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Published: 06/03/2019

In December 2018 the government announced that it is creating a stronger and more effective regulatory framework to improve building safety. The plans that were outlined in December included how the government is to implement the recommendations set out within the Hackitt Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety which was published in May 2018. The December 2018 statement from Government is summarised as follows:

Building a Safer Future, commits the government to a programme of reform over the coming years which will:

  • Take forward all of the recommendations in the Hackitt review
  • Create a more effective regulatory and accountability framework to provide greater oversight of the industry
  • Introduce clearer standards and guidance, including establishing a new Standards Committee to advise on construction product and system standards and regulations
  • Put residents at the heart of the new system of building safety, empowering them with more effective routes for engagement and redress
  • Help to create a culture change and a more responsible building industry, from design, through to construction and management

The government will establish the Joint Regulators’ Group to trial elements of a new regulatory system ahead of any new proposed legislation. The group will bring existing regulatory bodies together to work with developers and building owners, as well as seeking input from residents and tenants, to develop and test new approaches that may later feature in legislation.

In response to the changes underway, the first quarter of 2019 has seen Harris Associates start to develop and expand their compliance team, which includes an expansion of the façade assessment service offering. Working directly for fund managers and portfolio administrators across the UK on an extraordinarily diverse range of properties, since December 2018 and the end of March 2019 we have advised clients on a total of 100 properties across the UK, specifically in the context of the exterior envelope and the MHCLG Advice Notes. This is a complex area but one that we are meeting head on. “We see this sector as an area where as chartered building surveyors we are ideally placed to bring our construction and regulatory knowledge to the fore. In our day to day role, we spend a great deal of our time interpreting regulations, statute, guidance and output documents such as fire risk assessments. We use our knowledge and innate ability to find solutions and think holistically to work out the best way forward for our clients. We are adopting the same approach for those clients where façade assessments are now a real cause for concern.” – Shaun Harris

Harris Associates now has dedicated team dealing with all façade and risk assessment related instructions. For more details contact Shaun Harris or Lisa Tyler.

In other news Shaun Harris was one of the speakers at this Leasehold Conference talking on a range of licence to alter matters. For more details click here.