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Actuate UK Stresses Importance of Making Building Safety Act a “Practical Piece of Legislation”

Actuate UK Stresses Importance of Making Building Safety Act a “Practical Piece of Legislation”
12 October 2022

Actuate UK, who represents professional bodies such as BESA and CIBSE, says that new requirements through the Building Safety Act will need to be enforced firmly and robustly.

Responding to the government’s consultation on the implementation of the act and the new building control regime, the body stressed the importance of making this a practical piece of legislation which implements the spirit of the Hackitt report.

The act aims to bring about significant culture change in the design and construction of buildings. The new requirements need clear guidance and firm enforcement to discourage the unscrupulous from undercutting the majority who want to reform the industry for the safety of all”, said Dr Hywel Davies, chair of Actuate UK’s Building Safety Group and Technical Director at CIBSE.

“To drive up standards, it’s vital government plays its role in reinforcing robust validation at every stage. Members of the alliance are already actively involved in developing sector frameworks”, added Andrew Eldred of Actuate UK Skills Group and ECA’s Director of Workforce and Public Affairs.


The “Golden Thread”


Actuate UK also welcomes the introduction of the “golden thread”, outlined in the Hackitt review, and says it should apply to all buildings, so up-to-date and relevant records will be easily accessible to all contractors. “We support the Golden Thread principles. The digital systems for record-keeping should be at the discretion of the parties involved in the supply chain so it is essential they are open and interoperable”, commented Nick Mellor, Board member and Managing Director of LEIA.

The “golden thread” is a digital information resource that makes building operational information available at a much earlier stage of the design and construction process.

It is considered by bodies such as The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) and CIBSE, that access to this information will be a major contributor to improvements in building safety in the future.

At a recent CIBSE FM event, Aman Sharma, Managing Director of Totus Digital and a former fire and rescue service officer said: “The ‘golden thread’ during designing and construction of higher risk buildings should enable the right people at the right time to have information to support compliance with all applicable building regulations, including those relating to building safety.

“Some people look at me aghast when I say that, like I have to quickly remind them that you should be doing that already. The ‘golden thread’ is giving you a different name for it, and a slightly different process and a structure, and a framework.”

Picture: a photograph of a construction worker, working on some scaffolding and wearing safety equipment.  Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 12 October 2022


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