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Valuation of properties in multi-storey, multi-occupancy residential buildings with cladding

Valuation of properties in multi-storey, multi-occupancy residential buildings with cladding

This guidance note is intended to support valuers undertaking valuations for secured lending purposes on domestic residential blocks of flats in the UK.

It has been produced to help valuers understand when an EWS1 form should be required due to visible cladding. Whilst specifically targeted for UK valuers, the guidance will be useful for all stakeholders involved in the buying and selling of residential properties with cladding.

Following consultation with the fire safety industry, insurers and lenders, it provides criteria that can be used by valuers during a standard valuation inspection to identify buildings where remediation work to cladding for fire safety purposes, that may materially affect the value of the property, is likely to be required.

It is not intended to be, nor should it ever be used as, a substitute for or part of a professional life safety fire risk assessment of any building. The EWS1 form is not a safety certificate and the fact that an EWS1 form is not required for a particular building does not mean that the building may not require some form of remediation in the future.

A supplementary information paper has also been produced to increase surveyor’s knowledge of typical external wall cladding systems for building types that may be considered in the ‘External Wall Fire Review’ process.

This guidance is effective from 5 April 2021.

Our video guide to the guidance note

Criteria where an EWS1 is required

A valuer should always have a rationale to justify the request for an EWS1 form. Our interactive decision tree will take you through the criteria covered in the guidance note to help you arrive at a decision.

These criteria are guidance and professional judgement will need to be applied.

Case studies

The following case studies are representative samples, however each building needs to be considered on an individual basis.

View all case studies

  • Criteria

    Height

    Over 6 storeys.

     

    Visual inspection of facade

    Concrete panels with concrete balconies.

    EWS1

    Not required

    Rationale

    Concrete panels are excluded from the list of cladding and the balconies are not constructed of combustible material, therefore, although the building is over 6 storeys, an EWS1 form should not be required.

  • Criteria

    Height

    Over 6 storeys.

     

    Visual inspection of facade

    Metal composite material (MCM)

    EWS1

    Required

     

    Rationale

    The building is over 6 storeys with MCM cladding and therefore an EWS1 form should be required.

  • Criteria

    Height

    Over 6 storeys.

     

    Visual inspection of facade

    Brickwork with concrete/brickwork balconies.

    EWS1

    Not required

     

    Rationale

    Traditional cavity wall construction (with a brickwork, blockwork or stonework external leaf) is excluded from the list of cladding and the balconies are not constructed of combustible material, therefore, although the building is over 6 storeys, an EWS1 form should not be required.

  • Criteria

    Height

    6 storeys.

     

    Visual inspection of facade

    Mostly brickwork, with some small isolated areas of timber cladding (less than one quarter of the façade surface) with balconies having timber decking and metal balustrades.

    EWS1

    Required

    Rationale

    Traditional cavity wall construction (with a brickwork, blockwork or stonework external leaf) is excluded from the list of cladding and the timber cladding is only present in small areas, much less than one quarter of the façade surface. However, the balconies are stacked vertically above each other, and the timber decking and the timber cladding – which directly links the balconies – is combustible. Therefore, an EWS1 form should be required.

  • Criteria

    Height

    6 storeys.

     

    Visual inspection of facade

    Mostly brickwork, no balconies.

    EWS1

    Not required

    Rationale

    Traditional masonry wall construction is excluded from the list of cladding. There are no balconies to consider. Therefore, an EWS1 form should not be required.

  • Criteria

    Height

    5 storeys.

     

    Visual inspection of facade

    Brickwork to ground floor, with a mixture of terracotta rainscreen and timber cladding to upper floors.  

    EWS1

    Required

    Rationale

    Traditional cavity wall construction (with a brickwork, blockwork or stonework external leaf) is excluded from the list of cladding. However, the terracotta rainscreen is present on more than one quarter of the overall façade and the timber cladding is present around the sole means of escape staircase, and therefore an EWS1 form should be required.

  • Criteria

    Height

    4 storeys.

     

    Visual inspection of facade

    Brickwork, with balconies having timber decking and balustrades.

    EWS1

    Not required

    Rationale

    Traditional cavity wall construction (with a brickwork, blockwork or stonework external leaf) is excluded from the list of cladding. The balconies are constructed of combustible material and are stacked vertically above each other; however this is not a criterion requiring an EWS1 form at 4 storeys or fewer. Therefore, an EWS1 form should not be required.

  • Criteria

    Height

    4 storeys.

     

    Visual inspection of facade

    Mixture of brickwork and timber clad infill panels (more than one quarter of the overall façade surface).

    EWS1

    Not required

    Rationale

    Traditional cavity wall construction (with a brickwork, blockwork or stonework external leaf) is excluded from the list of cladding. Although the timber cladding is present on more than one quarter of the overall facade, this is not ACM/MCM and therefore is not a criterion requiring an EWS1 form at 4 storeys or fewer. Therefore, an EWS1 form should not be required.

  • Criteria

    Height

    3 storeys.

     

    Visual inspection of facade

    Brickwork to ground floor, with metal composite material (MCM) cladding to upper floors.  

    EWS1

    Required

     

    Rationale

    The building is under 4 storeys but has MCM cladding, and therefore an EWS1 form should be required.

The buildings in these case studies are used only as images to demonstrate the application of the EWS1 requirement criteria from the valuer's perspective, and do not represent fire safety advice on these or similar buildings, which need to be considered on a case by case basis.