Housing Specification

August/September 2020

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In a timely move the Public Accounts Committee has issued a highly critical report into the Government's handling of building safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire (see page 8). The report was released as many organisations begin to respond to the Government's consultation on improving building regulation and safety across the industry. As the PAC highlights a catalogue of Government failures, many industry bodies believe the Government is still falling way short of the changes required. For example, whilst the RIBA welcomes the intention of the Bill to provide long-overdue power to amend the Building Regulations – including requiring building safety 'duties' to be carried out on all projects – it has fundamental concerns about the delegation of duties and scope of the future regulatory system. Chair of the RIBA Fire Safety Group, Jane Duncan, said: "The draft Building Safety Bill provides mechanisms to facilitate future regulatory change but, over two years on from the Hackitt Review, it's still a long way from where it needs to be. "The devil's in the detail – and that's exactly what's missing. We need clarification around the roles and responsibilities of 'dutyholders', measures to ensure Permitted Development schemes are fire-safe, and an appropriate definition of a 'high- risk building' – because fire does not discriminate. "We urge the government to take note of our concerns and eagerly await clarification on secondary legislation. The longer this process continues, the longer people remain at risk." This is an issue and a challenge that clearly is not going to go away and while the Government should be applauded for some changes, there is still an over-riding concern that it is merely tinkering with the system rather than instigated a much-needed overhaul. The time for Government to listen to the industry as a whole, take note of its expert opinion and adopt many of the recommendations being made is long overdue. Paul Groves Group Editor paul.groves@tspmedia.co.uk To make an enquiry - Go online: www.enquire2.com or post our free Reader Enquiry Card WELCOME 3 Welcome Howells Patent Glazing Ltd - Triton Works, Woods Lane, Cradley Heath, Warley, West Midlands B64 7AN 01384 820060 www.howellsglazing.co.uk info@howellsglazing.co.uk Howells Patent Glazing, experts since 1973 in manufacturing, supply and installation of unique roof glazing systems for the private, public and commercial sectors. • Northlights, double and single pitch roofl ights, patent glazing, canopies, vents & guttering • Auto CAD drawings • U values of 0.7w/m 2 • Weather tightness tested to current British standards • Quality assurance to ISO 9001:2015 • Members of council for aluminium in building • Railway stations, shopping centres, schools, heritage buildings, industrial & commercial buildings, together with domestic applications, swimming pools and conservatories • Prebuilt range roofl ights available in 7-10 working days

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