Anna Wesson, INCA Manager
On Tuesday 8 May, INCA was represented at the Build UK Industry Response Group briefing. The Industry Response Group is a panel of Government and Industry experts who have met weekly since the fire at Grenfell Tower to understand the impact of the disaster on the construction industry, and the steps that can be taken to mitigate any issues.
A number of speakers attended the event, including Rob Leach from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and Graham Watts from the Construction Industry Council (CIC). However the presentation that will be most interesting to members was given by Andrew Pattison who is part of Dame Judith Hackitt’s team. He is part of the Independent Review of Building Regulations.
It is likely, though unconfirmed, that the Review will be released next week. Andrew explained that we can expect a review that is systemic in its perspective and that reflects the need for every part of the construction ‘system’ to change. We can also, as anticipated, expect a report that is a starting point to effect a culture change in construction, rather than a list of actions or obligations.
The report is likely to advocate a reinvigorated regulator, ensuring more effective regulatory oversight of construction, occupation and maintenance. This, it will be argued, should be supported by a stronger enforcement and sanctions package that supports culture change.
Further to this, the report is likely to point to the need for clear responsibilities throughout the supply chain, for clients, designers, contractors and those involved in a building’s construction through to occupation. The change is needed for residents to be safe and feel safe in their homes.
Dame Judith’s report is likely to contain some further recommendations for the construction industry. These will have significant implications for members.
- More demanding competence requirements for those carrying out building works
- A more robust testing regime with increased traceability
- Ensuring that those who are responsible for meeting building regulations are clear on the suitability of materials
- Robust change control mechanisms and information management during design, construction and occupation.
Clearly some of the changes that we can expect from the report can be driven by industry. Others will need legislation that must be written by the Government. The message that we can expect to hear loudly when the Review is published is that wholesale culture change in construction is required. INCA must consider what this means for our members. We’d like to hear your views on this, the future of construction and the external wall insulation industry.