Post-Grenfell report slams Building Regs
The leader of the independent review into building and fire safety regulations, commissioned after June’s Grenfell fire, has criticised the “complexity” of the system.
Dame Judith Hackitt will present her interim findings to MPs in Westminster later today.
“The regulations themselves are pretty simple but what sits below the Building Regulations is a whole series of guidance documents which stacked on top of one another would be about 2ft high,” she told BBC Radio 4 this morning.
“When regulations are complex it makes it quite difficult for people to penetrate that complexity to truly understand what they are required to do.
“There is clearly an opportunity to make that much simpler and to guide people to the right answer, rather than presenting them with all that information.”
Hackitt also called for a “culture change” and a commitment to “making buildings safer” instead of “simply doing things at least cost”.
She added: “There are issues of competence to be addressed as part of this.”
Hackitt said she had talked to more than 300 people so far during the review, which followed June’s Grenfell Tower fire, in which 71 people were killed.
She said: “Overwhelmingly the view that has been expressed to me is that this system needs improving, and it needs greater clarity, and I’m hopeful that’s what I’m going to bring to the system.
“The quicker we can get some [improvements] in place, the sooner we can build that level of reassurance that residents of high-rise buildings absolutely deserve.”
Hackitt also called for buildings to be managed properly through their “full life-cycle”, so any alterations do not threaten the occupants’ safety.
“If you get it right first, that’s a good start, but even then you have to have good systems in place to ensure change is managed properly,” she said.
The final report following Hackitt’s review of the Building Regulations and fire safety is due to be published next spring.
The review’s two key priorities are “to develop a more robust regulatory system for the future and provide further assurance to residents that the buildings they live in are safe and remain safe”, the government said.