Over the last few weeks, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has commenced its pre-legislative scrutiny of the Draft Building Safety Bill. When this document was published earlier in the summer, we welcomed the proposed reforms as it set out many of the recommendations made by Dame Judith Hackitt in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy of three years ago.
Under the draft Bill, not only do construction firms and their partners need to do everything they can to make new builds as safe as possible – they also need to be seen to be doing so. Yet, as evidence starts to be heard, it is clear that the Bill is still someway from where those involved in every sphere of the built environment feel it needs to be.
In giving evidence, Adrian Dobson, Executive director for professional services at RIBA, was correct in his assessment: “It definitely creates the opportunity to get things right. It sets the framework.”
As a leading lighting manufacturer, we see it as vital that we show leadership in raising awareness of the scope and importance of the draft Building Safety Bill, particularly when it comes to lighting specification. Regrettably, lighting has often been an area that has fallen victim to spec-breaking and needless ‘economy’.
Whilst we believe the Bill will have a much-needed positive impact on the specification process, to ensure it reaches its full potential, it is essential that we work with our colleagues across the building services sector to maintain building safety and offering the highest levels of accountability. We also have an important part to play in educating the market: steering customers away from lower-quality products, towards solutions that can deliver excellence, consistency and peace of mind is key.
More than ever, making the case for the long-term benefits of higher-end solutions is going to be critical – we can no longer aim for minimum compliance to get the job done. Put simply, quality must never be compromised at any point in the supply chain. We will do this by working hard to communicate a clear case for quality; we will help our customers to understand why our recommended offering may come at a higher price than cheap alternatives. And we will always help end users see the added value in our products and solutions.”