Interim report published by Dame Judith Hackitt
Professional bodies should ‘work together’ to prevent another Grenfell Tragedy says Dame Judith Hackitt in her interim report into building regulations and fire safety, published today [Monday 18 December].
Last week marked and commemorated six months since the tragedy at Grenfell Tower. The disaster has highlighted deficiencies in fire and building regulations and, clearly, in how housing is provided and managed. APS believes it has shone a bright light on the need to get on with the infrastructure renewal the whole country needs and to ensure that safety is always considered paramount.
Of the findings in the interim report, APS President Bobby Chakravarthy said:
“The Association for Project Safety agrees with Dame Judith Hackitt that safer buildings start with good design and ensuring corners are not cut and clear regulations are established and consistently applied. But, for this we have to untangle the mare’s nest of complex and sometimes competing regulations, critically ensuring everyone involved in the design and risk management process is equipped with the relevant and up to date skills and education to build safe.”
Professor John Nolan, chairman of CIC and formerly President of the Institution of Structural Engineers, welcomed the direction of the Interim Report on behalf of all CIC members, saying:
“Within a few days of the Grenfell tragedy, all of the professional bodies in the built environment came together at a meeting of the Council and all agreed that there was a need for systemic change across the industry and a root-and-branch review of the regulatory system. We congratulate Dame Judith for her interim report, which mirrors the views that have developed within CIC over the past six months and we very much look forward to working with Dame Judith and the DCLG in carrying this work forward into action and change”.
The main finding from the report was that the current regulatory system for ensuring fire safety in high-rise and complex buildings is not fit for purpose. It points to unclear guidance, poor clarity of roles and suggests the means of assessing and ensuring the competency of key people throughout the system is inadequate. It concludes by calling for professional bodies to work together to develop a more robust fire safety infrastructure.