Hackitt: a building control inspector’s perspective

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  1. I fully agree with the comments here that competence is the area of concern in the industry today. We live presently in a world of tick box processes and sub contracting out risk at all project stages, under certification schemes (making it some else’s problem). The result is a loss of understanding of how buildings and materials work and react across the industry at all levels. We will not see real improvement until we move to a culture of responsibility and collaboration; using current and competent people to realise risks and manage them effectively producing quality/safe structures.

  2. “Well firstly it should be pointed out that the report does contain many good recommendations, such as a requirement for plans to be approved prior to works commencing and increased enforcement powers to improve compliance, which are all welcome. These have, however, been around since the Future of Building Control Implementation Plan published in 2009, but which have never been enacted, so this is hardly ground-breaking new thinking”. The above comment is spot on.

    The report is a real wake up call and lots of people in high places should be saying to themselves what the …. if going on

  3. I’m finding the reports of Dr Barbara Lane the really frightening thing, the number of failures that together made a simple fire a tragedy.

    I’m responsible on site for facades on a project with 6 buildings, the tallest of which goes to around 46 stories, but the highest risk one building an 800 room hotel.

    I had to send the project architect the links to the Barbara Lane reports, as I’m so worried the ‘lessons learned’ are already being forgotten amongst our documentation consultants.

    Just one lesson, the importance of the fire lift to the fire brigade, has been lost as our designers have decided amongst themselves that the contractor will solve their design problems, simply due to the contractor choosing the model of lift! That peripheral issues such as sprinkler design, architectural and electrical design may be the consultants own responsibility contractually, is apparently irrelevant.

    There are other examples, so I have to wonder (as Chris Blythe is writing) how are we going to reform the industry so the endemic buck passing finally stops?

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