Maze undertakes external wall appraisals in accordance with PAS 9980:2022, Fire risk appraisal of external wall construction and cladding of existing blocks of flats – Code of practice.
The PAS contains detailed guidance on a structured approach to evaluating external wall systems, described as a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls (FRAEW).
The PAS was introduced by the Government in January 2022 and the previous guidance contained in the Consolidated Advice Notes (the “CAN”) was withdrawn. The risk-based methodology detailed in the PAS is a useful tool in evaluating the safety of occupants of a building where issues with the external wall system(s) are being considered, and in determining the next steps.
Why do you need a PAS 9980 FRAEW Appraisal?
- The PAS allows for the evaluation of risk and presents a possible alternative to external wall system remediation in line with the guidance to the Building Regulation.
- The PAS allows a structured risk-based decision to be made about the safe operation of the building, informing the fire risk assessment, and to determine the next steps.
- A PAS 9980 report is also a required in some circumstances to support an application to the Government’s Building Safety Fund (BSF).
What type of buildings does the PAS apply to?
PAS 9980 is intended for use (as stated in the document itself) regarding the external wall construction and cladding of existing blocks of flats.
However, the methodology in the document lends itself well to application to other sleeping risk type buildings such as hotels and student accommodation. Indeed, the PAS 9980 approach has been successfully used across the fire safety industry for many such buildings and is considered to be a measured and pragmatic way of dealing with issues in external wall systems for buildings with sleeping accommodation.
Types of PAS 9980 Appraisal
PAS 9980 provides a methodology and detailed supporting instructional notes regarding the undertaking of a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls (FRAEW). The PAS provides two routes for undertaking the appraisal:
- Section 13: Basic FRAEW Appraisal
- Section 14: Application of fire engineering analysis as part of further technical assessment
Section 13: Basic FRAEW Appraisal
Most PAS FRAEWs will likely take the form of the basic Section 13 approach which follows a process of reviewing the existing external wall construction data against specified Risk Factors. The risk factors are contained in three annexes to the PAS and cover the following areas:
- Annex K – Façade performance factors
- Annex N – Façade configuration factors
- Annex F – Fire Strategy Factors / Fire Hazards
In total there are 35 risk factors, and these are evaluated and scored using an internal scoring methodology developed by Maze to arrive at an overall risk level. The risk level can be calculated for each external wall system, where more than one is present, and for the building overall to inform the:
- Risk level for each external wall system
- Overall risk level for the building; a combination of the individual external wall systems
- Requirement for further investigations, surveys or other data to allow a more informed picture to be formed
- Requirement for targeted or wide scale remedial activity
- Risk level for the occupants of the building and to inform the Fire Risk Assessment