Following the serious blaze at the student accommodation building in Bolton over the weekend, it is important that the façade on your property is compliant, particularly if it comprises rainscreen cladding.  While the cladding at Bolton is not the same as that on Grenfell, it is a high fire risk since it is manufactured from combustible materials.

Traditional brick or curtain wall construction is of a lesser risk but defective fire proofing materials and poor quality workmanship can contribute to uncontrolled fire propagation and possible loss of life.


  • Aluminium composite material (ACM) with a polyethylene (PE) is high risk cladding;
  • Other materials such as high pressure laminates (HPL, as in the Bolton fire) and acrylic renders are also high risk;
  • Proper and effective fire compartmentation is critical, particularly in rainscreen cladding;
  • Missing, ineffective or poorly installed cavity barriers are equally critical;
  • Properties where people reside or sleep such as residential blocks, student accommodation, care homes, hospitals etc require special attention and compliance checks;
  • Be aware that what has been designed or specified may not necessarily be what has actually been installed; and
  • According to the MHLGC, the stakeholder is responsible for ensuring that the property is compliant.

For further help and information please contact Diego Alves, head of the Black Cat Façade Consultancy, on +44 (0) 7778 357 327.

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