Cranes and buildings being built at dusk


  • Seven years have passed since the tragic night when Grenfell Tower was engulfed in flames, leaving an indelible scar on our collective conscience. Today, as we remember the 72 lives lost, The Property Institute (TPI) stands in solidarity with the survivors and the Grenfell community, who continue to seek justice, and  we urge the next Government to get on with remediating unsafe buildings. 

    The Grenfell Tower fire was a preventable disaster – the consequence of a series of systemic failures and regulatory oversights. Combustible cladding, inadequate fire doors, and a dangerously flawed stay-put policy turned the tower into a death trap. The aftermath revealed the urgent need for comprehensive safety measures. Seven years on, we have a new regulatory regime, but there remain many challenges ahead to ensuring buildings – and more importantly, residents - are safe. 

    Read the full statement from The Property Institute here 

  • An upadte from DLUHC re: Cladding Remediation

    "As you may already be aware, from March a group of 21 buildings from the Building Safety Fund (BSF) transferred over to the Cladding Safety Scheme (CSS). This transition has revealed some initial positive results and a further group of buildings will now transfer over from BSF to CSS in the coming weeks. 

    This move is being made because the Cladding Safety Scheme has introduced new systems to deliver remediation funding efficiently. It makes use of digital technology, known as the Building Remediation Hub, to progress buildings through all the stages of funding. 

    Relevant stakeholders of buildings impacted by this move have been notified by our delivery partners."

    • Building Remediation
  • Building control professionals have been given an extra 13 weeks to prove their competence, calming fears of an imminent collapse in councils’ ability to provide the service. 

    Under rules introduced by the Building Safety Act 2022 in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building control inspectors had been expected to register with the Building Safety Regulator and pass through an accreditation process by 6 April.

    But recent months have seen accreditation bodies warn that too few inspectors would receive their qualifications in time for the deadline, raising concerns that some councils would be rendered unable to carry out building control. 

    On 13th March, The devolved government in Wales has already announced a six-month extension of the deadline for accreditation (extended to 1 October 2024) and today (14 March 2024), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed there will also be an extension, albeit a significantly shorter one, in England. 

    A letter from the HSE’s director of building safety, Philip White, confirmed to the industry that there would be a competence assessment extension period of 13 weeks, shifting the deadline from 6 April to 6 July 2024. 

    Inspectors will still be required to register with the regulator to continue working, but those who do will have longer to demonstrate their competence. 

    Read the full story here

    • Building Safety Regulator
  • The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has today (13th March 2024) announced a risk-pooling Fire Safety Reinsurance Facility, with cover starting from 1st April 2024. 

    Reinsurance support is now in place to launch the Fire Safety Reinsurance Facility, in an industry intervention to help improve the availability of insurance for certain buildings with combustible cladding and other fire safety issues.

    The Facility has been established by (re)insurance broker McGill and Partners with extensive support from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and through working in partnership with the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) which will ensure brokers are made aware of the Facility. 

    It has two key intentions - to expand capacity for insurers already writing business for affected buildings and to encourage competition across the market so that more firms will provide cover. The ultimate solution remains the urgent need for works to take place to make buildings safe and resilient. The Facility is expected to run for three to five years whilst this happens.

    The first step will be for the participating insurers – Allianz, Aviva, Axa, RSA and Zurich – to enter higher-risk buildings they currently insure, and which are awaiting remediation works, into the Facility at the point of their annual renewal. These firms have continued to be active in the market and are the top five firms providing insurance cover for commercial and residential buildings.

    The Grenfell tragedy and Dame Judith Hackitt Review exposed significant construction and fire-risk issues related to these buildings. As a result, insurers have to consider the heightened risk of an entire building sadly being destroyed in the event of a fire and have had to limit the amount of cover they could provide, because the risk is too high for one firm to cover on its own. Brokers, Freeholders and Managing Agents have instead had to source insurance cover from multiple firms, meaning that several insurers are involved in covering one building, creating a ‘layered’ effect and adding to the cost. It is these buildings which will likely benefit most from the Facility.

    Buildings insurance premiums will continue to be based on a variety of risk factors, such as the type and age of the building, previous claims history and other property risks such as storm/flooding or escape of water. External factors such as construction costs and supply shortages will also have an impact

    More information and FAQS on how the Facility will work is available here and information for brokers representing affected buildings is available from the BIBA.

    Read the full release from ABI here.

  • The joint Fire Industry Association (FIA), Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE),  Facade Special Interest Group (SIG), has released this comprehensive document to provide guidance on 'proportionality and risk when carrying out FRAEWs to PAS 9980'.

    In line with PAS 9980 recommendations, this paper addresses crucial aspects of risk acceptability and proportionality of remedial measures, offering insights into the decision-making process regarding remedial actions.

    Read the guidance document here.