Data shows two-thirds of buildings with cladding defects still to begin remediation

Published on 21 December 2023, the government’s latest data release on building safety remediation highlights the progress being made on those medium-rise and high-rise residential buildings with “life-critical” fire safety risks and unsafe cladding.  

The data release from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) shows that, as of 30 November 2023, 3,824 residential buildings 11 metres or over have unsafe cladding and are in the process of being remediated:

Overall, 1,603 buildings (42%) have either started or completed remediation works. Of these, 777 buildings (20%) have completed remediation works. The total number of buildings reported to have started or completed remediation works has doubled since the end of December 2022,” DLUHC states in its report.

Additionally, 496 high-rise buildings, which are 18 metres and over in height, feature ACM cladding systems, with DLUHC reporting that 85% of these buildings have seen remediation completed, while work is yet to begin in 20 buildings. As per the updated fire safety legislation for high-rise residential buildings, DLUHC adds that enforcement action has also been carried out against 277 high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding under the Housing Act. 

Developer remediation

The data release also highlights work that falls under the responsibility of developers who have signed the government’s developer remediation contract. As of 31 October 2023, 1,345 buildings 11 metres and over fall under the developer remediation scheme, with these buildings categorised as having “life-critical fire safety risks”.

As reported by the Guardian, the housebuilders with the most buildings requiring remediation include Barratt, Bellway, Taylor Wimpey, Vistry, and Crest Nicholson. The cost of remediation works for each residential building averages £2 million – with a total cost of just over £2.7 billion.

According to developer reports, 35% of the identified buildings have either started or completed remediation works. DLUHC states in its report: “When excluding buildings reported with only non-cladding defects, there are 1,273 buildings which developers have reported as having unsafe cladding, of which 445 (35%) are reported to have started or completed remediation, including 245 (19% of buildings) which are reported to have completed remediation.”

A Home Builders Federation spokesperson said: “Residents in blocks built by UK house builders can be reassured that there is a pledge in place to remediate their buildings.

UK house builders have demonstrated their commitment and are providing £2bn to remediate their own buildings and being taxed £2.5bn to fund those built by foreign companies and other parties.

House builders are not the only party involved in the remediation process and are reliant on building owners commissioning a survey of required works, all of which takes time.

Government now needs to deliver on its commitment to get contributions from foreign builders and the material providers at the heart of this crisis.”

In its analysis of the government data, the Guardian has also identified that the company involved in the cladding work of the Grenfell Tower has had fire safety defects identified in 56% of its other residential blocks. The developer arm of Rydon is understood to have built 25 residential buildings of which 14 have been found to have fire safety defects. As the newspaper reports: “Rydon has already assessed all of its 25 buildings, with 14 requiring work. The figures, covering the end of November, show it has started remediation on seven of the 14 blocks, but completed only two.”

Notably, the company was involved in the civil settlement case for 900 bereaved family members, survivors, and local residents, with it having allocated £27 million in provisions in its accounts.

The full government data release can be found here.