EWS1 Certificate Expertise

24 October 2023 | Written by Beverley Kloos

The Challenge  

A Cornwall resident was trying to sell their apartment, but a potential buyer’s mortgage lender had requested an EWS1 Certificate.  

The certificate confirms that an external wall system (EWS) on residential buildings has been safety assessed to deliver assurance for lenders, valuers, residents, buyers, and sellers.  

To obtain the certificate, an FRAEW (Fire Risk Appraisal of the External Walls) needs to be conducted, but this needs to be recommended first. 

In this instance, an initial fire risk assessment (called an FRA) had been carried out previously, which deemed the building was sufficiently low risk and further inspection was not recommended. This meant that if the property management company responsible for the development carried out the FRAEW, they may be challenged by the residents as there would be no evidence to support the requirements of this additional survey.  

A solution was urgently needed to confirm that an FRAEW was indeed required in order to obtain the certificate.  

Innovus Building Assessment Co-ordinator Petra Mayer says: “This was a quite challenging situation due to the conflicting information and careful due diligence was needed to ensure the best outcome for everyone.”  

The solution  

Innovus was asked to help. We reviewed the request and supporting documentation, and worked closely with the development’s property management company to set out a clear plan of action.  

Petra adds: “We arranged for an FRAEW desktop review to be carried out by certified fire engineers. This option is less costly than a physical assessment and will confirm if a full FRAEW is required or not. The review confirmed that the additional assessment was indeed required. The survey was instructed by the property management company with the work managed by Innovus.”   

The result 

The FRAEW report was successfully produced along with the EWS1 Certificate within the agreed timeframe. 

Petra says:It was clear that without the FRAEW, an EWS1 certificate could not be obtained. The FRAEW assesses the risk to occupants from a fire spreading over or within the external walls of the building and decides whether remediation work is required to address the risks. This is vitally important to ensure the safety of residents. While the project was a challenge, our expertise and network of contractors allowed us to resolve the issue in a timely manner, ensuring the best outcome for all parties.” 

Client Testimonial:  

“We have always found Innovus very approachable and easy to work with. They take a proactive approach to their survey requirements, and we’ve formed a great working relationship with their central team.” Adam Kiziak, Principal Consultant, Tri Fire Consultants 

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