Consultation open to gauge industry views on best way of clarifying key responsibilities and roles to ensure safety across the lifetime of a building
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched a consultation for a Fire Safety Plan of Work intended to clarify roles and responsibilities during every stage of a building’s lifecycle.
A draft document had now been published and is open to consultation until October 11, 2018 as a means to address concerns raised in Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. The review was launched as a response to the Grenfell Tower fire.
RIBA has used the proposed overhaul of its existing process guidance to try and incorporate key recommendations in the Hackitt review that have called for improved “transparency, accountability and collaboration” across the construction and building services industry.
RIBA director of practice Lucy Carmichael said that the draft Plan of Work set devised as a resource that can be adopted as broadly as possible by stakeholders working across design, construction and longer-term building management.
She said, “We cannot wait for longer-term regulatory change to come into force; the construction industry needs immediate guidance.”
“I encourage all RIBA members and other industry professionals to provide detailed feedback on this draft document, which we hope will be an important step to further strengthen consideration of fire safety in all aspects of building design, procurement, construction and maintenance.”
The RIBA document is accompanied by a process map showing best practice on who should take responsibility for delivering and overseeing fire safety at different stages of a building’s construction.
A key recommendation is to ensure the earlier involvement of building control, fire authorities, building managers and tenants. This could lead to increased costs for the client.
Project team accountability would be enforced through new statutory duties based on the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 model.
Proposed review and sign-off procedures, and independent inspection, would also help to safeguard fire safe specification and detailing, according to RIBA.