In late January 2018, the Construction Products Association (CPA) attended a summit held by Dame Judith Hackitt with other senior bodies across the construction supply chain to discuss how to take forward the recommendations from the Interim report into the Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.

Kemwell Fire International Ltd. fully supports the review of fire safety in order to avoid future tragic events as we saw last year with Grenfell. It is vital that the whole industry comes to together to get it right.

In a press release published by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government following the summit, six areas were identified as requiring a change to develop innovative solutions. Since then the work streams have been expanded to the following:

  • Working Group 1 – Construction and Design
  • Working Group 1b – Procurement
  • Working Group 2 – Occupation and Maintenance
  • Working Group 1&2 – Golden Thread
  • Working Group 3 – Regulations and Guidance
  • Working Group 4 – Competence
  • Working Group 5 – Residents’ Voice
  • Working Group 6 – Quality Assurance and Products.

CPA has been invited to join three working groups: Regulations and Guidance; Golden Thread; and Quality Assurance and Products.

The objectives for each of these meetings are broad, and working groups have been set a tight deadline to submit a response that is as specific and well considered as possible by the end of March. The Final Report is on a path to be published in May 2018.

As well as the work CPA is doing towards the working groups, work for the Industry Response Group is still ongoing. The CPA’s Technical Expert Panel has been integral in the feedback CPA relay to MHCLG, both in responding to key questions regarding capacity and also informing and keeping topics high on the agenda pertinent to both the products industry and the wider sector.

Peter Caplehorn, CPA Deputy Chief Executive, who is leading the CPA’s efforts on Grenfell, commented: “Avoiding a repeat of Grenfell is paramount within the minds of all who share in the responsibility for specifying, installing, inspecting and managing the fire performance of our built environment.

“It is, therefore, crucial that those engaged in the manufacture, testing and installation of fire critical products and systems are able to present appropriate guidance to ensure that any future regulatory process is sufficiently robust.

“The CPA Technical Expert Panel has been formed to act as an essential conduit between the manufacturing sector, other key bodies and Government agencies to enable this vital flow of information and guidance.”

Currently, the Technical Expert Panel membership is as follows:

  • Association for Specialist Fire Protection
  • British Woodworking Federation
  • Centre for Window and Cladding Technology
  • Council for Aluminium in Building
  • Finishes & Interiors Sector
  • Glass & Glazing Federation
  • Insulation Manufacturers Association, European Phenolic Foam Association and Engineered Panels In Construction
  • Metal Cladding and Roofing Manufacturers Association
  • The Mineral Wool Insulation Manufacturers’ Association

Given the importance of the Technical Expert Panel, CPA will be reviewing the TEP in due course to ensure the membership matches the agenda and topics.