Dame Judith Hackitt, author of the Hackitt Review: Building a Safer Future, has, in her summary, declared current Building Regulations ‘not fit for purpose’ and has also identified that they are not adequately enforced anyway!
The interim report, which can be found here and downloaded in PDF format, was published just a few days ago, and has already caused a stir within the construction industry. Dame Hackitt has identified a dangerous gap between initial specifications and as-built design, and the subsequent modifications of those specifications without further intervention from planning professionals. She points out that there is a significant need to introduce a more heavily controlled process to ensure quality control, quality assurance and planning work together more closely.
She said, ‘There is plenty of good practice, but it is not difficult to see how those who are inclined to take shortcuts can do so. Change control and quality assurance are poor throughout the process. What is initially designed is not what is being built, and quality assurance of materials and people is seriously lacking.’
The review also details that the construction industry must take more responsibility in the selection process for both materials and labour, pointing out that high-rise buildings need particular attention.
Building owners and landlords have been urged by the interim review to pay closer attention in their choice of building contractors, and to ensure competency regulations have been met by all those attending and working onsite, whether main contractors or sub-contractors. This has alarmed some building owners and landlords, who now fear the weight of responsibility will remain on their shoulders.
The final version of the complete Hackitt Review is expected in the spring this year, and there are plans for a summit meeting for construction businesses and all key stakeholders to attend and make contribution to.