Scottish Procurement Alliance endorses new cladding safety measures

Lesley Anderson

THE Scottish Procurement Alliance (SPA) has endorsed the decision to allow Scottish ministers new powers to tackle unsafe cladding.

The procurement body has given its backing to new regulations which it said are expected to positively transform the standards of cladding on public buildings and make it easier for organisations to identify credible providers.

Scottish ministers will be able to implement building assessments and enforce necessary improvements, maintain a building register, and establish a responsible developer scheme under the Housing Cladding Remediation Bill.

The government’s decision comes after the SPA awarded places to 27 expert fire safety providers and consultants as part of its revised £25 million fire safety framework, FS2.

Lesley Anderson, regional director at SPA, said, “We fully support the new cladding remediation bill as it aligns with our ongoing efforts to elevate safety standards across public housing and buildings. Our FS2 framework has been developed to support this new Bill and provide our public sector partners with a route to mobilise the necessary actions quickly and effectively to achieve full compliance. This is a key aspect of our commitment to providing safe, compliant, and value-driven solutions to our partners.”

The FS2 framework includes ‘comprehensive’ services for assessing and remediating cladding. The framework was designed to address critical safety issues highlighted by the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.

Lesley Anderson added, “Our framework will be pivotal in ensuring that safety measures keep pace with legislative changes. The new cladding bill is a progressive step that will further protect residents and users of public buildings throughout Scotland.

“The Bill will give the power for building assessments to be conducted and enforce any requirements identified and recorded on the register which will feature buildings that require no improvements and where improvements have been identified. It will also complement our framework, further validating provider’s suitability to provide the required services by establishing a responsible developers scheme.

“The FS2 framework is agile to manage this updated legislation offering a route to qualified suppliers that are capable of delivering works and services to the expected standard. When a framework is developed we conduct thorough engagement with the market to gain a deep understanding of regional requirements, legislation and demand combined with the insight obtained from our regional business units which offer a rich view of the UK-wide landscape. This enables us to provide solutions that are comprehensive and provide a strong offering for public sector organisations.”

FS2 merges two previous SPA frameworks, incorporating active and passive fire safety measures such as sprinklers, fireproofing and emergency lighting, alongside fire consultancy options nestled into the framework.

SPA added that it hopes the cladding bill will set a new benchmark for safety standards.

Contractor A.C. Whyte has been appointed as a top-ranked provider on the FS2 framework. MD Jennifer Phin said, “The introduction of Scotland’s new Housing Cladding Remediation Bill and its building register – which offers greater transparency, assurance, and a clear quality remediation process – further supports our mission in enhancing the safety of residential and public buildings. We look forward to collaborating with our clients and other key partners across the FS2 framework to collectively ensure our buildings are safer and that building owners and residents are well-informed and assured throughout the process.”