Building Control: High Rise, High Risk?

Contract Management and Disputes

Construction

April 26, 2019

colorful high rise building

Dame Hackitt’s 2018 report ‘Building a Safer Future’ was published following the tragic fire on 14 June 2017 at Grenfell Tower. The recommendations focused on changes to the safety regulations in construction of High Rise Residential Buildings (HRRBs), but could they have a wider impact on contract management and disputes?

The extent to which the recommendations will be implemented still remains unclear, although some have been incorporated into the UK Government’s revised Approved Document B on Fire Safety, for which the public consultation finished in October 2018. In this article, Richard Begbey shares some insight into the potential impact at each stage of the construction process should the recommendations be adopted in full.

Application: Building a Benchmark

The key focus of Dame’s Hackitt’s report is on HRRB and calls for a new regulatory body, a ‘Joint Competent Authority’ (JCA), comprising of Local Authorities Building Standards, fire and rescue services and the Health and Safety Executive. This new body would have far-reaching and significant powers and could significantly change the regulatory process applicable to the construction industry. The recommendations suggest that this may take form as an industry-wide body which should be introduced to other high-risk residential buildings, as well as institutional residential buildings. This could result in high-rise commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, hotels and the like also being subject to the same regulations.


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Alastair Farr

Senior Managing Director, Head of Europe Construction Solutions