The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Landmark Proposal to Digitise Fire Safety Information 

Landmark Proposal to Digitise Fire Safety Information 
05 July 2021
 

A new proposed real estate industry code is set to significantly improve fire safety in the UK's buildings.

BS 8644 is a new digital code of practice for the management of fire safety information in the real estate industry, by the British Standards Institute (BSI), the UK’s national standards body.

The new code covers building design, construction, handover, asset management and emergency response. It will lead to the consistent digitisation of information across the disparate elements of the real estate industry, ensuring better coordination in emergency situations which will, in turn, significantly improve fire safety.

It is intended to be used by individuals and organisations that contribute to and influence the definition of design, construction, use, maintenance and end of life of a built asset.

Although primarily to be used for new buildings, its principles can also be applied retrospectively to existing buildings.

 

“The real estate industry is sometimes criticised for moving slowly on initiatives like this – and the adoption is not before its time. Other countries and jurisdictions should now be rapidly following the UK’s lead."

 

–John Noone

Co-Founder, Joule Group

 

The Golden Thread of Information

 

BSI originally presented a webinar in April 2021, on the "Golden Thread of Information", so-called from Dame Judith Hackitt’s Final Report, "Building a Safer Future". The report referenced a recommendation that buildings should have a "Golden Thread of Information",  a live document that details design and build information. The new BS 8644 will support this idea.

John Noone, Co-Founder of Joule Group, an independent firm of UK-based fire safety designers, engineers, consultants and technology solutions specialists, welcomes the development of the new code:

“The adoption of this new code of practice will undoubtedly play a leading role in driving the cultural and behavioural changes required to improve fire safety. It should be welcomed by all those involved in construction and building management."

Noone also agreed that, as a sizeable sector of the UK economy with a particularly wide range of market participants by function, value and asset class, real estate has historically adopted common standards less quickly than other sectors:

“The real estate industry is sometimes criticised for moving slowly on initiatives like this – and the adoption is not before its time. Other countries and jurisdictions should now be rapidly following the UK’s lead.

“Fire safety in the built environment has never been more newsworthy, in part due to a number of recent and tragic events. It is the responsibility of all of us in our industry to promote understanding of fire safety as broadly as possible and make sure best practice is followed everywhere and all the time.”

Responses to the proposed new standard to the Fire Safety & Built Environment Committee are to be submitted before 9 September 2021.

Picture: a photograph showing a fire exit sign

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 05 July 2021

Share



Related Articles

Fire Competency – What Facilities Managers Need to Know 

Howard Passey, Director of Operations and Principal Consultant at the Fire Protection Association, explains how FMs can ensure they meet competency requirements of...

 Read Full Article
Building Safety Bill Becomes Law

The much-discussed Building Safety Bill has received Royal Assent and will become an Act of Parliament. The bill has been one of the most talked-about legislative...

 Read Full Article
The Cuba Street Development – A 570ft Skyscraper With One Staircase?

An application for a residential 51-storey tower close to London’s Canary Wharf has been delayed due to fire safety strategy concerns from the London Fire...

 Read Full Article
Building Safety Changes – What to Look out for in 2022

The construction sector has seen a significant amount of progress in terms of building safety in the last 12 months, including the Fire Safety Act 2021 and The Hackitt...

 Read Full Article
Draft Building Safety Bill - The Industry Reacts

With the draft Building Safety Bill published last week, many in the facilities management and built environment sector are welcoming the proposed changes. The...

 Read Full Article
New Fire Safety Bill Planned

The Home Office has introduced a new bill to improve fire safety in buildings in England and Wales. The intention of the bill is to, according to the official...

 Read Full Article
MP Says Notre-Dame Scale Fire Could Happen in Parliament ‘Any Day’

MP Andrea Leadsom has highlighted the urgency of the Houses of Parliament refurbishment by claiming that a fire similar to Notre-Dame cathedral could happen “any...

 Read Full Article
Building Collapses in China’s Hunan Province

A residential building in Changsha, in central China's Hunan Province, has collapsed. According to state broadcaster CGTN, the building in Changsha's...

 Read Full Article
Extra Staircase Added to Cuba Street Tower

New plans for Cuba Street Tower near Canary Wharf now feature a second additional staircase. The Architect’s Journal has revealed that Morris+Company...

 Read Full Article
BESA Calls for Compromise in Safety Insurance Row

Contractors and insurers must work together to ensure the rising cost of professional indemnity insurance does not undermine efforts to improve building safety, according...

 Read Full Article