Never before has there been such scrutiny of the façade industry in the UK – and for good reason.
In the four years since the Grenfell tragedy, there have been a number of deeply uncomfortable findings resulting in widespread recognition that sweeping changes were needed within the industry.
One of the biggest findings to be uncovered in the last few years was how standards and guidelines have been allowed to be interpreted in the past. Certification of systems doesn’t simply mean that they are classified and fit-for-purpose on a building in any shape or format. For too long, some in the industry have relied on the ambiguity around the interpretation of the regulations.
In addition to inferior or unsuitable products for specific designs, there were buildability issues which on many occasions were driven by cost. When a contractor agrees to a lower price but is still trying to make a profit, there is a tendency for the work to be rushed, with less care and attention given to the all important quality factor.
Historically, there had been a lack of quality assurance (QA) within the industry, which, in conjunction with past regulations and lack of certifications, has contributed to the ongoing cladding crisis here in the UK.
Across the industry, we all need to make QA paramount, putting the control measures in place to make sure things are done correctly and consistently. From initial design, material selection, testing, construction detailing, procurement and installation, everyone has a part to play in operating the right way. If in doubt, stop and ask!
As an industry leader in the façade industry, we work closely with governing bodies and warranty providers to ensure that we are consistently up to date with all existing standards, building control requirements and CWCT guidelines.
Quality should be at the heart of everything we do in the façade industry and never jeopardised by cost and programme constraints.