Ministers task Hackitt with building regs review

July 31, 2017 – Former HSE chair Judith Hackitt has been commissioned by the government to lead an independent review of building regulations and fire safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze.

The review will look at current building regulations and fire safety with a particular focus on high rise residential buildings. It will report jointly to the communities secretary Sajid Javid and home secretary Amber Rudd.

Dame Judith Hackitt is a chemical engineer who chaired the Health & Safety Executive from 2007 to 2016 and was president of the Institution of Chemical Engineers for 2013/14. She is currently chair of the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF).

The review of regulations follows the fire at Grenfell Tower that killed 80 occupants and raised serious questions about the fire safety of high rise residential buildings. More specifically, it resulted in a government testing programme of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding from similar buildings across the country, revealing them to be not fit for purpose

The first system tested, a wall cladding system using an aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding with unmodified polyethylene filler (Cat 3) and foam insulation, failed the test set out in current building regulations guidance1.

The Hackitt review will examine:

  • the regulatory system around the design, construction and on-going management of buildings in relation to fire safety
  • related compliance and enforcement issues
  • international regulation and experience in this area.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid said: “Since the tragic Grenfell Tower disaster, the government has been working to make sure people living in high rise buildings are safe.

“It’s clear we need to urgently look at building regulations and fire safety. This independent review will ensure we can swiftly make any necessary improvements. Government is determined to make sure that we learn the lessons from the Grenfell Tower fire, and to ensure nothing like it can happen again.”

Dame Judith Hackitt said: “I am honoured to be asked by government to lead this important independent review. This review will look at building regulations and fire safety to see what changes can be made for the future to make these more effective.

“I am keen to engage widely with industry and the public to inform the recommendations from the review. I want the recommendations to lead to any necessary improvements in the system being made.”

Terms of reference will be published in summer 2017, once the terms of reference for the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry have been agreed.

It is expected that the review will present an interim report before the end of the year, and a final report no later than spring 2018. The government will act swiftly on any recommendations from this review to make sure people living in high rise buildings are safe.



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