A Salford housing association has signed up to a new charter pledging to put the safety of residents at the heart of buildings, from design to construction and beyond.
Salix Homes is one of a group of developers, contractors and housing associations that formed the Early Adopters Group in the wake of Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations & Fire Safety in the summer of 2018.
Representatives of the group’s members signed up to the new Building Safety Charter launched yesterday in London at an event attended by housing minister Kit Malthouse MP.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The charter represents a commitment to put people’s safety first during the design, construction, refurbishment and occupation of residential buildings.
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.”
In her review, Dame Judith called for a “culture change” within the industry. The charter is intended to spearhead this shift by motivating the sector to prioritise residents’ safety at every stage of a building’s lifespan.
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, have been trialling new systems and ways of working in advance of any proposed changes to legislation.
The launch of the charter yesterday took place as the Government announced a new consultation on its proposed new building safety regime – Building a Safer Future.