With furore building around the initial findings of the BRE report into the Grenfell Tower fire leaked to the London Evening Standard, Bureau Veritas has reiterated the critical importance of specification, construction methods and adherence to building standards in ensuring buildings are constructed correctly and appropriately going forward.
The reported findings of the leaked interim document focused on five potentially significant breaches of building regulations that contributed to the spread of fire at Grenfell Tower, specifically in relation to a refurbishment carried out between 2014-16. Areas of focus included the building cladding and insulation, as well as the design and installation of the windows and cavity barriers.
Andy Lowe, director of building control at Bureau Veritas, comments: “Firstly, it’s important that we wait for the full BRE report to be published to understand the real implications of the findings of the investigation. It’s also crucial that these findings are reviewed in conjunction with the ‘Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety’ by Dame Judith Hackitt and alongside any changes to Government legislation that may arise as a result.
“However, it’s always imperative to reiterate just how important it is to construct buildings correctly in accordance with building regulations, including at the specification stage to ensure that materials selected are appropriate and suitable for their intended use. This includes adequate inspection at every stage of the process to not only assess the suitability of the materials used but also that installation has been done correctly.
“Benchmarking of key areas and photography of critical components is also recommended as best practise, along with thorough documentation to form part of a fire safety dossier that can be passed on to the fire risk assessor – this should also be made available to the relevant tenants association if applicable.
“Any further alteration works should be reviewed against the original strategy for the building and obviously should still comply fully with safety requirements. Only with all these measures in place can we be satisfied that a building has been constructed and maintained to the highest standards.
“It is our understanding and continued hope that when both the full BRE findings and the Hackitt Review are published that this approach to best practice is strengthened, to ensure long-term compliance with these vital aspects of fire safety.”
Bureau Veritas is a leading testing, inspection and certification company with a vast experience of the building control sector. Bureau Veritas Building Control UK combines technical expertise and market-leading systems with unrivalled industry experience to deliver building control services to some of the biggest names in construction. Through effective teamwork, a consistent approach and commitment to excellence, Bureau Veritas’ solutions go beyond just compliance – they can help to reduce costs and manage risk throughout the building lifecycle, from design stages through to site inspections and final certification – whilst giving designers confidence that the project will comply with Building Regulations and all relevant legislation.
For further information, call 0345 600 1828 or visit www.bureauveritas.co.uk