Housing minister James Brokenshire has confirmed the government will “take forward all of the recommendations” from Dame Judith Hackitt’s review into Building Regulations and fire safety post-Grenfell.
Announcing the implementation plan for Dame Hackitt’s recommendations, Mr Brokenshire said government will also create a “a stronger, more effective regulatory and accountability framework”.
A Joint Regulator’s Group will soon begin testing elements of the new framework – a timeframe for this has not been given.
Construction News revealed earlier this year that some contractors could face jail for non-compliance if the recommendations were adopted in full.
The plan also involves establishing a new Standards Committee to advise on construction product and system standards and regulations.
“My plan for stronger, tougher rules will make sure there is no hiding place for those who flout building safety rules,” Mr Brokenshire said.
“By making people responsible and more accountable for safety, we will create a more rigorous system.”
Grenfell: Hackitt Report recommendations
- A new regulatory framework for all high-rise buildings over 10 storeys should be set up.
- Government should establish a Joint Competent Authority (JCA) to oversee the management of safety risks throughout a building’s lifecycle. The body should comprise LA building standards, fire and rescue and HSE.
- A mandatory incident reporting system should be set up for duty-holders including contractors with concerns about safety.
- Rigorous set of roles and responsibilities for duty-holders should be drawn up. These should broadly align with those set out in Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
- A series of robust gateway points should be put in place for every high-rise project to pass through to ensure they meet building and fire safety regs. There will be three gateways that need to be passed at planning, design and construction.
- Any changes on a building will need to be signed off by the JCA; more significant changes will need approval by the JCA.
- More rigorous enforcement of powers. A wider range of powers will be given to authorities, with more serious penalties against firms for those that do not comply.
- A new overarching body to be created in the construction sector to provide oversight of competence requirements and training for those carrying out construction work.
- Create a new more effective testing regime for construction products including clearer product labelling and product traceability.
- A new digital record to be created for all new high-rise buildings that will chart work and changes from design right through construction up to occupation.
- Poor procurement should be tackled so that high-safety and low-risk options are prioritised above cost when a building is procured.