Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
April 20, 2018

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

hackitt review

RIBA warns Hackitt review does not go far enough

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has warned Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of building regulations and fire safety will not deliver the necessary changes in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

In a letter to the housing secretary, Sajid Javid, RIBA’s expert advisory group on fire safety claims the review has overlooked a ban on flammable cladding, requiring sprinklers to be fitted and ensuring there is a second means of escape for tower blocks.

The letter also warns the current set of proposals being considered by Dame Judith will not provide enough clarity for professionals or reassure the public.

Instead, the advisory group has made a number of recommendations, which it claims will provide the necessary clarity and reassurance.

These include ensuring there is a second means of vertical escape from new blocks of flats over 11 metres high, consistent with current regulations for commercial buildings.

The letter also recommends Dame Judith consider the retro-fitting of sprinklers and fire suppression systems to all existing tower blocks above 18 metres high.

“The RIBA has engaged closely with Dame Judith and her review and we welcome many of the suggestions made in her interim report to strengthen the building control system,” said the chair of the advisory group, Jane Duncan.

“However, we fear that the current set of proposals under consideration overlook simple, but critical changes that would provide clarity for professionals and most importantly, would help protect the public.

“Sprinklers, a second means of escape and a ban on flammable cladding for high-rise residential buildings are common sense recommendations, and a basic requirement in many other countries.

“We have written to the Secretary of State marking clear that there must be a thorough re-writing of the building regulations and guidance on all aspects of fire safety, to avoid continuation of the regulatory failings that lead to the Grenfell Tower fire,” she added.

Dame Judith’s final report is expected to be published later this Spring.



Fire Safety in 2023 eBook

SHP's sister site, IFSEC Insider has released its annual Fire Safety Report for 2023, keeping you up to date with the biggest news and prosecution stories from around the industry.

Chapters include important updates such as the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 and an overview of the new British Standard for the digital management of fire safety information.

Plus, explore the growing risks of lithium-ion battery fires and hear from experts in disability evacuation and social housing.

Related Topics

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments