Series Introduction: Demystifying the Building Regulations
Author: Phoebe Winter
Published: 22nd June 2021
Please see the end of this introduction for links to each article in the series.
Since the tragedy at Grenfell Tower on 14th June 2017, the world of building safety legislation has been busy creating new regulations to try and ensure a repeat of this disaster does not occur in the future. For this to happen there needs to be a greater availability of building information, it must be stored in a way that is accessible, and it needs to be used to inform the actions of those responsible for the safety of the building.
On 7th May 2021 at Fairmount Avenue in Poplar, we again saw a fire occur in a high-rise building. This led to the evacuation of 38 adults and four children, with two men hospitalised due to smoke inhalation. Parts of blocks 8-10 had caught fire, and it was reported that the cladding in the building was due to be replaced starting on 10th May. Since then, the building owners, Ballymore, have said that the cladding, which was the same ACM PE cladding used in Grenfell Tower, did not combust or contribute to the fire.
It could be presumed that the plans to replace the cladding at Poplar just days after the fire were a part of the Government’s initiative to install safe cladding in all buildings over 18 metres in height, or six storeys, in England. These measures emanated from Dame Judith Hackitt’s post-Grenfell report ‘Building a Safer Future’. This report identified problems in the building, management, and care of some high-rise residential buildings. It also noted that residents have sometimes felt doubtful about the safety of their buildings, and have not been able to get these concerns taken seriously.
Please note when reading this series, that this does not cover all regulations that have been in discussions, but only some significant new and upcoming legislation and British standards to be aware of.
This series of articles will aim to provide simple explanations of the developments that have been occurring in the world of building safety regulations, starting with the Golden Thread and Building Safety Bill.
Golden Thread and Building Safety Bill - HERE.
Building Safety Regulator - coming soon.
Fire Safety Act - coming soon.
EWS1 Forms - coming soon.
BS8644-1: 2021 - coming soon.
Regulation 38 - coming soon.