Review a “step in the right direction”

Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety is a “step in the right direction” according to Yale Door and Window Solutions.

The report highlights a need for not only practical changes – emphasising the importance of certified products, installation and inspection – but also a change in attitude toward fire safety.

Paul Atkinson sales and commercial director for Yale Door and Window Solutions, said: “Yale recognises that many of the recommendations made within the review, advocated by Dame Judith Hackitt, are necessary for improving building safety and addressing the lack of testing, standards and product performance.

“We believe this is a step in the right direction and supports the underlying principles of the report.

“In the future, we would like to see the scope of these recommendations extended. Fire safety should be regarded with critical importance across all building types. The review mentions the possibility of widening the scope of the framework ‘in due course’ to encompass a wider set of residential buildings. This is where it feels proportionate to do so and the recommendation will clearly benefit building standards more broadly.”

Paul also said that Yale supports the review’s recommendation for third party certification, although there is a need for more detail around them and a clear plan on how any changes to existing regulations will be enforced.

“We also support the DHF trade body in its recent call for mandatory third-party certification of companies manufacturing, installing or repairing fire resisting doorsets,” Paul said.

“Beyond this, one of the clearest ways to ensure that specifications are followed is through the sharing of information. We believe that data sharing through digital test records for fire doors, as well as the widespread adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM), will form an important part of this improved communication.”

Yale said building regulations may not accurately reflect advances in technology and best practice because they are not updated often enough.

“Product standards should be made more flexible and be updated regularly, in line with the outcomes-based model, which is a less prescriptive approach but one that still requires ownership of solutions,” Paul said.

“We believe that a move towards whole-life costing during the procurement process will make it harder for builders and engineers to substitute in substandard products, as it will include the expense of the higher-quality, certified fittings and equipment.”

Yale said certified doorsets should be sold as complete systems, or that where the door and door components are from separate suppliers then there should be an audit trail to prove compliance and performance at every stage.

“This will both reduce the complexity of regulations and make its intended use much clearer to installers,” Paul said.