The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has issued proposed guidance for public consultation, stating that on buildings over six storeys there should be no cladding or curtain wall glazing on the building.
For buildings of five or six storeys, the guidance proposes that there should not be a significant amount of cladding on the building – for the purpose of this guidance, approximately one quarter of the surface façade – and there should not be ACM or MCM panels on the building.
Meanwhile, for buildings of four storeys or fewer there should just not be ACM or MCM panels on the building.
If there are balconies where the balustrades and decking are constructed of combustible materials, they should not stacked vertically above each other.
The guidance aims to help homebuyers and leaseholders, impacted by delays in the homebuying market caused by safety concerns over cladding, and the cost of remediation.
According to RICS, the guidance ‘Valuation of properties in multi-storey, multi-occupancy residential buildings with cladding’ will help by setting out a consistent position for valuers on when EWS1 forms should be requested for buildings with cladding before valuing a property, to avoid unnecessary delays.
The paper is intended for use by valuers and mortgage lenders, it will also provide clarity for owners and operators of buildings, fire risk assessors and others who are involved in properties with cladding.
Ben Elder, head of valuation standards at RICS, said: “Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, fire safety in our built environment has rightly been under significant scrutiny both in the UK and globally.
“RICS worked with industry to ensure properties were safe from fire risk and to produce the EWS1 form to get the market moving.
“Since its introduction, government advice has changed, and COVID-19 has seen lending criteria reviewed. EWS1 was never intended to hold up the market, indeed without it, no one would be moving.
“However, this proposed guidance intends to help by providing valuers with clear criteria to help them decide on whether an EWS1 form may be required or not.
“There will clearly still be many cases where an EWS1 form is necessary, but the guidance and insight resulting from this consultation will enable us to continue to work with stakeholders, including government, to find solutions to help speed up the process for remediating these buildings.”