The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) has responded to the findings of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety and Dame Judith Hackitt’s interim report.
The review covers how to improve fire safety in high-rise blocks, what can be done to address perceived system failings in the building regulatory system and deeper cultural problems in the construction industry around regulatory compliance and responsibility.
The report found that many products are tested in isolation and aren’t formally checked to ensure they are as originally specified, or even whether the products that are delivered to site are as specified.
Douglas Masterson, GAI technical manager, agreed with the report: “This was one of the GAI’s key recommendations, as a better regime of inspecting the installation of fire doors and ironmongery on site by a trained professional who is aware of many of the regulations and standards as well as their application would eliminate many of the current gaps in fire safety.”
The report also concluded that ‘value engineering’ was almost always about cutting cost out of a project. Douglas commented: “The GAI and its members would welcome any change to existing value engineering practice. There need to be more controls placed on the substitution of specified materials.
“Ironmongery, which is one of the last elements fitted to a building, is often at risk of being substituted and not always to an equivalent standard. This creates potentially fatal fire safety issues. We’re glad that this issue is finally being recognised and look forward to seeing how the final review will improve the specification process.”
Hackitt also recommended that those working on the design, construction, inspection and maintenance of complex and high-risk buildings are suitably qualified.
The GAI offers a diploma and CPD programme which provides a professional and up-to-date critical life safety element of any building.
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