Central Fire Hub
Feasibility of a Centralised Hub for Verification of Complex Fire Engineered Solutions in Scotland. The verification system in Scotland largely operates well, and that the fundamental issue is lack of resources. A central hub for review is recommended as the means to provide needed resources in the short term. It is recommended that the Scottish government consult with stakeholders on the formation of a hub.
In assessing the components of a Fire Hub due regard must be had to the Meacham Associates Report of May 2018 and the Scottish Government's Section 34 Letter in respect of submissions to the Building Standards Division included here:
THE BUILDING (SCOTLAND) ACT 2003: SECTION 34 – REPORTS AND INFORMATION NOTIFICATION OF APPLICATION FOR BUILDING WARRANT – SECTION 2: FIRE.
I am writing to you to extend the type of applications for building warrant that a verifier must notify to the Building Standards Division (BSD) under Section 34 of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003. This letter is supplementary to the section 34 letter issued on 27 July 2018.
Currently, local authorities as verifiers are formally requested to notify BSD of the following applications for building warrant –
a) Developments with any storey at a height of more than 60 metres
b) A dwelling having a floor area of more than 200 square metres
c) A non-domestic building where the design is not in accordance with the guidance issued by
d) A domestic building with a storey height over 7.5 metres where the design is not in accordance
with the guidance issued by Scottish Ministers
We would now also seek notification, from 1 April 2021, of any building warrant application which includes reference to a BS 8414/BR 135 large scale fire test as a means of demonstrating compliance with standards 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 2.6 or 2.7.
Whilst this requirement to notify BSD of applications for building warrant applications in the circumstances outlined above is made on a statutory basis, you should note that the determination of the application rests with the local authority.
In addition to notification, local authority verifiers should seek information from the applicant to confirm that the cladding system tested is representative of, and can be applied to, the system designed and appropriate risk management protocols are in place to demonstrate compliance during construction as part of an issued Construction Compliance Notification Plan. Further detail on the assurance process will be developed and agreed with Local Authority Building Standards Scotland, who have been consulted on this issue.
Remit of Phase 1
To agree the purpose of a fire engineering hub.
To agree the type of building warrant application that the hub will consider, including clarifying/re-defining the levels of complexity currently outlined in the S34 notification requirement, this will include consideration of high-risk buildings.
To agree the operational aspects of the hub.
To confirm the status of hub decisions.
To discuss and agree other possible subject areas which could be considered by the hub e.g. equivalent legislative compliance pathways other than using technical handbook guidance, review of functional standards in Section 2: Fire following 17 years of implementation.