CIC has produced a response to the final report of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety from Dame Judith Hackitt, Building a Safer Future.
The response looks at changes to construction regulations and enforcement and says that reforms should apply to all aspects of life safety in buildings and be wider than those recommended in the Hackitt Review.
CIC says: “We also believe that necessary change in industry culture will only be successful if that change is driven through at all levels and scales of work, including the public sector.”
The report agrees with the need for a Joint Competent Authority (JCA) to oversee building regulations and enforcement, but says its membership disagrees with the mechanisms for reform.
Building Standards Agency
In the report, CIC proposes the creation of a Building Standards Agency to oversee construction and building management and ensure buildings are built to be safe and remain safe.
CIC also agrees with the need to strengthen certification and verification, requiring clients and their builders to certify their new buildings as compliant, and building control policing verification.
The report suggests that the level of building control involvement and need for certification should be assessed according to whether buildings are higher risk (Hackitt’s HRRBs), complex or simple.
Dame Judith’s ‘Golden Thread’ is also fleshed out in more detail by CIC, with strengthening and more detail proposed for the Construction Design and Management (CDM15) Regulations. Robust criminal penalties are recommended for non-compliance.
Tendering, procurement and product quality is seen as a critical area to halt the ‘race to the bottom’ model identified by Dame Judith as operating in construction. The CIC says more work needs to be done, but pinpoints best value as the concept to steer tenders, contracts and procurement.