Hackitt Review: Fire protection firm calls for more prescriptive guidance to foster collaboration in construction

BUILDING REGULATIONS

A fire engineer from a major fire protection firm has urged Dame Judith Hackitt to make building regulations more prescriptive.

Bob Glendenning, global fire engineering manager for Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings, argues this is vital to get all parties involved in construction, from architects to building contractors and insurers, onside to make sure fire protection is designed into UK buildings before they are built. Since last October, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) and other stakeholders across the construction industry have been developing a Plan of Works for Fire, an add-on to RIBA's Plan of Works. The new plan's aims are to ensure there is a detailed specification for fire protection at the design stage and a fire schedule requiring sign-off at every step throughout the construction process.

The bodies also aim to provide industry with updated best practice guidance on fire safety. Dame Judith Hackitt's review of the building regulations ordered after the Grenfell Tower tragedy found that the system being used by the construction industry in complex buildings is not fit for purpose and is open to abuse. Bob Glendenning, global fire engineering manager for Sherwin-Williams, which develops intumescent coatings for buildings, said: "The design, materials and products in use on today's modern complex buildings is changing, and as a result fire performance needs to be factored in as early as possible, not at the end.

"The use of intumescent coatings has allowed designers to create stunning buildings in our cities in the UK and overseas. However, it is critical to the performance of these life-safety coatings that the applied thickness is correct and applied correctly within the build. "We would like to see more formal, prescriptive guidance for the supply chain which ensures there is collaboration between the various professionals.

"This may be incorporated within existing Building Regulations (ADB), or separately. The whole supply chain has a part to play, and we should all accept our responsibilities with due care."

Sherwin-Williams Protective and Marine Coatings is exhibiting at FIREX International, 19-21 June 2018, ExCeL London. You can find them on stand A195. Register now.

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