The interim report finds that:
A culture change is required – with industry taking greater responsibility for what is built – this change needs to start now the current system for ensuring fire safety in high-rise buildings is not fit for purpose a clear, quick and effective route for residents to raise concerns and be listened to, must be created Chair of the review, Dame Judith Hackitt said:
I have found that the regulatory system for safely designing, constructing and managing buildings is not fit for purpose. The current system is highly complex and there is confusion about the roles and responsibilities at each stage. In many areas there is a lack of competence and accreditation.
While this does not mean all buildings are unsafe, it does mean we need to build a more effective system for the future. That is why I am today calling for the construction industry, building owners, regulators and government to come together to identify how to overcome these shortcomings together.
The interim report sets out 6 broad areas for change:
Ensuring that regulation and guidance is risk-based, proportionate and unambiguous clarifying roles and responsibilities for ensuring that buildings are safe improving levels of competence within the industry improving the process, compliance and enforcement of regulations creating a clear, quick and effective route for residents’ voices to be heard and listened to improving testing, marketing and quality assurance of products used in construction Process, compliance and enforcement.
- There needs to be a golden thread for highrise residential and complex buildings so that the original design intent, and any subsequent changes or refurbishment, are recorded and properly reviewed, along with regular reviews of overall building integrity.
- There is a need for stronger and more effective enforcement activity, backed up with sufficiently powerful sanctions for the few who do not follow the rules. Residents’ voice and raising concerns
- Residents need to be reassured that an effective system is in place to maintain safety in their homes.
- There must be a clear, quick and effective route for residents’ concerns to be addressed. Quality assurance and products
- Products must be properly tested and certified and there is a need to ensure oversight of the quality of installation work.
- Marketing of products must be clear and easy to interpret.
In summary, this is a call to action for an entire industry and those parts of government that oversee it. True and lasting change will require a universal shift in culture. The industry has shown this is possible in the way the health and safety of construction workers has seen a positive transformation in culture and practice over the last decade. This change needs to start now. A summit will be called in early 2018 with key stakeholders to discuss taking this work forward.