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Mon September 23 2019

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BESA backs building regs overhaul

6 Aug Building engineers have called for automatic fire suppression such as sprinklers to be compulsory in all multi-occupancy residential buildings.

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has submitted a 13-page response to the government’s Building a Safer Future consultation and given its backing for legislation to tighten and improve building regulations.

The consultation, which ran from 6th June to 31st July 2019, sought views on proposals for new building regs and fire safety following Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of building regulations and fire safety that was commissioned by ministers after the Grenfell Tower fire.

BESA has called for an expansion of the proposed new safety regime beyond residential buildings above 18 metres to all types of buildings considered at high risk of fire. It proposed the mandating of automatic fire suppression to address the growing risk posed by more owners installing commercial kitchens and food retailers in buildings that also contain residential accommodation.

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“However, this has to be more than simply adhering to a new set of rules – it is a chance to be far more ambitious,” said BESA chief executive David Frise. “This is a unique opportunity to fundamentally change the culture of our industry; starting with clients being forced to feel their responsibilities in line with Dame Judith’s recommendations.

“Every party involved in the design, installation, operation or maintenance of a building needs to take responsibility for their input, from the design consultant to installation contractor,” said Mr Frise. “This should be the accepted culture within the industry – delivered without compulsion, without hesitation and with complete transparency.”

BESA has posted its full submission to the consultation process online here.

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