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Buildings: Insulation

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 125123, tabled on 18 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what guidance has been issued to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors on the need for external wall surveys on buildings less than 18 metres high.

Answered on

28 February 2022

An EWS1 form is not a statutory or regulatory requirement nor ​a​ safety ‘test’, it is a form used for valuation and was introduced by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), together with UK Finance and the Building Societies Association.

Government also supports the independent expert statement from July 2021 which was clear that there is no systemic risk of fire in residential buildings under 18 metres and that EWS1s should not be required on buildings under 18 metres. However, RICS announced in December that they will retain their valuation guidance including for buildings under 18 metres but committed to keep it under review. This is disappointing and we continue to work with RICS to address their disproportionate approach to risk. We must make sure that RICS are equipped to support a solution to this building safety challenge which is why we plan to legislate to allow the Secretary of State to conduct a review into their governance.