the decking is constructed with combustible materials and the balconies are directly linked by combustible materials.
For buildings of four storeys or fewer, an EWS1 form should be required where:
• There are ACM, MCM or HPL panels on the building.
Whilst it is logical to measure from the top to the bottom of a building, buildings are measured in line with the building regulations.
Building regulations measure from the floor height of the top floor living space down to the lowest point the building meets the ground. This may be street level, or may include any below-ground living space or building area, such as a car park or storage level.
This diagram, from Building Regulations Approved Document B, shows how a building is measured for these purposes.
(Building Regulations Approved Document B, Volume 2, Diagram C6)
You may find that your chosen mortgage lender is requesting an EWS1 form. If you live in a block over 18m tall your building will have been included in the first phase of our building safety programme - check here for more details. If your building is under 18m tall (around six storeys) you won’t be able to get an EWS1 form as they are only for tall buildings. We are extending the building safety programme to buildings under 18m in phases according to priority and for these buildings we will be producing evidence of the checks we have undertaken to comply with the government guidance.
Contact us for a copy of your fire risk assessment for your buildings and speak directly with your mortgage broker or lender.
If your building is over 18 metres tall it will have been part of Phase 1 of our building safety programme. If you need a copy of the EWS1 form please contact us. If your building is under 18 metres tall an EWS1 form is not appropriate but we will be providing an equivalent experts report as part of our building safety programme .
We are doing our best to complete our building safety programme at pace and carry out this work safely. If you are in hardship because of the timing of the programme for your building please speak to us. We want to support our residents and recognise that this is stressful time for many. There may be other options that we can discuss with you that could help.
In certain circumstances, it may be possible to sublet your property. Our policy on subletting as shared owner can be found here.
Together with our colleagues at the G15, a group of the largest housing associations in London, we are calling on the government to step in and provide clear guidance for both building owners and mortgage lenders on the proportionate implementation of their building safety advice notes.
Our hope is that this will reassure residents, encourage mortgage lenders to take a more considered view, and give building owners a reasonable and realistic timeframe in which to follow government advice.
We would like to reassure our residents that all our homes have an up-to-date Fire Risk Assessment. These are independently reviewed every year and any recommendations are dealt with immediately or, where appropriate, put into a programme of work to be completed within a suitable timeframe.
Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) are categorised into four types depending on the level of detail and intrusive inspection works that must be carried out. Type 4 assessments are the most detailed.
This is the basic assessment that mainly tests the common non-destructive parts of the communal parts of a building. Type 1 FRAs are undertaken to meet the requirements of the Fire Safety Order. This type of assessments practically reviews the arrangements that the fire engineers made for people living within the building to escape if there was a fire. Some entry and exit points of the doors to the flats are also inspected during this assessment.
Type 1 FRAs are the inspections our in-house Fire Risk Assessors undertake within the common areas of the buildings owned and managed by Southern Housing Group.
This assessment is similar to a Type 1 Fire Risk Assessment, in that it relates to the protection of the common parts of the building. A Type 2 inspection additionally involves a degree of intrusive exposure of the building and therefore usually requires the presence of a contractor to open up construction and make good after the inspection.
This type of inspection is like the Type 1 assessment with a slightly wider scope. Type 3 is a non-intrusive assessment but goes beyond the scope of the Fire Safety Order by considering the fire precautions of a building, such as the means of escape and fire detection within a sample of flats.
The most comprehensive Fire Risk Assessment is the Type 4 assessment. Whilst a Type 4 Fire Risk Assessment covers the same areas as the Type 3 FRA, a Type 4 also undertakes intrusive inspections within the common parts of the building and in a sample of the flats and therefore usually requires the presence of a contractor to open up construction and make good after the inspection.
Of the four types of FRAs, none of look at the external wall systems of a building. For our own data purposes a limited visual inspection of the external wall system is undertaken during every FRA.