What is External Wall Fire Review (EWS1) and What does it mean to You?

By: Alex Manning

Date Published: February 26, 2020

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What is the EWS1 Form?

As part of the ongoing changes to the fire safety guidance in the UK, there have been numerous advice notes and methodologies proposed to help assess new and existing buildings to determine if the cladding and external wall construction is considered to be safe and compliant. In January 2020 the Ministry for Housing Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) produced a new advice note “Advice for Building Owners of Multi-storey, Multi-occupied Residential Buildings”. This advice document provides guidance on reviewing and assessing the safety of external wall systems and allows owners and occupiers of multi-storey residential buildings a way to determine if any remediation works are required to improve the safety of the building.

One of the recommended routes to assess a residential building is the “Form EWS1: External Wall Fire Review” method produced by the Building Societies Association (BSA) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The review methodology requires a suitably qualified fire engineering specialist to assess not only the building design and fire strategy, but also the cladding, to conclude if the building is compliant with the Building Regulations or whether remediation works are required.

What does this mean for you?

For all new, existing and buildings under construction, clients are now advised to do the following:

  1. Appoint a competent specialist to review the external wall construction and assess against BS EN 13501-1.
  2. Should the cladding be compliant with the building regulations (at the time of construction) then remedial works are unlikely to be required.
  3. Should the cladding NOT be compliant with the building regulations (at the time of construction) then a series of remedial works will be required.
  4. A remediation action plan to be developed and implemented by appointed competent specialist.

How can AESG help?

AESG are fully qualified and competent to conduct these External Wall Fire Reviews with the collaboration between our Fire & Life Safety and Facade Engineering departments. We can offer the following scope of services to ensure that the EWS1 Form can be signed off at the end of the review.

External Wall Fire Review PhaseInvestigationOutcome (s)
Phase 1: Desktop Study+ Site VisitReview the building history, including:
– Building Design & Changes to Design
– Developer & Contractor/s
– Materials
– Installation
– Evidence (Report, Photograph and Inspections documents)

Site visit to undertake risk assessment of external wall construction and cavity barrier locations
Sign off Option A1 or A2 of EWSI Form.
– No further action
Phase 2: Detailed Investigation & Reporting

(If Option A3 or B1/2)
Inspection of materials.
Risk assessment.
Sampling and Laboratory Testing (if required)
Sign off EWS1 Form.
– Recommend Remediation/Refurbishment.
-No further action.
Phase 3: Remediation Action PlanPreparation of Report specifying remediation and new cladding design requirements.Remediation Action Plan and potentially new Cladding Design with drawings, specifications and bills of quantity
Phase 4: Remediation WorksProject Management of Remediation works.
Supervision of replacement/ refurbishment works.
Documentation – Golden Thread of Evidence.
Remediation works have been successfully completed and appropriately documented.
Phase 5: Validation ReportPreparation of Validation Report.Building has been appropriately remediated.
Sign off EWS1 Form.
Golden Thread Report.

For further information on the new EWS1 form, feel free to contact us directly via info@aesg.com