Not reported: Scottish building standards far more extensive, more stringent, more comprehensive and more transparent than in England

Headlining today for BBC Scotland, a single well-intentioned, but partisan, that is biased, report from Greenpeace. Would such a report have received such a warm welcome when their pal Jack McConnell’s Blairite administration was in post? The report does not, of course, contextualise building standards in Scotland with any kind of comparative evidence.


However, for construction firms in Scotland, the projects which this new standardisation of safety certifications will apply to is far more extensive

In England, the new regulations apply to new residential buildings with a storey at 18m above ground level that contains one or more dwellings, or an institution such as student accommodation, but excluding hostels and hotels. By comparison, the new standards in Scotland will apply to buildings with a storey of 11m above ground level. Entertainment and assembly buildings in Scotland will also be included, alongside hospitals and residential care homes of any height. So, if a developer is planning a project that spans multiple locations across the UK, for a series of uniformly designed residential buildings, for example, the rules would differ and potentially require the use of different materials at different sites. 

The Scottish changes then go further than the incoming English regulations, outlining a more comprehensive series of measures designed to improve building safety broadly. In the same vein as the controls on combustible materials, the Scottish regulations will make sprinkler installation mandatory in flatted accommodation, larger multi-occupancy dwellings, and places that deliver care. They will also introduce measures to improve evacuation procedures, including the requirement for sound alerts and two escape stairways in all new high-rise residential buildings, and create specific fire safety guidance for the people that live in them. 

In addition to more practical building changes to increase safety, the Scottish regulations will make the wider compliance environment for the industry more stringent. They will require developers and building owners to prepare and maintain a compliance plan to deliver transparency over the building’s inspection regime to residents and regulators. To support this, the Scottish government will also create a database to capture and maintain safety-critical information for existing high-rise buildings and draft new guidance for fire risk assessments.



5 thoughts on “Not reported: Scottish building standards far more extensive, more stringent, more comprehensive and more transparent than in England

  1. Alasdair Macdonald August 19, 2019 / 3:00 pm

    Project Fear is getting ramped up. The old chestnuts are still being recycled even though most people know they are lies. But the continual carping on the NHS, drug deaths in Glasgow, education standards, having to buy out Ferguson’s etc are all part of a concerted push to create a ‘Scotland is such parcel of shite’ that it is stupid to think they could run their own affairs.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Legerwood August 19, 2019 / 3:58 pm

    Is the BBC, by headlining the Greenpeace article, subtly trying to suggest that the apparently poor construction standards in Scotland are linked to the faults in the new hospitals?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alasdair Macdonald August 19, 2019 / 8:35 pm

      On the ‘Have Your Say’ accompanying the article on the website several of the usual unionist trolls have, of course, done that.

      I wonder if the BBC gives them a ‘heads up that there is to be a ‘HYS’, because the first dozen or so are all variations on SNP/SG/Scotland baaaaaad.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Legerwood August 19, 2019 / 9:58 pm

        For some reason HYS never shows up on my tablet which is my usual way of accessing the BBC news site. But the occasions when the BBC opens HYS are now so rare that I have not bothered trying to alter the settings so that I can see HYS.

        Liked by 1 person

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