29 November 2019
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have responded to the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government's (MHCLG) consultation on sprinklers in new high-rise flats, saying sprinklers cannot replace other essential fire safety measures.
While RIBA supports the use of sprinklers in high-rise flats as they are highly effective means of life protection, they maintain that they 'should not be used as a means to compensate for other essential life safety measures or justify reducing minimum standards.'
Jane Duncan, chair of the RIBA Expert Advisory Group for Fire Safety, said, “It is over two years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, yet far too little has changed.
"England’s regulations lag shamefully behind other countries such as Wales (where sprinklers have been required in all new and converted residential buildings since 2013) and Scotland (where sprinklers will soon be required in all multiple occupancy residential buildings).
"The next government must urgently and radically overhaul the building regulations to prevent more disasters and keep the public safe.”
As well as sprinklers, RIBA say centrally addressable fire alarm systems should be required in new and converted multiple occupancy residential buildings.