The Concrete Centre shares Hackitt’s commitment to Building a Safer Future
22 May 2018
The Concrete Centre welcomes recognition in the final report of the Hackitt Review ‘Building a Safer Future: Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report’ that the use of non-combustible materials “inherently provides higher levels of protection” and the call for a “focus on reducing ongoing building risks during the occupation and maintenance phase”.
The Concrete Centre submitted evidence to the review based on its engineering and fire expertise. “It is now evident that buildings degrade, and fire protection is compromised during use of a building, so the choice of non-combustible concrete and masonry is a very good way to reduce these risks,” says Executive Director Dr Andrew Minson.
The Concrete Centre also support the report’s focus on Construction Design Management (CDM) regulations and the recommendation for involvement of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) beyond completion of construction. “We continue to express concerns that fire risk in construction, and during occupancy have not been a high enough priority. In recent years, HSE recognised and acted on the heightened risks from timber framed buildings during construction, and we urge Government to do more to ensure that non-combustible structural materials are used for higher risk, high-rise residential buildings” and Minson adds “we also support the report’s clear recommendation that these guidelines be applied more widely”.
Dame Judith Hackitt also recommends creation of new structures: a structure to validate and assure guidance, a Joint Competent Authority to deliver rigorous enforcement and an overarching body for competency. The Concrete Centre is an active participant in expert forums of fire engineers, fire-fighters as well as the professional institutions, IStructE, RIBA, CPA etc. and will continue to provide its expertise into any future Government reviews to support the aim of delivering a safer built environment.
The Public Inquiry has just commenced public hearings and the findings of Hackitt’s final report are being reflected upon by both government and the construction industry. The Concrete Centre will continue to play its part in seeking the means of improving fire safety and resilience.
Designers have always had a responsibility to consider fire as a real possibility that can affect people’s lives and livelihoods. Choosing non-combustible materials, such as concrete and masonry, for the main structure of a building, provides an excellent starting point for achieving an even safer built environment for us all.
Get in Touch with The Experts
Andrew Minson, Executive Director
Andrew is Executive Director at MPA responsible for The Concrete Centre, British Precast and Modern Masonry. He joined The Concrete Centre in 2004 following 10 years with Arup in building engineering where he worked in multi-disciplinary teams developing integrated solutions. He is a Fellow of both the Institution of Structural Engineers and Institution of Civil Engineers.
He is currently chair of the IStructE Design Committee and member of the IStructE Engineering Leadership Group. He has a particular interest in sustainability. He was a member of the Buildings Task Group for the Low Carbon Construction review that led to the Green Construction Board, co-authored the Wiley publication Sustainable Concrete Solutions published in 2014 and chaired the IStructE Sustainability Panel. He is responsible for the Concrete Industry Sustainability Strategy.
Jenny Burridge, Head of Structural Engineering
Jenny is a chartered civil and structural engineer with more than 30 years’ experience in the construction industry. She has worked for Arup and AECOM designing award winning buildings in both the UK and mainland Europe. As Head of Structural Engineering she leads a team of engineers advising clients, engineers and architects on the most efficient and effective uses of concrete.
She is the UK representative on the CEN task group looking at revisions to the fire part of Eurocode 2 and chairs the BSI Advisory Committee for Engineering Design and Construction. She contributed to the Concrete Centre publication “Performance of Concrete Structures in Fire” and has been the UK member of the European Concrete Platform task-group on Fire and Eurocode 2 since 2010.
Tony Jones, Principal Structural Engineer
Tony is a Structural Engineer with over 25 years of experience in design, research and investigation of Concrete Structures. His role is to understand the impact of the Grenfell tower fire, and associated studies, on the concrete industry. In his previous role he provided
advice to project teams on the design of structures for fire. He chaired the advisory group for the BRE report “Concrete Structures in Fire performance design and analysis”.
He has also been involved in the assessment of fire damaged buildings and provided advice to the emergency services in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Fire. He is the UK Head of Delegation on the Eurocode 2 design committee which is responsible for Eurocode 2.
For more information on concrete’s performance in the event of fire, download ‘Concrete and Fire Safety’ from www.concretecentre.com/publications.