A group of developers, contractors and housing associations have today launched a new Building Safety Charter in a call to action to raise the bar for building safety.
The Early Adopters Group, established last summer following Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, signed the Charter during its initial unveiling in London today (6th June) where it was backed by Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse MP.
The Charter commits those who have signed up to put people’s safety first during the design, construction, refurbishment and occupation of residential buildings.
Today’s announcement comes as the government launches its consultation with the sector and residents into proposals for a new building safety regime – Building a Safer Future – following the Hackitt Review.
Barratt Developments, Kier, United Living, Wates and Willmott Dixon, along with Housing Associations L&Q, Peabody and Salix Homes, who make up the Early Adopters Group, are said to have been trialling new systems and ways of working in advance of any proposed changes to legislation.
Some examples include testing how residents and contractors can report building faults in a confidential, no-blame process.
A spokesman for the Early Adopters Group said: “For the past year, the Early Adopters Group has been working closely with the Government to identify and test new ways of working, which will spearhead a culture change in the building industry and wider sector to put the safety of residents first.
“The crucial lesson for our industry is that we have a collective responsibility to safeguard the people living in our buildings and ensure they are safe places to live, both now and in the future.
“The new Building Safety Charter will help pave the way for real change within our sector, and the Early Adopters Group is very pleased to be the first to sign it, demonstrating our continued commitment to putting safety first.”
Minster for Housing, Kit Malthouse MP added: “We established the Early Adopters Group last year as part of sweeping reforms to make sure the building industry prioritises residents’ safety and creates a real culture change as we look to rebuild this sector.
“This group has become integral in helping prepare the industry for our future reforms and this new Charter is an important step in making sure that the safety of residents is considered the highest priority at all stages of the building process.
“I encourage everyone involved in the industry to sign up and back this important pledge.”