Apartments and offices sitting next to a body of water

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  • The final Grenfell Tower Inquiry report will be published on 4 September, it has been announced, following hearings to determine how the Kensington tower block came to be in a condition that allowed fire to spread.

    The second report into the 2017 disaster, which claimed 72 lives, comes after a seven-year long inquiry which examined 1,500 witness statements and 300,000 documents.

    A brief notice on the inquiry website said: “The inquiry has written to core participants to inform them that the phase two report will be published on Wednesday 4 September 2024.

    ”Further information about the arrangements for publication will be published in due course.”

    The report follows the final hearing in the inquiry’s second phase, which examined how the tower block came to be in a condition that allowed fire to spread, in November 2022. The first report into the inquiry, which established a factual narrative of events, was published in October 2019.

    The report comes a day after the Metropolitan Police said a total of 19 firms or organisations and 58 individuals are currently under investigation in relation to the disaster, by a team of 180 dedicated officers and staff.

    It said criminal trials for the Grenfell Tower fire will not begin until 2027.

    • Building Safety Act
  • The Building Safety Alliance, a collaborative effort uniting leading industry figures, associations, and bodies, has announced the publication of two pivotal documents aimed at bolstering competence standards and fostering the recruitment of qualified professionals within the residential occupied sector.

    The newly unveiled documents, BSAS 01:2024 Organisational Capability Management System Standard and Guidelines outlining competence expectations for stakeholders involved in specifying, procuring, and managing services for occupied high-rise and higher-risk residential buildings, serve as essential resources for organisations seeking to enhance competence within their building safety functions. These initiatives align with the imperative of meeting the requirements set by the new building safety regime and its regulations pertaining to competence.

    The Standard will next become part of the British Standards Institute (BSI) standards development process, towards a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) or full British Standard (BS). Both documents are available free of charge - anyone interested in the Standard, will be engaged in a feedback process:

    To request a ccopy of the Organisation Capability Standard CLICK HERE
    To request a copy of the  Guidelines for Competence CLICK HERE

    • Building Safety Regulator
    • Regulations and Guidance
  • The first phase of the BSR's  campaign activity has focused on encouraging residents to visit the  dedicated campaign page and to sign-up to newsletters for further information to help understand their responsibilities and how they can take part in important deicison making about their building.

    You can visit the page here:  Your home, your safety - Making Buildings Safer

     

    • Building Safety Regulator
  • The Home Office has published (5 February 2024) 9 national guidelines to the FRS, intended to support operational guidance and operational practices during a full or partial evacuation from high rise residential buildings.

     These guidelines arise from recommendation 33.22a from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry (Phase 1), which was “That the government develop national guidelines for carrying out partial or total evacuations of high-rise residential buildings, such guidelines to include the means of protecting fire exit routes and procedures for evacuating persons who are unable to use the stairs in an emergency, or who may require assistance (such as disabled people, those with cognitive impairment, older people and young children).

    In addition, two of the guidelines draw on information from stakeholders in connection with the 2021 PEEPs consultation and the subsequent EEIS consultation.

    Each guideline includes a headline finding, and an evidence section providing further information and, where available, links to published research and more detailed information available at this time.

    FRSs, and the National Fire Chief Council (NFCC), will wish to consider how to draw on these guidelines and the more detailed information to support operational guidance and local operational procedures.

    To access the guidance, CLICK HERE

    • Fire Safety
  • An open letter from the Housing Minister and the Director of Building Safety regarding charges associated with managing safety in high rise buildings.

    In a joint letter to building managers, housing minister Lee Rowley and Phillip White, the director of building safety at the Health and Safety Executive, said they have been made aware of ‘unacceptably high’ charges for services related to producing safety case reports in recent months.

    The letter acknowledged that pulling together evidence to produce the safety case report for some buildings ‘can be a challenging process’ and that building managers may need to commission investigations in some cases.

    The housing minister and director of building safety issued a warning that they will “continue to monitor very closely the actions of those within this sector and, should we see evidence of inappropriate behaviour, will not hesitate to call it out publicly in the future”.

    They added: “Most of this sector is already doing the right thing; others should take heed of this letter and the advice contained therein immediately”.

    However, it stressed that leaseholders should be able to understand what they’re being charged for and why, and that existing building safety assessments should be used where possible

    Read the full letter here

    • Building Safety Regulator