The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers supports Dame Judith Hackitt’s call for fundamental change in the way that we regulate the construction and operation of high rise buildings. Her Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety outlines a number of recommendations for change, and addresses many issues that CIBSE members have grappled with for years.
It is unfortunate that so much of the media interest in the Review focuses on the very specific issue of combustible cladding. Since the Grenfell Tower fire, some 300 buildings have been found to be clad in materials that do not meet current regulatory requirements: in other words, they are already banned and yet were still installed. Ensuring the safety of the buildings in which we live and work requires exactly the root and branch reform set out in this thoughtful and well informed document.
The Review brings a welcome focus on the need to improve the competence of those in the construction and fire safety sectors and for a more robust system of oversight. The commitment to produce a clearer package of regulations and guidance that is simpler to navigate is also very welcome.
CIBSE is already closely involved with the work to produce more user-friendly building regulations guidance and will also be participating in further consultation, requested in the Government’s initial response to the Review, on what practical measures can be taken to achieve real change in the culture and practice of the building industry.
For a more detailed summary of CIBSE’s response to the Hackitt review, go here