Approved Document B – What’s changing?

By Knauf Insulation UK & Ireland
November 28, 2022

Building Regulations are a set of standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the safety and health for people in or about those buildings. There are currently 16 parts including fire safety, ventilation and conservation of fuel and power. 

Since June 2022, anyone involved in building design and construction has understandably been focused on the implications of the changes to thermal performance. But regulations don’t exist in isolation. It’s not just energy efficiency standards that are getting stricter, those governing building fire safety are too. 

In December 2022, a new wave of changes will be made to Approved Document B (Part B), which sets out the minimum standards for fire safety in buildings in England and Wales. 

Within Part B there are 5 requirements of fire safety which are considered. These requirements are adequate means of escape from the building, control of internal fire spread – linings and structure, external fire spread and accessibility for firefighters. 

Part B was last updated in 2018 when the government banned the use of combustible materials in, or as the external surface of, the external walls of relevant residential buildings over 18m tall. However, this didn’t include buildings that had rooms for residential purposes such as hotels, hostels, and boarding houses. The latest update now includes these building types. 

The legislation has also been extended to cover residential buildings between 11m and 18m in height. From December 2022, combustible materials such as certain types of insulation can only be used in the external walls of certain buildings if a full-scale fire test to BS 8414-1 or BS 8414-2 has been undertaken.  

Where fire safety is concerned, there’s no room for grey areas. It is imperative to not only design the fire risk out of buildings, but to also specify and use materials that contribute to the building’s fire safety. The safest and simplest way to do that is to specify non-combustible mineral wool insulation, whatever the height or use of the building. 

This is where our non-combustible glass and rock mineral wool insulation comes in, our products have the best possible Euroclass A1 reaction to fire classification, which means they will not contribute to the development, or the spread of a fire should it occur. To learn more about our non-combustible insulation solutions, click here.