Following the outcome of the Hackitt Report (Building a Safer Future) the safety of high rise buildings with cladding has been under scrutiny. A significant number of buildings with cladding now need remedial work to ensure the safety of their occupants. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) developed the EWS1 Form (External Wall Survey) The EWS inspection and resulting form, is a set way for a building owner to confirm that an external wall system on residential buildings has been assessed for safety by a suitable expert. The external wall consists of the outside wall of a residential building, including any cladding, insulation, and fire break systems.
The form was designed following Government advice regarding external wall systems on buildings above 18m and was created to ensure buildings over 18m tall could be assessed for safety to allow lenders to offer mortgages. Not every building above 18m will require an EWS1 form – only those with some form of combustible material, making them unsafe, or, for example, combustible material on balconies.
Changes in Government advice in January 2020, bringing all buildings into scope, mean some residential buildings below 18m which have ‘specific concerns’, may now require an EWS1. Examples include 4-6 storey buildings which may have combustible cladding or balconies with combustible materials and therefore are a clear and obvious risk to life safety and may require remediation in accordance with the latest Government advice.
Hughes Jay & Panter Ltd have experience with carrying out the remedial works to cladding systems initially identified by an EWS1 Survey.