Overwhelmingly support to ban combustible materials on high-rises

19 February 2018

New polling data confirms construction professionals overwhelmingly support banning combustible materials on high-rise buildings.

Rockpanel Lion Farm Estate, building, high-rise, residential tower, aesthetics, renovation, energy efficiency, England, fire safety,
  • 74 percent of construction industry professionals believe that using combustible materials on mid-, high-rise and sensitive buildings should be banned
  • Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) believe there should be a major overhaul of fire safety regulations in England
  • 62 percent agree that Dame Judith Hackitt should recommend banning desktop studies as a route to compliance


Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of construction industry professionals believe that using combustible materials on mid-, high-rise and sensitive buildings should be banned, according to a new survey by leading research consultancy, Populus.

The survey, commissioned by ROCKWOOL, polled senior staff working in the construction, civil engineering and architectural industries who have responsibility for specifying or detailing construction materials. Its findings come as Dame Judith Hackitt prepares to publish the full recommendations of her post-Grenfell review of the building and fire regulatory system.

Of the 250 professionals surveyed, more than 70 percent say that following the Grenfell tragedy, they would be less likely to use combustible materials on new build and retrofit residential projects. Respondents clearly want more government leadership, with 60 percent saying the government, rather than the construction industry, should be responsible for defining fire safety in buildings. Significantly, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) also think a major overhaul of fire safety regulations in England is necessary.  

What’s more, 93 percent of those surveyed support publicly disclosing all test results and data used to secure approval of building materials, while 62 percent want the Hackitt Review to recommend banning desktop studies as a route to compliance. 

ROCKWOOL Group Senior Vice President Gilles Maria comments, “It’s encouraging to see the UK construction industry advocating so strongly for banning combustible materials on mid-, high-rise, and sensitive buildings.  The government should take note of the industry sentiment and act quickly to require the use of non-combustible cladding and insulation materials on these types of buildings”.


In other findings:

  • 70 percent believe that prescriptive regulations will be most effective in improving public safety (vs. 23 percent who believe in outcome-based regulations)
  • 71 percent agree that there is a need to make changes to the guidance in the Approved Documents of the Building Regulations in relation to fire
  • 85 percent of builders, architects and construction professionals support the government providing grant funding for remedial works to make blocks safe.




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At the ROCKWOOL Group, we are committed to enriching the lives of everyone who experiences our product solutions. Our expertise is perfectly suited to tackle many of today's biggest sustainability and development challenges, from energy consumption and noise pollution to fire resilience, water scarcity and flooding. Our product range reflects the diversity of the world's needs, while supporting our stakeholders in reducing their own carbon footprint.

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About Populus

Formed in 2003, Populus is a UK market research company and a co-founder of the British Polling Council. In 2014 Populus was named the fastest growing research and insight agency by the MRS. https://www.populus.co.uk/


Notes to the editor

Populus interviewed 250 respondents between 24th January and 7th February 2018. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.