External Wall Insulation for High-Rise Buildings

For multi-storey buildings with floor levels above 18 metres above ground level, the PermaRock PermaRock Mineral Fibre EWI Systems, incorporating non-combustible stone wool insulation, should be specified.

The system meets the latest UK fire safety guidance, standards and Building Regulations requirements and has an unparalleled record, with PermaRock Mineral Fibre EWI systems retrofitted to over 250 high-rise buildings throughout the UK over the past three decades.

PermaRock High Rise Cladding Brochure

Download and view our latest high rise cladding brochure to understand how PermaRock Mineral Fibre external wall insulation systems meet and comply with the latest Building Regulations requirements for high rise buildings, find out about our unparalleled experience within this sector and see how PermaRock systems have proven to be robust and resilient, preventing fire spread and remaining securely attached to the wall face in real life high rise fires. 

PermaRock High Rise Cladding Brochure - Fire Safety

PermaRock Mineral Fibre External Wall Insulation Systems

PermaRock Mineral Fibre external wall insulation (EWI) systems provide excellent reaction to fire performance, and systems with an A2-s1,d0 fire classification in accordance with BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009 are suited for use on high rise and low rise buildings including those with floor levels above 18 metres above ground level.

PermaRock Mineral Fibre systems with PermaRock SiliconeULTRA K Finish, PermaRock Brick Slips and PermaRock Brick Effect Render are assessed to EN 13501-1:2007 + A1:2009 and are classed A2-s1,d0.

Key Features

  • Incorporates non-combustible stone (mineral) wool insulation (Class A1)
  • Systems A2-s1,d0 reaction to fire classification (EN 13501-1:2007 + A1:2009)
  • Can be used on buildings of any building height
  • Fire tested in accordance with BS 8414 - compliant with BR 135; can be used on buildings over 18m
  • Adhesively bonded and mechanically fixed insulation: Resistant to wind loads
  • Mechanically anchored reinforcement layer: Provides enhanced resistance to wind loading and additional structural stability in fire.
  • A choice of through-coloured renders, brick slip and brick effect render finishes
  • SWIGA approved high-rise system

The systems are extremely versatile and suited for application to walls and soffits all building types including residential buildings, hospitals, hotels,  schools, and public buildings where the highest levels of fire resistance and non-combustibility are required.

UK Building Regulations 

The Government has amended the Building Regulations to prohibit the use of combustible materials in the external walls of buildings in England over 18 metres that contain at least one dwelling.

This ban is the result of a review of fire safety, following the Grenfell tower tragedy.

This new regulation applies to any building containing at least one dwelling, with a storey at least 18 metres above ground level. It includes institutions, which means it covers some residential schools, care homes and hospitals, sheltered accommodation, student residences or other institutional accommodation blocks over 18 metres. It excludes hostels, hotels or boarding houses (unless they are being converted into residential accommodation).

What are the new requirements for external walls?

The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 states that building work shall be carried out so that materials which become part of an external wall are of European Classification “A2-s1, d0” or “A1”.

These classifications are taken from BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009, Fire classification of construction products and building elements - Classification using test data from reaction to fire tests.

The most significant change is that other fire test methods and national classifications (typically specified in the BS 476 series of documents) are no longer recognised when selecting materials for residential buildings over 18 metres; BS EN 13501 is the only route to compliance.

The ban on the use of combustible materials in high rise buildings follows recommendations made by Dame Judith Hackitt as part of her review conducted into the Grenfell tragedy.

View the latest UK Building Regulations / Standards:

Fire safety: Approved Document B (England & Wales)
Technical Handbook 2: Domestic - Fire (Scotland)
Technical Booklet E - Fire Safety (Northern Ireland)

Fire Safety Evidence

BRE Global Ltd, which carries out fire investigations on behalf of the UK government, has investigated several fires in multi-storey buildings and some of these have been documented in its report, entitled ‘External Fire Spread – Part 1 Background research’, BRE Global Ltd., April 2016.

Download BRE Global Report

Whilst external fire spread has occurred in some of the case studies featuring other manufacturers’ systems, BRE acknowledges that a PermaRock Mineral Fibre EWI system, installed on a multi-storey high rise residential block in Glasgow, resisted fire and actually prevented the fire spreading across the building façade. The fire, which developed on the 11th floor of the 22-storey building, broke out of the windows, exposing the PermaRock EWI system to the force of the fully developed fire. Damage was localised to the immediate vicinity of some of the windows but, beyond this, the effects were limited to surface charring and sooting.

Similar fires have occurred on other high-rise multi-storey residential blocks and, in all cases, the PermaRock Mineral Fibre EWI systems have proven to be robust and resilient. They have always prevented fire spread and have remained securely attached to the wall face, thereby allowing safe access for Fire & Rescue Services.

Department for Communities and Local Government - Building Safety Programme

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has established the Building Safety Programme to assist landlords and building owners identify buildings which are of concern through a thorough checking and testing process.

For the latest information and advice please visit the DCLG’s Building Safety Programme website.

Find out more

For further information on PermaRock Mineral Fibre EWI Systems or to see examples retrofitted to high-rise blocks, please visit www.permarock.com or call PermaRock’s technical support team on 01509 262924.

PermaRock Mineral Fibre systems with PermaRock SiliconeUltra K Finish, PermaRock Brick Slips and PermaRock Brick Effect Render are assessed to EN 13501-1:2007 + A1:2009 and are classed A2-s1,d0.

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