Use of reinforcement to concrete toppings above beam and block floors - guidance and extended transitional provisions

The use of beam and block suspended concrete floors in residential construction has become common practice. More recently, in order to achieve adequate levels of thermal insulation, the use of EPS/XPS blocks together with a reinforced concrete topping or screed has grown.

In Technical Extra 15, published in October 2014, we included guidance on acceptable uses of this type of construction. Technical Extra 20, dated April 2016, reinforced the guidance and re-stated our position. However, it's become apparent that further clarity is required on the use of fibre reinforced concrete toppings when used in this location as it would appear that the guidance previously provided has not been fully implemented.

The Guidance Document shown below provides enhanced clarity and an extended transition period to 1 May 2017 for the industry to adapt. It is anticipated that this further time period will be adequate to make suitable provision for the guidance to be fully adopted.

During this extended transition period remedial work necessary to comply with NHBC Standards will only be required where there are visible defects in construction. NHBC building inspectors will however be strongly encouraging the use of the guidance below and 'observation' notes will be entered into Site Record Books to confirm discussions of this nature with site managers.

GUIDANCE ON THE USE OF REINFORCEMENT TO CONCRETE TOPPINGS ABOVE BEAM AND BLOCK FLOORS
Issued 20 December 2016

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