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31 July 2020

High rise residential buildings: a safer future

King’s Centre of Construction Law & Dispute Resolution has been appointed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government to lead work that will help to ensure the safety and quality of high-rise residential buildings.

High-rise residential buildings

The data-driven, collaborative guidance will support teams to deliver construction projects by providing an agreed framework. The guidance is part of a series of measures being developed in response to one of the UK’s worst modern disasters, the Grenfell Tower fire.

Major construction and engineering projects face the challenge of bringing multiple consultants, contractors and specialists together to integrate their work, services and supplies. Each team will bring with them their own viewpoint, policies and procedures to manage their involvement with a construction project, increasing the risk of disputes and disagreements that can hinder the project and have a negative impact on quality and safety.

The collaborative procurement method developed by the Centre of Construction Law & Dispute Resolution minimises the risk of disputes by providing a common framework that states clear guidelines, shared objectives and fair rewards.

Government report A Reformed Building Safety Regulatory System states: ‘The Government recognises the key role procurement plays in ensuring safety of buildings…Fire and structural safety issues can be exacerbated by poor procurement, including poorly designed tender specifications and processes, eleventh hour contractor appointments, lack of appropriate engagement with the supply chain and contract forms which prioritise low-cost solutions at the expense of building safety. These practices can result in poor value for money and poor building safety outcomes.’

Professor Mosey, Director of the Centre of Construction Law & Dispute Resolution, said: The purpose of the Guidance is to provide criteria for the new Building Safety Regulator when assessing a project or programme of work at three procurement gateways, namely before planning permission can be given, before construction can begin and before anyone can move into a high-rise residential building. The Guidance will clarify what data the procurement requirements and proposals should contain, and it will help residents and others to assess whether these documents effectively address safety and quality.

The Centre will be working with the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, with technical author Russell Poynter-Brown and with experts in the Procurement Advisory Group.

Click here to find out more about the project. 

In this story

David Mosey

Professor of Law