Assessing the external wall fire risk in multi-occupied residential buildings
What is PAS 9980:2022 about?
PAS 9980:2022 provides a methodology for the fire risk appraisal of external wall construction and cladding of existing multistorey and multi occupied residential buildings.
Who is PAS 9980:2022 for?
This PAS is particularly intended for use by competent fire engineers and other competent building professionals tasked with advising on the fire risk of external wall construction of existing blocks of flats. However, it is expected that the key outputs of this appraisal will also be useful to those for whom such appraisals are carried out and those who make decisions based upon the outcome of the FRAEWs. This will include:
- Advice agencies
- Architects and architectural technologists
- Building control bodies
- Building owners/landlords and others with functional responsibilities for management of the external wall and cladding under a building’s lease
- Building surveyors
- Façade engineers
- Fire and rescue authorities
- Fire risk assessors
- Local housing authorities
- Managing agents or facility managers
- Project managers
- Valuers and mortgage lenders
What does PAS 9980:2022 cover?
It gives recommendations and guidance on undertaking a fire risk appraisal of external wall construction and cladding of an existing multistorey, multi occupied residential building. A fire risk appraisal of external wall construction and cladding is described in this PAS as a fire risk appraisal of external walls (FRAEW).
The purpose of an FRAEW is to assess the risk to occupants from a fire spreading over or within the external walls of the building, and decide whether, in the specific circumstances of the building, remediation or other mitigating measures to address the risk are considered necessary.
The PAS applies where the risk is known, or suspected, to arise from the form of construction used for the external wall build up, such as the presence of combustible materials. The outcome of an FRAEW is intended to inform fire risk assessments (FRAs) of multistorey, multi occupied residential buildings and other types of building, including student accommodation, sheltered and other specialized housing and buildings converted into flats, where the evacuation strategy will be similar in nature to a purpose-built block of flats.
PAS 9980:2022 also gives recommendations and guidance in relation to the competence of those completing FRAEWs.
Why should you use PAS 9980:2022?
It provides a methodology for appraising and assessing the scope for, and risk from, fire spread via external wall construction and cladding on existing blocks of flats. Its use can:
- Inform a building’s fire risk assessment
- Enable consistent training in carrying out FRAEWs and thus facilitate more entrants into the profession
How does PAS 9980 work alongside the EWS1 form. How will they be used, which takes precedence and why?
PAS 9980 is not intended as an alternative to the EWS1 form, which is for valuation purposes and is administered by RICS. However, if the likes of RICS and others wish to refer to the PAS in the future that is a matter for themselves to consider.