Airmic has praised the focus on culture in the interim review of building regulations and fire safety published by the government last month, prompted by the Grenfell tragedy in June last year.
"The report makes clear that current regulation and practices are not fit for purpose. But perhaps more importantly, it recognises that sound regulation, while vital, is not enough," commented Airmic CEO John Ludlow.
"Culture is at the heart of the problem. While many organisations take great care to ensure the best possible standards, it is difficult to eradicate the human tendency for some people or businesses to cut corners if possible. We therefore need to encourage a culture in which all organisations take responsibility and actually ask if compliance is enough."
Airmic is now seeking feedback from its members, partners and wider stakeholders on the details of the report before submitting a formal response to the enquiry. Mr Ludlow stressed that "all views are welcome. We want to ensure we represent the views of our entire membership." Any observations and questions can be sent to Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the report, Dame Judith Hackitt, former chair of the Health and Safety Executive who led the independent review, writes that she has been "shocked" by some of the practices currently undertaken in the sector:
"I am convinced of the need for a new intelligent system of regulation and enforcement for high-rise and complex buildings which will encourage everyone to do the right thing and will hold to account those who try to cut corners."
The report stresses the need for a shift in behavioural practices: "Changes to the regulatory regime will help, but on their own will not be sufficient unless we can change the culture away from one of doing the minimum required for compliance, to one of taking ownership and responsibility for delivering a safe system throughout the life cycle of a building."
The interim report can be viewed here.