RIBA Calls for Fire Sprinklers in all New Builds

A JOINT STATEMENT has been signed calling on the Government to require the installation of sprinklers in all new and converted residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, student accommodation, schools and care home buildings of 11 meters or above in height.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) all pledged support by signing for the retrofitting of sprinklers in buildings when relevant refurbishment takes place.

The joint statement comes ahead of a Westminster Hall Debate on fire safety and sprinkler systems on Tuesday 12 March.

The statement reads:
“As leading chartered professional bodies in the built environment, we believe further action is required to improve the fire safety of buildings in the UK.

“Lives, stock and property are saved by the use of Automatic Fire Suppression Systems (AFSS), which includes sprinklers. At present, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland differ in their requirements on sprinklers yet the science of fire knows no political or geographical boundaries.

“Harmonising building regulations across the nation states of the UK regarding the installation of sprinklers would provide clarity to the industry and help protect the public.

“We support the installation of sprinklers in all new and converted residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, student accommodation, schools and care home buildings 11 meters or above in height, and retrofitting to existing buildings when refurbishment occurs as ‘consequential improvements’ where a building is subject to ‘material alterations’. We also support the installation of AFSS including sprinklers below this height on a case by case basis of risk.

“Each of the professional bodies will bring forward guidance for our own professionals in line with this statement in the absence of government legislation.”

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