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WSBF hosts fire safety discussion with Dame Judith Hackitt

WSBF hosts fire safety discussion with Dame Judith Hackitt

29th October 2018

On 22nd October 2018 the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum (WSBF) hosted a reception in Parliament looking a fire safety and building regulations, and how the construction industrey should change following the Grenfell Tower disaster on 14th June 2017.

This event was an opportunity to consider the Dame Judith Hackitt’s 'Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety' which was published in May 2018. The Hackitt Review showed whole system change was needed. Dame Judith made 53 recommendations and warned against them being cherry-picked as it would compromise her integrated professional approach.

The review recommended, amongst other things:

  • creating a new regulatory framework and a new Joint Competent Authority with stronger enforcement powers;
  • ensuring more effective product testing;
  • putting in place a new requirement for the owners of higher risk residential buildings to specify a duty holder;
  • developing better procurement practices.

The Hackitt Review also identified a ‘golden thread’ of the four key pieces of information integral to building safety - the digital record, the fire and emergency file, full plans and the construction control plan - which must become the legal responsibility of those undertaking work on higher risk residential buildings.Although the Hackitt Review was broadly welcomed by business leaders and has already bought about some change in this sector, some feel it didn’t go far enough in terms of recommending specific changes as banning desktop studies, insisting on the use of sprinklers in tall buildings and the introduction of secondary escape routes.