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3 months ago

March 2018

Hackitt review Process,

Hackitt review Process, compliance and enforcement Making sure that a building is safe in the event of a fire doesn’t end with the original design and construction. Most buildings are expected to last for decades, and over that time are likely to be altered in some way or may even undergo a change of use. They also need maintaining. The report talks about having a “golden thread” for high-rise and complex buildings – a means of keeping a record of any changes and any reviews of the building to check whether it is still safe and fit for purpose. The proper use of BIM at the right level could potentially be a way of supplying that “golden thread” – a comprehensive log of every detail from design to construction, which is then handed over to the building manager to be updated throughout the life of the building. Secondly, these processes need to be enforced much more rigorously than under the current system, with proper sanctions for “the few who do not follow the rules”. Residents’ voice and raising concerns All too often, the people who live in these buildings are not consulted or listened to when they raise concerns. Yet they are most likely to be able to spot problems and identify risks. They should also be able to have peace of mind that their homes have been constructed safely. The other steps highlighted above should help to provide that assurance, and the report also states that there should be a “clear, quick and effective route for residents’ concerns to be addressed”. Quality assurance and products Specifiers and contractors rely on manufacturers to supply good information about the performance of their products. It is essential that this information is based on proper testing and certification. One of the issues highlighted in the report is that individual products are being used as part of systems, when those systems have not been fully tested. In other words, the performance of individual components should Changing the way that health and safety is managed on site has greatly reduced risks to construction workers The installation of the system is every bit as important as the product performance not be taken in isolation, but in relation to how they are installed and how they interact with each other – something that can only be assessed through large-scale system testing such as BS 8414. From a contractor’s point of view, the installation of the system is every bit as important as the product performance, with the report stating that: “The integrity and efficacy of product and system classifications are highly dependent on correct installation by competent and knowledgeable persons”. The report therefore calls for products to be marketed in a way that is “clear and easy to interpret” – there must be no ambiguity. It also highlights the need for the quality of the “In other words, if you are a contractor on a project, you are responsible for the quality of the build” installation work to be overseen. Even the best performing products and systems can fail if they are improperly installed. A call to action The summary of the report concludes “this is a call to action for an entire industry”. The responsibility to bring about real change rests with all of us to step up and play our part. Dame Judith reminds us that we have made such a major shift in culture before; for example, changing the way that health and safety is managed on site has greatly reduced risks to construction workers over the last decade. Now it is time to make our buildings safer for those who live and work in them. We know the direction of travel. The next step is to look at how we go about transforming the regulatory system and delivering the quality of buildings we know we are capable of. Contact Kingspan Insulation 01544 387 384 www.kingspaninsulation.co.uk @KingspanIns_UK 64 TC MARCH 2018

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