Programme AJ Fire Safety Design Conference

AJ Fire Safety Design Conference

Fire Safety Design Conference Programme


09:30 – 09:40
Welcome Address

09:40 – 10:20
What has changed since the Grenfell Tower fire?

  • Restrictions on the use of insulation and cladding materials and composite products – implications
  • Replacement programme with public funding – update
  • Action on the ‘competence’ agenda demanded by government



10:20 – 11:00
Understanding duties and responsibilities

  • The duty to the client
  • The duty to the construction client under design-and-build contracts
  • The duty to the eventual user
  • The duty to society
  • The implications for RIBA and ARB codes of conduct
  • What exactly is the architect responsible for in relation to fire design and building delivery at each stage of the design and construction process?


11:00 – 11:30
Tower block refurbishment: A safe strategy for saving energy

Focusing on The Crofts as a case study example, this session will examine the role of non-combustible materials in the safe refurbishment of high-rise tower blocks. Adopting a collaborative approach to façade construction, ROCKWOOL® and Rockpanel® delivered this fire resilient cladding project in the Midlands, transforming homes into energy efficient residences and supporting long term community regeneration.

11:30 – 11:40
Morning Break

11:40 – 12:20

A Report from the Trenches: Cladding Claims

  • Cladding claims in the TCC  
  • Issues arising:
    • Forum selection
    • Witness and expert evidence
    • Legal issues


12:20 – 13:00
Design, detailing and materials - getting it right

  • When alarm bells should ring
  • How and when to check whether what you are proposing will work
  • Synthesising and other technical requirements, e.g. insulation

13:00 – 13:50
Lunchtime Roundtables


13:50 – 14:30
Fire design and professional indemnity insurance

  • Is there anything you can do to reduce practice premiums (a) now and (b) in future years?
  • Is there anything you can do to avoid huge premium increases in the future?
  • What advice can the insurance industry offer to architects involved in cladding or over-cladding?


14:30 – 15:10
Who checks what and when?

  • Who checks in the architect’s office?
  • Who signs a design off internally?
  • Applying ISO 9000 protocols
  • How are designs assessed by building control officers?
  • What inspection/checking takes place during construction?
  • Who carries responsibility for what has been (a) designed and (b) constructed?
  • Do design-and-build procurement processes change the liability matrix (and should they)?

15:10 – 15:30
Glass balustrades back on the architectural landscape

Since the changes to Approved document B in Dec 2018 – clients/owners along with their designers/Architects have had to find alternatives to the Glass balustrade on residential buildings above 18M. All that changed this year when Q-railing introduced a fully tested and compliant laminated glass balustrade system. Find out the why, how and details of this innovative system and how, with its introduction, Q-railing is helping to change the architectural landscape once again.

15:30 – 15:40
Afternoon Break

15:40 – 16:20
Protecting specification integrity

  • What you can do to try to ensure that specification changes are minimised or the subject of consultation
  • Understanding the construction process, especially design-and-build
  • What to watch out for if changes are being made without consulting you

16:20 – 17:00
How much do you know about the product testing regime? And how much should you know?

  • The existing regulatory regime for the assessment of construction products
  • Voluntary routes to certification
  • The headline changes proposed in the Building Safety Bill
  • The relevance of testing to designers (and of designers to testing)


17:00 – 17:45
In conclusion

  • Reflections on the day
  • Overarching advice or messages
  • What do we need to watch out for in the next year?
  • Who verifies that the building has been built as drawn and is therefore, at least in theory, safe for occupation?

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