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New industry group to ensure construction sector ready to meet building challenges after Grenfell Tower

A new industry response group made up of government and the construction industry will help ensure the sector can meet the challenges following the Grenfell Tower fire.

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The industry response group (IRG) will complement the work of the Independent Expert Advisory Panel (IEAP) established in June 2017 by government to advise on immediate steps to ensure building safety.

After the initial step of offering a service to building owners to identify the type of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding on high rise buildings, the government has commissioned the Building Research Establishment to undertake further tests. These will help establsh how different types of ACM panels in combination with different types of insulation behave in a fire.

Once the results are published it may be necessary that quick action is taken.

At a meeting with government, the industry acknowledged that it needs to help coordinate the construction industry’s response to the challenges of implementing recommendations from the IEAP and government. To ensure firms can meet these challenges the new group will lead the industry’s response and ensure the sector can meet any new demands.

The group, which will be inclusive and cross-industry and led by the sector, will take forward work that will:

  • provide essential advice on possible solutions for use in particular types of buildings to ensure homes, offices and public buildings are safe
  • provide advice on better ways of building and the latest methods of construction, and ensure access to the necessary technical expertise in industry when required
  • help mobilise the UK industry if any major programmes of construction work is needed, by acting as a focal point for government-industry communications
  • advise government on the relevant sub-sectors of the construction industry, their expertise and capacity to deliver work at pace

In a joint statement, the Industry Response Group, said:

We understand how concerned people are about the safety of buildings and we would like to reassure the public that the UK construction industry is working with urgency to respond to advice published by the government. This IRG will demonstrate leadership and, acting as a focal point, provide a collective response to government and other stakeholders.

The group will include representatives from three major industry bodies in the UK:

  • Build UK – the leading representative organisation for the construction industry
  • Construction Industry Council – the representative forum for the professional bodies, research organisations and specialist business associations for professional services providers in the construction industry
  • Construction Products Association – the UK’s manufacturers and distributors of construction products and materials.

The 3 organisations will lead and coordinate contributions from across the sector.

Further information

More about the representatives from 3 major industry bodies in the UK:

Build UK – the leading representative organisation for the construction industry. By bringing together Client, Contractors and the Trade Associations representing over 11,500 Specialist Contractors and other organisations committed to industry collaboration, Build UK represents in excess of 40% of UK construction.

Construction Industry Council is the representative forum for the professional bodies, research organisations and specialist business associations for professional services providers in the construction industry. It provides a single voice for professionals in all sectors of the built environment through its collective membership of 500,000 individual professionals and 25,000 firms of construction consultants.

Construction Products Association represents the UK’s manufacturers and distributors of construction products and materials. It is committed to raising the profile of their industry and members’ businesses, helping grow the market and reducing regulatory risk. The sector directly provides jobs for 300,000 people across 22,000 companies and has an annual turnover of more than £55 billion. The CPA is the leading voice to promote and campaign for this vital UK industry.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced a new independent expert advisory panel to advise on measures to be put in place following the Grenfell Tower fire.

See more information on the expert panel recommending further tests on cladding and insulation.

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Published 10 July 2017