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Fire performance of new residential buildings (NF36)


The industry has seen an increasing number of non-traditional residential buildings built, ranging from factory-built modular systems through to innovative site-built constructions. The move towards non-traditional construction has mostly been brought about by the need to achieve both construction efficiency and better energy performance from the finished building. But could the increasing use of thermal insulating products – some of which are combustible – result in constructions being more susceptible to disproportionate damage in the event of fire?

To present a balanced view of the risks involved, this guide provides useful information on the risks and best practice guidance for designers, builders and those involved in the fire safety aspect of new homes.

Summary of content

This report describes a study into the fire performance of residential buildings commissioned by the NHBC Foundation and carried out by BRE Global Ltd.

The report presents the results of the study, identifies the issues that need to be considered with regard to fire safety of modern residential buildings, and provides guidance and sources of information that should benefit a number of key stakeholders within the construction industry.

The greatest risk from fire both in terms of life safety and property protection arises in medium rise multi-occupancy residential buildings. Therefore this sector of the market has provided the primary focus for this study.

Within the UK, separate legislation exists for the construction of new buildings and for the control of fire precautions in occupied premises. The information in this report only relates to the Building Regulations which cover England and Wales.