NFRC statement on the funding of remediation of safety-critical cladding on medium rise buildings
Following the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ letter to
residential property developers on 10 January 2022 and to the Construction Products
Association (CPA) on 22 January 2022, we urge the relevant developers and manufacturers
involved to agree on a fair and proportionate settlement with the Department, ahead of the
Secretary of State’s deadline of the end of February.
Failure to do so could result in an industry-wide levy which would mean innocent companies
having to pay the cost of this remediation instead, which cannot be fair. This comes at a time
when construction companies are already facing unprecedented material and labour price
rises and sky-high insurance premiums. We have also seen a number of large construction
firms go into liquidation recently.
We believe the correct approach to this matter is on a ‘polluter pays principle’. It is our
understanding that the majority of the contracts used in ACM cladding refurbishment
projects are ‘Design and Build’. It is, therefore right that the government’s focus is on those
involved in this part of the process.
The most proportionate response is to take a ‘building by building’ approach. Using the data
they have collected from developers and manufacturers, as well as their own dataset, the
government should identify the buildings which need to be remediated, who the developer
and suppliers were on each building and the specific cost of each remediation. The costs
should then be apportioned based on the level of responsibility and company size. The
installer should only be involved where it can be demonstrated that either a product has
been installed incorrectly to a compliant specification or there is clear evidence of non compliant product substitution.
NFRC’s focus is on ensuring that the roofing and cladding sector has a clear framework of
validation and revalidation of competency. Through our RoofCERT scheme, we have created
a mechanism for roofing operatives to demonstrate their competency against a set
framework. We are piloting an extension of this approach to the rainscreen cladding sector
with regard to supervisors. We are also working with other stakeholders on revising the
current national occupational and training standards for rainscreen cladding. We will
continue to work with and support the workstreams from Working Group 2 and other key
committee groups and ensure there is a clear system of measuring and enhancing
competency across the construction industry to ensure that the buildings we build today are
safe and will not need to be remediated in future.
We must all take the lead and act on the strong message of Dame Judith Hackitt that we
must not wait until legislation but act now to build