Dame Judith Hackitt and Peter Baker, speaking at CIOB’s Safer Buildings UK event, gave a clear message: act now on building safety. Now is the time to bring that message to an even wider audience, says Caroline Gumble.
The UK construction sector is facing fundamental changes, following the Royal Assent of the Building Safety Act in April. However, there have been concerns in the sector about the lack of detail around secondary legislation which will be key in how the new regulatory regime will work.
CIOB has been able to go some way to address this – at the end of May, our Safer Buildings UK event brought together more than 200 professionals from across the built environment sector to hear directly from most of the senior figures behind the new building safety regime.
It was important for CIOB to address the subject of safer buildings – a focus on raising quality in construction has been on CIOB’s agenda for many years now, even prior to the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. We have been vocal about the culture change needed to ensure buildings are constructed and managed to be safe for all those who create and occupy them.
“I found it heartening to hear from delegates that there’s a willingness to come together to collaborate in working towards a culture of quality in our industry.”
Keynote speakers included Dame Judith Hackitt, chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, and Peter Baker, chief inspector of buildings at the Health & Safety Executive. They both thanked CIOB and many of the other professional bodies which are ‘aligned’ to the need for change.
There was a clear message from both of them: don’t wait. The industry can and should be acting now: taking steps to ensure staff and contractors are trained, qualified and competent; working throughout the supply chain to collaborate and communicate; understanding the ‘golden thread’ of building information and how best it can be delivered. We did also get some insight into the new Building Safety Regulator’s timetable and the plans for secondary legislation.
I found it heartening to hear from delegates that there’s a willingness to come together to collaborate in working towards a culture of quality in our industry. There was a clear appetite among the 200-strong audience for this discussion.
Perhaps one of the questions to address next is how to reach the entire audience,
not just preaching to the converted already on this journey with us. How do we, as an industry, reach out now to colleagues, contractors, clients and the public?