Published: February, 2020

Porcelain tiles and the new Building Regs

For linking beautiful exteriors to fine living areas inside, tiles offer a wealth of stylish options. And as consumer desire to bring the 'indoors outside' keeps growing, Kinley has responded with a range of Atria porcelain tiles that's as extensive as it is aesthetically exciting.

The tiles offer what we call ‘floors without boundaries’. Combining Italian style, design and innovation, they’re ideal for both outdoor and indoor areas.

The landscape tiles are exceptionally hardwearing and are slip, chemical and frost resistant for high traffic indoor and outdoor environments. They’re a popular choice with developers as they are easy to fit, clean and are resistant to mildew, moss and algae which ensures they are built to last. And they fit seamlessly with Kinley’s support structures which are simple to install.

They’re also fire resistant, as porcelain is Class A1 fire rated, so landscape designers can use them with confidence knowing they’ll meet the revised fire regulations [The Building (Amendment) Regulations] that came into force in December 2018.

As you’ll know, the revised regs introduce new restrictions on the combustibility of materials contained within external walls of “relevant buildings” in England – that is buildings that are more than 18m high. 

The new restriction on combustibility also applies to materials used within “specified attachments” which are fixed to the external wall, such as a balcony attached to an external wall, which could be for just one apartment or for apartments that are approached by a communal external balcony/walkway.

The new regulations require strict compliance. If a non-compliant material has been accidentally used it will have to be entirely removed from the external wall of the building, even if it means destroying the external walls of the building and rebuilding entirely. So failing to comply could cause weeks or months of delay, and the costs could be very expensive indeed.

This clearly has implications for landscape architects working with high-rise buildings. To explain how to achieve compliance, Kinley has recently produced a CPD presentation that explains the new legal requirements.

It’s definitely worth studying because as usual with technical legislation on building regs, the language of the new reg can takes a bit of deciphering if you’re not an expert. So much so that the Fire Industry Association suggests that when working on these types of buildings, the design team should include a competent fire engineer to produce and maintain a specific register of materials that they have checked as being compliant, and only materials that are on that register should be permitted within the external walls.

In our CPD, Kinley’s technical experts talk you through the details and explain the relevant parts for our profession. So when you’re planning your next project for high-rise developers, do get in touch and we’ll talk you through it all.

After all, we don’t just want to help you create amazing outdoor spaces. We want to help you create amazing outdoor spaces for people to enjoy safely.

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