The newly published changes to Scottish building standards include a strengthening of the provisions for external wall cladding systems. The guidance will lower the minimum building height at which non-combustible wall cladding is to be provided from 18m to 11m.
Additional escape stairs and the introduction of evacuation alert systems and storey identification signs will also help fire and rescue services in the unlikely event of a partial or full-scale evacuation.
Facilities for people with disabilities will also be improved in larger new buildings under the revised standards.
Housing minister Kevin Stewart said that the tragic events at Grenfell Tower just over two years ago were a painful reminder how important building and fire safety is. "That is why we established our Ministerial Working Group and undertook a thorough and critical review of the regulations we have in place," he said. "I'm pleased to see the first phase of this work completed and changes to the building standards and guidance published today.”
He added that he was delighted this new guidance will help to increase the provision of Changing Places Toilets, following consultation. The range and accessibility of sanitary facilities for people with more complex care needs in larger, new buildings is to be increased.
“This will improve the lives of thousands of families who are severely restricted by a lack of facilities and as a result find themselves excluded from their communities and travel,” he said.
“We want to see greater accessibility in all areas of Scotland, and I would encourage all businesses and organisations to help make this a reality for people.”
The revised Building Standards Technical Handbooks will apply from 1st October 2019.