January brought Government announcements that a new array of procedures to improve building safety will be produced.
“This Government is committed to bringing about the biggest change in building safety for a generation. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced in parliament, that a major package of reforms, including a new building safety regulator, will be created as part of a new package of measures designed to improve building safety in residential blocks.
Dame Judith Hackitt, who oversaw the independent review of building regulations and fire safety after the Grenfell Tower fire, will be the chairperson of a board, who will oversee the implementation of the new regulator as it moves into law following legislation.
The aim is to see a more rigorous administration for higher-risk buildings and to ensure that all building safety and performance standards are raised. This has proposed changes which may include –
- The use of cladding on all residential buildings regardless of their height, and the removal of cladding material comprised of ACM (and other metal composites) with an unmodified polyethylene core.
- The testing of fire doors by building owners, and the actions required should they fail tests.
- Lowering the height threshold for the installation of sprinklers in new buildings.
- Consultation on seeking ways to ensure that an appropriate level of safety is achieved in existing buildings.