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FM implications within proposals for Building Regulations

17 March 2018

Dame Judith Hackitt has written to the Communities and Local Government (CLG) select committee calling for a focus on building and maintaining safety throughout the lifetime of each facility.

If adopted, the recommendations will see the Building Regulations extend their importance within the FM sector.

Dame Judith is one of the most influential persons within the ongoing consideration of the regulations and services as chair of the independent review into these and fire safety.

She confirmed her agreement of the need for "some prescription within regulations and guidance, but it is a system with roles and responsibilities, clear permission points and strong enforcement and sanctions that will drive the culture change towards intelligent thinking that will in turn deliver safe building outcomes", she wrote.

The topic of cladding was also addressed in her letter, describing the option of using products which had reduced combustion as "undoubtedly the low-risk" solution.

Where other products were used, there should be a full system test and further effort was required to ensure each system is correctly "installed and maintained throughout its life cycle".

Dame Judith's comments were welcomed by CLG select committee chair Clive Betts, particularly her point that there is currently a variety of views on "whether the regulations permit the use of combustible materials in the cladding of high-rise buildings".

Mr Betts said he had raised this point in recent Parliamentary questions "and am yet to receive a satisfactory answer from the government".

With the independent review of the regulations ongoing, this is expected to be published within the next two months.

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