MHCLG contract will involve research and design review

PRP has been appointed by the government to carry out research on fire safety regulations in care homes and specialist housing.

Under the contract with the Ministry of Housing (MHCLG), PRP will also review current provisions in Approved Document B (ADB) and propose alternative design options to inform future policy decisions.

The practice will review current design approaches, including evacuation strategies, at specialised housing and care homes, identify gaps in existing fire safety guidance and assess risks, costs and benefits of alternative design options.

The team will also conduct an international review of regulatory and design approaches to inform potential alternative design approaches.

Care and dementia show

Hampstead Green, designed by Duggan Morris, is a scheme for over-65s that won a HAPPI Housing Design award

The appointment comes after embattled housing secretary Robert Jenrick’s publication earlier this year of advice for building owners in an attempt to ensure all multi-occupancy residential buildings are safe.

PRP partner and Building Design regs columnist Andrew Mellor said: “A lot of progress has been made in fire-safety regulations since the Grenfell Tower fire, but a lot more still needs to be done, especially when it comes to care homes and specialist housing. We look forward to working with the wider industry in delivering this key piece of research that will ensure the safety of older people and their families across the UK.”

As part of the research, which is expected to be completed at the end of 2021, PRP’s development consultancy and later-living teams will work with the wider industry, academia, government bodies, the fire service and interest groups to gather data and expertise on fire safety.

>> Also read: The new Fire Safety Bill – what does it mean?


PRP partner Jenny Buterchi said: “This is a unique opportunity for us to combine our development consultancy’s in-depth experience on fire safety with our later-living team’s unrivalled experience in the design of specialist housing and care-homes and through our regular work with the APPG on older people’s housing.”

PRP is already technical advisor to MHCLG on building safety analytical work.