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Building Control Frustration

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Penfold
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Building Control Frustration

Post by Penfold »

Hi all

Less of a question but an observation, over the years I've been involved in lots of building projects. During the project and at the end I've worked with fire professionals to monitor the work and then complete the FRA for the building at the end of the project. At some stages the fire consultant has raised a concern only to be told by the architect/PD or client that "well its been signed off by Building Control, so what's your issue?"

I have explained that Building Control do a fantastic job but they are looking at things slightly differently to the fire risk assessor but it always turns into a push back and forwards to get a compromise.

How do others deal with these issues?

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Re: Building Control Frustration

Post by Messy »

Oh yes, I have been there and got many scars from this attitude

Building control are focused on Building Regs and the 'structure' if you will.

The FRA is carried out by the person occupying the building and who understands their business and how they will use the premises

Often the FRA may require different measures - often more - than Bulding Regs require

Examples I have had

A data centre was built to relevant standards for an unknown customer. We were to move in to store incredibly vital data in the premises, some of it - for technical reasons - would not be backed up elsewhere. Businesses are very secretive about data so we didn't want to share that with the architect and project team

I asked for belt and braces re fire safety infrastructure, from the suppression system to additional fire resistance. There were arguments that none of it was relevant re Building Regs. But I- representing the customers - insisted


Not exactly buying Regs, we put scaffolding up on a very significant building that if lost or closed, would cause serious issues. I insisted in fire resisting scaffold boards when the contractors said it was ridiculous and convinced my bosses I was being OTT

The bottom line is insist on your professional judgement and if its ignored, record it and move on, knowing you have tried your best. But always record it and share it to management

Good luck
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Re: Building Control Frustration

Post by Penfold »

Thanks Messy

One example recently when was on site with Building Control Inspector, he was walking around the site and on his check sheet ticked yes to fire signage. Our FRA said they are pointing in temporary direction and not to the final building layout and Building Inspector said "the checklist only asks if they are present not if they are correct, that's your role to check"

PC discussion "Well Building control signed off the fire signage why are you asking them to be changed?"

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Re: Building Control Frustration

Post by Messy »

Penfold wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 11:09 am
"the checklist only asks if they are present not if they are correct, that's your role to check"
:lol: :lol: It would be funny if it wasnt so pathetic. What value is it just to check they are there?
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Re: Building Control Frustration

Post by witsd »

All the time.

The variant I get is "It met the standards at the time of construction, and there's no requirement for retroactive upgrades."

No-one seems to understand that the FRA is part of a separate piece of legislation and can absolutely supercede other pieces, bits of guidance, COPs etc.

Similarly the FRA might actually require less stringent measures. Would that mean that the dutyholder can ignore the building regs?

Daft muppets.

To answer the question, I deal with this issue by making it crystal clear what my FRA recommendations are and then simply walking away, rather than getting frustrated.
We often think that when we have completed our study of one we know all about two, because 'two' is 'one and one.' We forget that we still have to make a study of 'and.'
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Re: Building Control Frustration

Post by stephen1974 »

Messy wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 1:25 pm
Penfold wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 11:09 am
"the checklist only asks if they are present not if they are correct, that's your role to check"
:lol: :lol: It would be funny if it wasnt so pathetic. What value is it just to check they are there?
I've had this before as well. Tcik box excersise saying yes we have signage, but when I assessed it you had people going in to a corridor from both ends. The people putting the signs up just stuck arrows in the general direction of any exit they could find.
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