T H E A F T E R M A T H O F G R E N F E L L
Some of the key findings from our report
1. A blueprint for building better
The new building safety regime must balance cost, build quality and the expediency in which changes are made. The new regime cannot be limited to focus on only those buildings considered potentially “high risk”, to the detriment of all new builds.
The aftermath of Grenfell:
A new building safety regime
Download our report
2. A new regime at what cost?
The level of government support that has been made available to effect urgent remedial works for buildings identified as unsafe appears to be far less than that which is required. This coupled with considerable ambiguity as to what is likely to be covered by the Government fund means the industry is left wondering who will be left paying the bill?
3. Revolution, not evolution
There needs to be a fundamental reform of building and fire safety, from legislation to culture. Those regulating safety need to be consistent. The Building Safety Bill is an excellent start, but it does not capture the complete reform that is needed for Building Regulations in terms of fire and build safety. A consistent approach across the entire industry is needed.
4. Building smarter, not cheaper
Technology has an increasingly important role to play in ensuring the golden thread of information throughout the lifecycle of a property, from design through to construction and ongoing management. There will be opportunities for tech companies to develop improved systems which aid regulation, oversight, inspection, approval, and management of building and safety information across the industry.
8. The risk of rising premiums
With concern in the insurance industry about the increased liability for building professionals, there is a real prospect that there will be fewer insurers willing to cover such high risk, which could lead to rising premiums or certain building works becoming 'uninsurable.'
7. Size matters
Only buildings over 18m in height are eligible for current government funding, which leaves those living in shorter buildings without any support, despite facing the same kinds of fire safety issues as those living in taller blocks. There are hundreds of thousands of buildings believed to be affected, and limited funds available.
It is apparent that the industry has struggled with employing the right skillset in the past, so it is imperative that the best talent is secured for the future. There must be a culture shift away from having building safety and regulatory compliance as just a box-ticking exercise. Education will be paramount to achieving that goal.
5. Reducing risk
The Government has an important role in encouraging insurers to underwrite construction projects and professionals in a way that accurately reflects risk. The sooner the Government can clarify how the new building regime will work, that in itself will contribute to greater certainty for insurers.
10. Looking to the future, with an eye on the past
The Building Safety Bill is almost entirely “forward-looking”. Whilst designed to ensure that the deficiencies such as those that led to the Grenfell tragedy, are never repeated in future buildings, there is concern in the industry that the legislation does not adequately address how to tackle defects in existing buildings.
9. Watching the watchmen
As evidenced in the Building Safety Bill, the Government intends to leave oversight of setting safety standards to the industry itself. Questions have been raised in consultation about the role of Architects and others in the “built environment”, including how proper Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements will be monitored and sanctions for those who do not maintain this.