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How Fire Safety Might Change Construction in the Next Few Years

The construction industry is going through major changes. Since the tragic Grenfell Tower fire, the government has been trying to bring in major reforms to increase the transparency, accountability and quality of the construction industry with the aim of ensuring the safety of every resident. After the Grenfell Tower fire, the government commissioned an independent investigation to find out the cause of the fire and get insights into how such tragedies could be prevented in the future. The findings of the report highlighted various problems in the industry such as the lack of accountability, transparency and the need for a major culture shift in the industry, along with recommendations on how to bring about these changes.

Currently, the Draft Safety Bill has been published with the key fire-safety recommendations from the Hackitt report. It is soon to be passed as a law, leading to changes in the industry in the next few years. Let's look at how these fire safety laws could affect the construction industry in future:

Cultural Changes

One of the biggest changes that will result from the enforcement of the proposed fire-safety reforms is a culture change in the industry. The Hackitt review found that the industry was lacking accountability, and it was impossible to find the person responsible for mishaps due to the lack of information available. To deal with this issue, various suggestions have been mentioned in the Draft Safety Bill. Once these are enforced, a major cultural change in the way the industry functions can be expected.

Some of the potential culture changes include more collaboration between all key stakeholders during the different stages of construction, a move towards modern methods of construction and the adoption of digital tools to ensure safety in the industry.

Golden Thread of Information

The lack of comprehensive fire-safety information was a major issue while investigating the Grenfell Tower fire. To deal with this, the Draft Safety Bill proposes the concept of a golden thread of information containing all relevant and updated fire safety details throughout the lifecycle of the building. This digital record will be initiated at the beginning of each project and passed on to the key stakeholders at every stage of the construction process and ultimately to the landlord or building manager.

The introduction of the golden thread of information will ultimately lead the industry towards being more accountable and transparent with relevant fire-safety information. This digital record of all the fire-safety data will also clearly define the responsibility each stakeholder holds in the overall safety of the building.

Building Products Regulator

To ensure better quality construction products, the government has already set up the Building Products Regulator as recommended in the Draft Safety Bill. This new division will be a part of the Office for Product Safety & Standards within the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The setting up of the Building Products Regulator marks the next stage of the government's efforts to enforce a stricter regime in the industry through rigorous testing of construction products to promote a higher standard of quality in the industry.

Find out more

Learn more about how fire safety might change the construction industry in the next few years. Join industry leaders Andrew Taylor, Technical Officer at ASFP, Chris Taylor, Associate Director at WSP, Nick Coombe, Deputy Head of the PPRU National Fire Chiefs Council, Nick Haughton, Head of Marketing at Sapphire Balconies, Carlsson Elkins, Head of Marketing at Sertus Ltd., Scott Sanderson, Partner at PRP LLP and Valentina Amoroso, Senior Façade Consultant at Eckersley O'Callaghan as they discuss their views about the various changes that can be expected in the industry in the next few years. Register for the upcoming event 'How Fire Safety might Change Construction in the Next Few Years?' here -

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