Renewed demand for review comes after Grenfell Tower fire tragedy

Industry experts are calling again for a review of building fire regulations after the Grenfell Tower where 79 people are believed to have died – but this could take at least a year.

The speed with which the fire spread up the outside of Grenfell Tower has taken many experts by surprise as fire regulations focus on preventing the spread of fire externally and internally.

A coroner’s report into the 2009 Lakanal House fire in Southwark recommended Part B, the building regulation dealing with fires be reviewed and should include clearer guidance with regard to the spread of fire over the outside of buildings.

In 2016 the housing minister, Gavin Barwell said the government had publicly committed to reviewing Part B.

Paul Everall, chief executive of LABC, the body that represents local authority building control departments in England and Wales, said he thought a review had taken place but wasn’t aware of its scope.

“My understanding is DCLG did ask BRE to look at specific aspects of Part B but, to the best of my knowledge, I don’t know if this was relevant to external cladding systems.”

A leading member of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee said he was unaware of any review into Part B.

Everall added that changes to building regulations usually took a year, which is spent preparing proposals, which are put out to a three-month consultation; the preparation of the finished document; and an implementation period.

Alok Sharma (pictured), the new housing minister, said the government was almost ready with its consultation for Part B, but there could be a pause while the implications of the Grenfell Tower fire were considered.

Last week, Peter Mansi, a fire investigator, warned that an investigation into the fire at Grenfell Tower could take up to two years.