The French Government has promulgated two decrees updating fire safety requirements for façade materials used in residential buildings of < 50 m height. The requirements depend on the height of the building, with some specifications changing for buildings > 28 m. Buildings > 50 m are covered by existing legislation for “very tall” buildings. The new regulations apply for new build and also for façade renovation work permitted from 1/1/2020. For buildings up to 50 m, all materials of façade systems must be classed at least A2-s3-d0 (“A” essentially means non-combustible), or any element which does not respect this classification must be protected by materials classified EI30. Media note that the French insurance federation (FFA) had pushed for tighter requirements (A2-s1-d0, that is very low smoke emission). For all concerned buildings, the new regulations require that risks situated close to the façade and also the possibility of falling objects be taken into account in assessing risks. Also, insulation materials must be classed A2-s2-d0 (walls and ceilings) or A2 fl-s1 (floors) or protected by a barrier resistant to fire for 15-30 minutes. The new requirements are expected to pose challenges for the use of polymers and for wood facing in facades.
Arrêté 7th August 2019 “relatif aux travaux de modification des immeubles de moyenne hauteur et précisant les solutions constructives acceptables pour les rénovations de façade” https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/jo_pdf.do?id=JORFTEXT000038906954
Arrêté 7th August 2019 “modifiant l’arrêté du 31 janvier 1986 relatif à la protection contre l’incendie des bâtiments d’habitation” https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/eli/arrete/2019/8/7/LOGL1907229A/jo/texte