The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) is pleased to announce that the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched a consultation on a new RIBA Plan of Work for Fire Safety.
The document represents the culmination of work which was initiated in 2016 when the ASFP convened a panel of stakeholders from across the built environment to investigate how fire protection could be improved throughout the construction cycle. All identified a number of issues with the construction process, including: fragmentation within the construction design and build process, multiple sub-contracting and inadequate inspection of works during construction and on completion.
Working with AHMM Architects, the stakeholder group recognised that developing a Plan of Work for Fire Safety, which complemented the existing RIBA work plan methodology, would provide a recognisable route for improvement. The work took on greater urgency following the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017 and the ASFP commends RIBA for taking the initiative forward to develop this vital resource for design and construction teams and building owners.
The new RIBA Plan of Work ensures there is a detailed specification for fire protection at the design stage and a schedule for fire throughout the construction process. The Plan of Works includes sign offs as construction progresses, with all information reaching the end-user to support adequate fire risk management.
The new document also reflects the recommendations of the Hackitt review, which called for a greater focus on the roles and responsibilities and a ‘Golden thread’ throughout a building’s lifecycle. The review also recommended the introduction of mandatory sign off procedures at the key Gateway Points of: Planning Permission, Permission to Build and Permission to Occupy.
ASFP CEO Niall Rowan stated:
‘The ASFP welcomes the launch of this important consultation which represents a vital step forward in improving the safety of our built environment.
‘We have long called for fire to be considered much earlier in the construction process and this new document clearly sets out the requirements and responsibilities at each stage of the process, from original design and throughout the life of the building, including changes and refurbishments later in the building’s life.
‘The document represents the successful conclusion of many months of work involving a wide range of stakeholders from across the construction industry and as such we hope will gain strong support and recognition.’