Since the Grenfell tragedy in June 2017, new regulations were introduced to ensure the fire safety standards were in place in high-rise buildings.
The EWS process is a set way for a building owner to confirm that an external wall system on a residential building has been assessed for safety by a suitable expert.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients regarding the EWS1 form.
- What is an EWS1 form?
The EWS1 form was designed following government advice regarding external wall systems on buildings above 18M and created to ensure that mortgage lenders would be comfortable that the cladding and external wall make -up was safe for occupiers and therefore safeguarding their funds and allow them to provide mortgages. Changes in Government advice in January 2020, bringing all buildings into scope, has meant that many residential buildings below 18m which have ‘specific concerns’, may now require an EWS1.
- How do I get an EWS1?
Building owners are responsible for contracting fire safety engineers to investigate the combustibility of materials used in construction. The experts use the EWS1 form to state either
- that the external wall system is compliant (A1, A2 or B1) or
- that remedial work is needed to make the external wall system compliant (A3, B2)
Lenders are unlikely to approve mortgages until any remedial work has been carried out as advised under an A3 or B2 EWS1 decision.
You can download the form here
- Who is responsible for paying for the service?
The building owner or managing agent is responsible for confirming the materials used in the construction of the site and bearing the cost if remedial works are required.
The fees are normally paid from the service charge fund, however this depends on the details within the individual lease.
The cost for the survey will be based on a host of factors including but not limited to location, size, number of different types of cladding.
- When can I expect to have the report issued?
In certain situations, we have been able to secure the form within 10 working days of project commitment.
- Which buildings does the EWS1 form currently apply to?
The EWS1 form currently applies to residential leasehold buildings over 18 metres tall and any building above 3-storeys that is considered “in scope”.
- Why does the lender need an EWS1 form if the building isn’t 18m?
The form stipulates that it may be requested “where specific concerns exist.” Lenders have quoted building regulation B4(1), which has no height restriction.
Building regulation B4(1) states: “the external walls of the building shall adequately resist the spread of fire over the walls and from one building to another, having regard to the height, use and position of the building.”
- Why is an EWS assessment required every 5 years??
An assessment is required every five years in order to account for any renovation work done over that period.
EWS1 Forms & how LBS can help?
LBS has a panel of qualified surveyors to offer the EWS1 form for all our clients. All of our surveyors have the necessary credentials:
- Fully qualified to carry out The External Wall Fire Review
- Full Professional Indemnity Insurance in place
- Accredited & Qualified Fire Engineers
- RICS registered
- Ability to complete the review within ten working days from engagement
- EWS1 certification for developments where work has not started and for completed projects
- EWS1 certificate will be valid for five years, and only one assessment is required for each building
If you have an immediate requirement or wish to speak with a member of our team, get in touch;
Tel 0203 701 0420