What is PAS 9980?
PAS 9980 is an industry wide, best practice methodology to conduct and record fire risk appraisals of external walls, while assessing the level of safety. It also identifies the proportionate steps that could be taken to better safeguard residents while seeking not to expose them to undue financial burdens. Following the completion of the PAS9980 survey, a report will provide details of the make-up of the external wall. This information will determine whether an EWS1 form is required.
Please see our anticipated timeframe to deliver these works detailed below:
- Procurement and appointment of suitably qualified and competent contractor to carry out PAS 9980 surveys and produce associated reports: June 2023
- Commencement and production of PAS9980 intrusive External Wall Fire risk appraisal reports of external wall construction and cladding of existing blocks of flats: July – October 2023
- Where the survey report identifies that an EWS1 report is required, these will be produced between: October – December 2023.
- Remediation of defective external wall systems will be carried out during the following period: April 2024 – March 2033
The decision on whether or not an EWS1 is required is determined by the current RICS guidance and decision tree.
Where an EWS1 form is not required
We will respond to leaseholders advising them that an EWS1 is not required for their building. This will be based on the latest guidance from RICS accompanied by a report from our fire risk assessors advising the same.
Where an EWS1 is required
We will respond to leaseholders advising that an EWS1 is required for their building.
EWS1 forms can only be completed by a chartered fire engineer with sufficient expertise to identify the relevant materials within the external wall cladding and attachments. This includes whether fire resisting cavity barriers and fire stopping have been installed correctly.
Only qualified chartered members of the relevant professional bodies such as IFE and RICS will have the necessary self-assessed competence and professional indemnity insurance to carry out this work.
Due to current demand of EWS1 forms and the limited number of qualified professionals across the industry, we envisage long lead times in quoting for works and appointing a supplier.
We anticipate we will need in the region of 30-40 EWS1 intrusive surveys to be undertaken across the stock we manage. Based on undertaking one EWS1 survey per week, it will take approx. 12 months for all surveys and reports to be completed.
Remediation of defective External Wall Systems
The timescales for remediation are subject to the risk posed to our residents and the funding available.
Until the findings of the EWS1 surveys are identified, we are unable to forecast the total budget requirements for remediation works nor timescales in resolving non-compliant issues.
Consideration will need to be given for possible mitigation measures to be implemented until the external wall system can be suitably remediated.
Examples of possible mitigation includes but is not limited to:
- type 4 FRA’s – this is an intrusive and destructive survey to both the common areas within the building and within selected dwellings to inspect for compartmentation breaches.
- installation of common area fire alarm system
- fire stopping to all common areas
- installation of sprinkler systems
- waking watch (worst case scenario)
It could also involve upgrading of BS5839 Pt 6 fire alarm detection within dwellings to LD1 standard, This will involve upgrading or replacing the existing fire alarm system within dwellings. All occupied rooms will have a smoke detector fitted to provide early warning to residents in the event of a fire within their household, which will involve the installation of an upgraded system into both tenants and leaseholders’ flats.
We will talk to residents where remediation works are required. In addition, where costs of remediation works are to be passed on to leaseholders, we will carry out statutory consultation as required by legislation.
We fully appreciate the impact the requirement of an EWS1 form is having on our leaseholders. Please be assured we will do all we can to support those leaseholders who are required to have an EWS1 form. We will look at each case individually in order to consider each situation for our leaseholders. We have instructed our fire risk assessors to undertake initial visual external wall system surveys to all buildings where enquires have been received to date, this is irrespective of the height of the building.
The cost of providing a EWS1 form
It is estimated each EWS1 will cost in the region of £15-£20km including all enabling works but not remediation.
We do not know yet if the cost for producing an EWS1 form will be passed on to leaseholders and if so, how they will be apportioned.
If you do need an EWS1 form, please contact us at HOS@lewisham.gov.uk. If after looking at the decision tree you are still unsure whether you need an EWS1 form, please contact us and we will let you know.