A core goal for the ASFP during 2017 is the development of an overarching Construction Strategy to offer the construction sector clear guidance, tailored to suit each stage of the process, from strategic definition through design and development, into the construction phase, handover and inspection and finally the on-going ‘in use’ of the building.
The work will build on the findings from the ASFP’s Question time event at Firex International 2016 and a follow-up Roundtable event which brought together a panel of key industry experts to consider how to improve collaborative working across the whole design and build process.
The Question Time event clearly demonstrated a recognition that fragmentation within the construction industry continues to result in the frequent incorrect specification and installation of fire protection materials and systems.
All the assembled experts agreed that collaborative working across the whole design and build process is now of vital importance, and to this end agreed to regroup in early September for a ‘Roundtable’ event to look in further detail at ways in which such a collective industry approach could be considered.
The objective of the Roundtable meeting was to discuss ways to reduce fragmentation in the industry and to develop structures, processes and best practice guidance to enable the development of multi-disciplinary teams which will offer earlier engagement of fire safety professionals in the construction, design and build process and better communication across the industry, in particular in relation to the inspection and management of buildings throughout their working life.
The wide-ranging discussions emanating from this ASFP ‘Roundtable’ event concluded that an overarching Construction Strategy was required and that agreement and support from all the professional organisations involved in the design and build process should be secured.
In particular, the group identified that there is an urgent need to:
- Develop a ‘Plan of Works’ process which incorporates fire at the design stage, to ensure that there is a detailed specification for fire protection in the initial design, and a schedule for fire throughout the construction process
- Ensure all professional bodies involved in design and build ‘buy in’ to this process
- Develop a supporting guidance document which will provide consistent and simple information to highlight what needs to be done at each stage of the process and by whom
- Investigate the possibilities for introducing a sign off process as construction progresses, with all information reaching the end-user to support adequate risk assessment
- Integrate the process with Business Information Modelling (BIM)
- Educate all in the built environment including the end user, inspectors, insurers, contractors and designers
Having now identified the objectives, work is now in hand to develop a ‘Plan of Works’ that can encompass the entire design, build, inspection and management process in relation to the fire performance of a building.
At its heart, there lies a fundamental need to educate all those within the Built Environment of the importance of fire protection within any building design. The ASFP is now in process of developing an appropriate training and education strategy to meet this objective.
The panel will come together again during January to review progress, with the goal of offering the construction sector clear guidance, tailored to suit each stage of the process, from strategic definition through design concept and development, into the construction phase, handover and inspection and finally the on-going ‘in use’ of the building.
It is anticipated that the development of such an overarching Construction Strategy can be achieved by the mid-2017. Work will continue to raise awareness and implement the strategy throughout the year, with the ASFP looking to secure agreement and support from all the professional organisations involved in the design and build process.
The ASFP believes that its new Construction Strategy will result in a fundamental change in the way in which fire is considered throughout a building’s lifetime, resulting in significant improvements in the design, installation and maintenance of fire protection systems in future.