Proposal to ban combustible cladding in renovations of high-rise buildings, unless sprinklers are fitted. The IEBC Technical Committee (International Building Code) has approved proposal EB33 to create a new section 309.2.1 to ban the use of “combustible” materials in wall coverings in renovations of high-rise buildings (except if < 15% of wall area per façade) unless the building is “protected throughout with an automated sprinkler system”. Combustibility is here defined by ASTM E136, a very demanding test, which even some mineral insulation materials will fail depending on the amount of organic binders present. The Code already requires sprinklers in new high-rise buildings, but does not require to retrofit in existing buildings. Sprinklers inside the building will not impact fire spread in cladding, and the change seems to be an indirect way to pressure building owners to retrofit sprinklers. The proposed change is currently out for comment until 20th June 2022, Comments must be submitted via the ICC website.
For more information, see GBH International “Fire Safety & Technology Bulletin” April 2022, vol. 17, n°4 https://www.gbhint.com/fire-safety-and-technology-bulletin/
Comments can be submitted to 20th June 2022 at https://www.cdpaccess.com/login/ – register – then click “Current Cycle -> Proposals” then enter “EB33” in the search Agenda Number box