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Insights: Understanding the Government Code of Remediation

The UK government has recently issued the "Code of Practice for the Remediation of Residential Buildings," commonly referred to as the Government Code of Remediation. The ‘Code’ outlines a legal framework that sets guidelines to be followed throughout the life cycle of remediation projects.


Read on to discover the insights into the Code's core components and explain how it impacts cladding remediation.

Understanding the Government Code of Remediation


The Government Code of Remediation is structured into four parts: the scope; undertaking remediation; living with remediation; and general compliance. Each part addresses key aspects of cladding remediation projects, to mitigate fire safety risks that are present within buildings that feature external cladding whilst ensuring the safety and satisfaction of residents. It applies to buildings regardless of occupancy levels, whether fully, partially, or temporarily occupied.


Resident-Centric Approach


The Code puts residents at the heart of remediation. It is a direct response to the Grenfell tragedy, designed to protect residents from potential fire hazards and ensure their concerns are acknowledged throughout the remediation process.


Roles, Responsibilities And Accountability


The Code mandates that roles and responsibilities related to remediation must be clearly outlined and understood by all parties involved in the project. This includes contractors, developers, building owners, tenants, residents, and management companies, so each party knows its duties and is held accountable. Parties involved in the project cannot avoid Code compliance by delegating or subcontracting their obligations.


Effective Communication and Active Engagement


It’s stated in the Code that good communication needs to be maintained from the outset of the project so that residents remain informed and sufficient transparency is achieved. Proper channels should be implemented to ensure that residents can meaningfully engage in the decision-making process. The Code acknowledges potential language barriers and encourages the use of electronic forums to ensure information is disseminated efficiently. Residents should be kept up-to-date with project developments, enabling them to contribute and participate in the design and delivery of the project.



Minimising Impact On Residents


A significant focus within the Code is on minimising the impact of remedial works on residents. Contractors and developers are expected to take measures to reduce disturbances from on-site activity, including noise, dust, and general inconvenience so that disturbances to the residents are kept to a minimum. Balancing health and safety considerations with cost and time factors is another key pillar of Part 3 of the Code. The goal is to create the least inconvenience to the residents and achieve potential cost savings for contractors and developers.


Mental and Physical Health Of Residents


Acknowledging the potential impact on residents' mental and physical health, the Code mandates careful consideration and documentation of these aspects throughout recladding projects. This additional step of record-keeping holds parties accountable for their actions and highlights the seriousness of their responsibilities.


Revaluating Your Access Method

The Government Code of Remediation sets a high standard for remediation projects with a key goal to minimise the effect recladding has on the residents. The core objective of the Code revolves around mitigating the impact on residents' homes and common facilities, while concurrently prioritising the safety and security of the building and its inhabitants.


In this context, the Code calls into question the appropriateness of using scaffolding for extended periods. A two-year presence of scaffolding, according to the principles outlined in the Code, appears incongruent with the commitment to minimise impact and ensure safety, particularly concerning security issues and prolonged inconveniences for residents.