Getting it right first time is the cheapest and most beneficial way of doing things, especially when it comes to the construction of buildings. With new methods and materials now on the market, buildings are being built faster than ever and often with a tight budget. One of our recent projects audited a four-storey accommodation block which was built in 28 days, an incredible speed. Unfortunately, when speed is involved, things often get missed and quality of workmanship isn’t what it should be. Fire safety is often overlooked and put down as an extra expense, which can lead to problems such as breaches of compartment walls, areas not being filled sufficiently and even alternative or down rated fire safety products used.
Karntek work with construction companies, customers of construction and property investors to audit the construction process, concentrating on fire safety.
Even if you don’t own the building but are the main user, for example a University accommodation block, built and owned by an investment company or partnership, it would be an obligation of the university to do due diligence and play an active role during construction to quality check the building.
It seems a shame to complete a brand new building, just to have it dismissed as non-compliant. This is a common problem as many responsible persons for new builds aren’t aware of fire safety standards. This can lead to construction projects getting signed off as ready to use, when there’s still big problems which haven’t been recognised.
This is where Karntek can help by providing the specialist knowledge in fire safety.
Post Construction Audits
Ideally you’d want to play an active part in the construction process, with auditing going on in parallel with the work. However, in the cases where this isn’t possible, an organisation should look to have a post construction audit completed. This should be done before the building is in use to ensure the building is safe for future occupants, whoever they may be.
This also means the construction company has responsibility for issues found and therefore must pay for remedial works, as the building would still be under warranty. This obviously saves money for the building owners.
Frequently asked questions
It would depend on the scope of the works. We would recommend a fire safety audit is carried out after any construction work, small or large, to ensure your building is always safe and compliant.
The responsibility for fire safety in new build properties transfers to the new owners as the Responsible Person upon completion. During the build phase the principal contractor and Building Control officers are responsible to ensure the building is compliant before signing off, and this would include the Principal Designer who would be responsible for the fire safety design. This transfer of responsibility can mean the new building owner finds themselves responsible for a building that is non-compliant if they have not carried out sufficient due diligence during the build phase.