RIBA launches consultation on a new Plan of Work for Fire Safety - clarifying procedures, roles and responsibilities
Following the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, the RIBA has consistently called for changes to building regulations including the strengthening of requirements on cladding, sprinklers and means of escape, and clarification on the responsibilities of those who design, construct and manage buildings.
In Dame Judith Hackitt’s ‘Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety’, which was commissioned by the Government following the Grenfell Tower fire and published earlier this year, she called for ‘greater transparency, accountability and collaboration’ from industry; the new RIBA Plan of Work for Fire Safety directly addresses this call.
“The Plan of Work for Fire Safety is a vital resource for design and construction teams and building owners, providing much needed clarity on fire safety roles and responsibilities at every stage of the process” said Lucy Carmichael, RIBA Director of Practice. “We cannot wait for longer term regulatory change to come into force, the construction industry needs immediate guidance.”
Developed in collaboration with the Association for Specialist Fire Protection, the new process map and management tool sets a framework for best practice behaviours to ensure the life safety of building users - and it’s the start of a long overdue change to our industry’s processes.
It's been designed to make clear the roles, responsibilities and deliverables for fire safety at each stage of a building’s lifecycle - no matter the type nor scale - and places Hackitt Review recommendations within a recognised industry framework.
Fire safety considerations will be embedded from the start by involving Building Control, the Fire and Rescue Authority, building managers and tenants more closely from an early stage.
Project team accountability will be strengthened by following the document’s recommended process, through new statutory duties based on the CDM 2015 model. The rigorous review and sign off procedures, and independent inspection, will also help to safeguard fire safe specification and detailing.
The RIBA now encourages all Members other industry professionals to provide detailed feedback on this draft document, which will be an important step to further strengthen consideration of fire safety in all aspects of building design, procurement, construction and maintenance.
The consultation is open until 15 October 2018.