Building Regulations “unfit for purpose” – Grenfell Review
The chair of an independent review into Building Regulations and fire safety has found that the regulatory system for safely designing, constructing and managing buildings is not fit for purpose.
Dame Judith Hackitt, who was appointed by government to lead an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety following the Grenfell fire, has published her interim findings today (December 18 2017). She calls for a “universal shift in culture” to significantly improve the way that fire safety is assured and to rebuild trust amongst residents of high-rise buildings.
Dame Judith wants the construction industry, building owners, regulators and government to come together to address the “shortcomings” identified so far.
The interim report finds that:
* a culture change is required – with industry taking greater responsibility for what is built – this change needs to start now
* the current system for ensuring fire safety in high rise buildings is not fit for purpose
* a clear, quick and effective route for residents to raise concerns and be listened to, must be created
“I have found that the regulatory system for safely designing, constructing and managing buildings is not fit for purpose,” said Dame Judith. “The current system is highly complex and there is confusion about the roles and responsibilities at each stage. In many areas there is a lack of competence and accreditation.
“While this does not mean all buildings are unsafe, it does mean we need to build a more effective system for the future. That is why I am today calling for the construction industry, building owners, regulators and government to come together to identify how to overcome these shortcomings together.”
The interim report sets out six areas for change:
* ensuring that regulation and guidance is risk-based, proportionate and unambiguous
* clarifying roles and responsibilities for ensuring that buildings are safe
* improving levels of competence within the industry
* improving the process, compliance and enforcement of regulations
* creating a clear, quick and effective route for residents’ voices to be heard and listened to
* improving testing, marketing and quality assurance of products used in construction
Dame Judith has will continue to consult widely in the coming months before making her final recommendations.
The independent review will now undertake its second phase of work – including targeted work in partnership with the sector and other stakeholders.
A summit involving government and representatives from the building industry will take place in the new year and a final report will be published in spring 2018.
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