The renovation wave must be accompanied by fire safety competencies
8 July 2020
The European Commission is preparing the Renovation Wave (a proposal announced by the Green Deal and expected for September) with the ambition of boosting the renovation rate of the EU building stock.
Its main objectives: to make the most of energy renovations of public and private buildings in order to tackle climate change and energy poverty and to improve the well-being of EU citizens while creating local jobs and relaunching the EU economy. It is also a key component of the post COVID-19 recovery plan.
The Renovation Wave is an unprecedented opportunity to improve the overall quality of buildings and fire safety must not be overlooked during these efforts.
In our reply to the recent public consultation, we stressed the importance of not forgetting fire safety and of addressing it in a holistic, performance based and material/solution neutral approach. We encouraged a focus on fire safety skills and competencies as an accompaniment to building renovation.
Ensuring the fire safety of buildings is a complex issue requiring competent professionals with clear roles and responsibilities who are involved during the buildings’ design, construction and maintenance phases.
The involvement of fire safety engineers in building design is not sufficiently common practice; in particular, their work must be incorporated to a greater extent during the sustainable transformation of the building stock. Regular fire safety checks of buildings, including inspections of electrical and fire safety installations, are also necessary and can transform each renovation into an opportunity to improve fire safety.
The Modern Building Alliance will monitor this important dossier and repeat its recommendations every time it is possible for the EU to play a role in strengthening fire safety competencies in order to ensure safe buildings for European citizens.