Roundtable Summary: Reducing Fire Risk – The Shard
The Highrise Resibuild event at The Shard on the 6th February was a hive of activity with two morning roundtables, 7 CPDs and a keynote speech. The roundtables in the morning involved a gathering of industry influencers, one table discussed the challenge of reducing fire risk while the other debated speed vs quality and the value of MMC. For the remainder of the day we focussed primarily on fire risk in high rise residential construction with a range of CPD providers covering all aspects of high-rise construction.
At the fire roundtable attendees discussed recent residential fires and the standards followed by the industry. One example raised was the difference between the construction and automobile industries. Car manufacturers must meet the minimum of the MOT standards, but this is the baseline not the standard they aim for. One attendee raised the point of the lack of standardisation in buildings arguing that while the car industry is driven by producing a high volume each building is based on an individual scenario. Hackitt identified this as a major need for change in the industry and that the focus should be on the outlook rather than box-ticking.
At the speed vs quality roundtable there was a lively debate about the benefits and concerns surrounding adoption of MMC. One point raised was that in modular construction there is a strong need to ensure all the components come together seamlessly. To achieve this, high standards of quality control are needed with greater integration of suppliers.
A further point raised was the risk of a skills shortage and the impact this will have on on-site labour. A pitfall of on-site construction is the disparity between what is specified and what is carried out on site. A key point raised was the difference in offsite manufacture is the level of oversight and quality control that ensures the specification is fully carried out.
At both roundtables the consensus was that in each industry challenge an important part of the solution is collaboration and cooperation between professionals throughout the supply chain.
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