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EWI – External Wall Inspections


An External Wall Inspection (EWI) typically involves assessing the condition and safety of the outer walls of a building or the structure. This is usually done by a qualified building inspector or engineer who will look at façade configuration, material combustibility, workmanship, and compliance with building regulations.

If any issues are identified, the inspector will provide a detailed report outlining the problem, its severity, and recommendations for any remedial action. Depending on the severity of the issue, this may involve repair work, or replacement of the affected areas of the wall.
On-Site Fire Scrutineer

Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls (FRAEW)

The PAS 9980:2022 document is a code of practice which provides a methodology for competent Building Professionals, such as Building Surveyors, and Fire Engineers, to follow in order to complete a Fire Risk Appraisal of the External Walls of a building. These individuals will be tasked with “assessing the scope for, and risk from, fire spread via external wall construction and cladding, such that the outcome can be used to inform a building’s Fire Risk Assessment”.

The PAS 9980:2022 document provides recommendations and guidance on undertaking a FRAEW, and provides a consistent framework to report results. It’s useful to those who make decisions based on the FRAEW outcome.

Detailed Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls reports are produced by Façade Technical Consultants and reviewed by Senior Fire Engineers.

BPHA – Social Housing Association

Global Technical Services (GTS), acting under instruction from BPHA were requested to undertake a Fire Risk Appraisal External Wall Survey (FRAEW) for 12 developments across the UK, in order to assess the suitability of the external wall system in accordance with published guidance PAS9980: 2022. Consisting of purpose built apartment blocks dating from the 60s-80s with a variety of occupancy and storeys all from 10m. All the FRAEWs were completed by a team of Façade Technical Consultants and Senior Fire Engineers.

GTS’s Fire Engineering Division and Façades Division collaborated to support a housing authority in Bedford with 12 Fire Risk Appraisals of the External Wall. The GTS teams initially assessed each premises, breaking them down into common archetypes. The Façades Division identified areas of intrusive works, aligned to recommendations from the PAS 9980.

GTS provided the access, whilst also completing the intrusive works, where we coloured matched the areas that were opened up, and made-good afterwards, to ensure the façade envelope was uncompromised and weather tight. Global’s’ Fire Engineering and Façade division then worked in tandem to produce an FRAEW report for each premises, providing a risk rating, along with the appropriate remediation works required where necessary.

Complete Approach to Fire Engineering

At GTS we inspect Cladding and Façades to make sure that it is installed and maintained correctly, and that it falls in line with Approved Document B, and Manufacturers Guidelines, producing detailed reports and issuing a FRAEW in-line with PAS 9980, highlighting any shortcomings and outlining any remedial works that must be carried out to ensure compliance.
Damian Roberts
Damian Roberts

Façade Technical Consultant

Bruce Patterson
Bruce Patterson
Senior Fire Engineer

Damian has over 5 years’ experience in Façade Design and Roofing after graduating from Liverpool John Moore University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Building Surveying. Damian has assisted senior project managers in large remediation developments across Greater Manchester and London.

Bruce worked for Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service for almost 20 years. Progressing from Fire Fighter, to Fire Engineer, he headed up the commercial arm of the Fire Service in Newcastle


Do I need a FRAEW?

Any existing multi-occupied, multi-residential buildings containing two or more sets of domestic premises now require the fire risk assessment to include an assessment of the external wall under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

If the fire risk assessor recognises that the external wall system is outside of their level of competence, an FRAEW will be required.

What is the purpose of a FRAEW?

These typically involves a thorough examination of a building, with the construction materials, design details, and wider fire safety systems in place within the building being the focal points. The purpose is to assess the potential risk of a fire spreading both on and within the external wall of the building, causing harm to the building, and its occupants.

What is the difference between EWS1 and FRAEW?

EWS1 Certificates are used for valuation purposes, an FRAEW is not.

According to PAS9980 whilst an FRAEW can be used as a suitable report to support or inform an EWS1 form, it does not replace it.

What is PAS 9980?

The standard to which that FRAEW must meet is enshrined within the PAS 9980 guidance. Published by the BSI, PAS 9980 sets out guidance on how to carry out an assessment of the external wall of a relevant building, all as part of the periodic fire risk assessments under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

Fire safety is our whole business

The team is assembled of individuals from diverse backgrounds including fire safety, building engineering, façade engineering firefighting, military, and infrastructure design and build.

Our expert team can provide a breadth of fire engineering knowledge to any project, spanning the built environment and housing sectors.

Offering bespoke fire engineered solutions that cover all aspects of fire safety, ranging from non-standard construction details to buildings that step away from traditional guidance.