Building regulations report follows Grenfell Tower tragedy, in which 71 people were killed

Dame Judith Hackitt has written an interim report into building regulations, where she said the current system of regulation is “not fit for purpose” and leaves “room for those who want to take shortcuts to do so.”

The ABI has welcomed the interim report and its indictment of current building regulations. ABI head of property, Mark Shepherd said it shows that the system has become “badly broken” and reform was overdue.

The report follows the tragic Grenfell Tower incident, in which 71 people have been pronounced dead. A final version will follow in Spring 2018. The ABI has submitted 22-pages of evidence on the current regulations.

Hackitt, who has been in the post of chair of the Health and Safety Executive for a decade, confessed to being “shocked by some of the practices” in the course of the review so far.

Shepherd commented: “A thorough review of building regulations was long overdue and it’s a tragedy that it took the devastating Grenfell Tower fire to focus attention on this issue. The ABI called for much greater clarity on the roles and responsibilities for all those involved in the fire safety of a building, and it is encouraging that today’s interim report has recognised the importance of this.”

While Shepherd welcomed the report’s condemnation of the present system, he added that more work needs to be done to improve safety standards:

“We welcome the initial findings that say the current regulatory system is not fit for purpose and that there is a need for the construction industry, building owners, regulators and government to come together to address a range of shortcomings.  More detailed work is required in the next phase on the provision of sprinklers for high-risk buildings, limiting the use of combustible materials in construction and developing more robust testing regimes to ensure improved fire safety standards are adhered to.

“The ABI and its members will continue to support and work closely with the review team as they develop their more detailed final report.”