The Hackitt Review Interim Report provides a comprehensive critique of the Building Regulations system and fire safety. LABC welcomes the report and its seven key recommendations for improvements.
Paul Everall, LABC Chief Executive said: “We welcome the interim findings of the Hackitt Review and we agree with Dame Judith’s observations that the detail within the regulations ‘is largely owned by government, with industry — those who should be the experts in best practice — waiting to be told what to do and some looking for ways to work around it.’ This echoes our requests to different Ministers for a review, not just of the guidance relating to Fire, but also their relationship to other parts of the Building Regulations such as Conservation of Energy.”
Paul continued: “Dame Judith also expresses her shock at practices and even the culture of the building industry. She refers to ‘the mindset of doing things as cheaply as possible and passing on responsibility for problems and shortcomings.’ We’d add to this the pressures of competition coming in from all directions, not just in building control, but also in the way manufacturers use test and certification as a marketing advantage. It’s an indictment of the current system that building control surveyors may not know what is being delivered on site, when, by which supplier, or even how to identify it.”
Paul concludes: “LABC and its members will do whatever we can to speed up the implementation of the Hackitt recommendations. In our quest for better building standards we have already introduced independent auditing for our local authority building control teams, including competencies. This will provide a robust platform for implementing Hackitt’s detailed suggestions. We’ll work with the department, other services and industry to bring about the changes necessary to provide a more robust and improved system for the future.”