The Challenge of Culture Change
How can culture change be effectively implemented to ensure that buildings are safe? Are regulations sufficient to achieve this culture change?
The focus of a tougher regulatory and legislative framework will bring widespread change across the construction industry. Dame Judith Hackitt has challenged the construction industry for “culture change” and set out six broad areas for change prioritising life safety over the entire lifetime of a building, including proper enforcement of regulations, improving levels of competence within the industry and ensuring that regulation and guidance is risk-based.
The Building Act 1984 set the purpose of Building Regulations to secure the reasonable standards of health and safety for persons in or about buildings. The purpose of Building Regulations does not, however, cover the property within a building or cover the building itself. The Building Regulations are guidance and have not always been successful in providing the means of enforcing the complex interfaces of installation and detailing in complex and high-risk buildings including compartmentation and fire stopping features. With the increase in Design and Build contracts and value engineering, there are many examples where uncontrolled and undocumented changes have been made to the original design intent resulting often in poorer quality…