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Review of the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004: Technical Handbooks (Non Domestic) - Section 2 (Fire)

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Covering Letter

Directorate for Local Government and Communities
Building Standards Division
T: 01506 600 400 F: 01506 600 401
E: bill.dodds@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Our ref: BSD/2

20 September 2012

Dear Consultee

Review Of The Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 And Accompanying Standards And Guidance For Section 2: Fire Of The Non-Domestic Technical Handbook

Automatic fire suppression systems were introduced in new primary and secondary schools in October 2010 to further the achievement of sustainable development by providing enhanced property protection against fire. Since then there have been cases where the additional cost of installing a suppression system in existing school building projects was clearly disproportionate to the overall building costs. In order to simplify the assessment of these types of cases it is proposed to amend Standard 2.15 Automatic Fire Suppression Systems and the supporting guidance.

Optimal Economics have carried out research on behalf of the Building Standards Division to help identify the key aspects of those school buildings where an automatic fire suppression system might not be appropriate in relation to costs and benefits. The research report will be available on the Building Standards Division website www.scotland.gov.uk/bsd from 1 October 2012 (see Research section: Fire: Research Project to Inform the Decision-making Process for Fire Suppression Systems in Schools).

Following the Rosepark Care Home Fatal Accident Inquiry, the Sheriff Principal recommended that Scottish Ministers consider introducing a requirement to provide fire safety information. The current proposal is to introduce a new Standard 2.16 Fire Safety Information supported by guidance. If following consultation the proposal is taken forward, Scottish Ministers will also amend The Building (Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 to reflect the change in procedure prior to acceptance of the Completion Certificate.

Responding to this consultation paper

We are inviting written responses to this consultation paper by 12 December 2012. Please send your response with the completed Respondent Information Form (see "Handling your Response" below) to:

buildingstandards@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or

Michelle Williamson
Building Standards
Denholm House
Almondvale Business park
Livingston
EH54 6GA

If you have any queries contact Michelle on 01506 600408

We would be grateful if you would use the consultation questionnaire provided or could you clearly indicate in your response which questions or parts of the consultation paper you are responding to as this will aid our analysis of the responses received.

This consultation, and all other Scottish Government consultation exercises, can be viewed online on the consultation web pages of the Scottish Government website at
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations.

The Scottish Government has an email alert system for consultations, http://register.scotland.gov.uk. This system allows stakeholder individuals and organisations to register and receive a weekly email containing details of all new consultations (including web links). It complements, but in no way replaces SG distribution lists, and is designed to allow stakeholders to keep up to date with all SG consultation activity, and therefore be alerted at the earliest opportunity to those of most interest. We would encourage you to register.

Handling your response

We need to know how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to be made public. Please complete and return the Respondent Information Form as this will ensure that we treat your response appropriately. If you ask for your response not to be published we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

Next Steps in the process

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public in the Scottish Government Library and on the Scottish Government consultation web pages by end of January 2013. You can make arrangements to view responses by contacting the SG Library on 0131 244 4556. Responses can be copied and sent to you, but a charge may be made for this service.

What happens next ?

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us reach a decision on regulations/guidance for the

We aim to issue a report on this consultation process by late Spring 2013.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to Michelle Williamson.

Yours faithfully

Bill Dodds

Bill Dodds
Head of Building Standards Division

THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION PROCESS

Consultation is an essential and important aspect of Scottish Government working methods. Given the wide-ranging areas of work of the Scottish Government, there are many varied types of consultation. However, in general, Scottish Government consultation exercises aim to provide opportunities for all those who wish to express their opinions on a proposed area of work to do so in ways which will inform and enhance that work.

The Scottish Government encourages consultation that is thorough, effective and appropriate to the issue under consideration and the nature of the target audience. Consultation exercises take account of a wide range of factors, and no two exercises are likely to be the same.

Typically Scottish Government consultations involve a written paper inviting answers to specific questions or more general views about the material presented. Written papers are distributed to organisations and individuals with an interest in the issue, and they are also placed on the Scottish Government web site enabling a wider audience to access the paper and submit their responses. Consultation exercises may also involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as through public meetings, focus groups or questionnaire exercises. Copies of all the written responses received to a consultation exercise (except those where the individual or organisation requested confidentiality) are placed in the Scottish Government library.

All Scottish Government consultation papers and related publications (eg, analysis of response reports) can be accessed at: Scottish Government consultations (http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations)

The views and suggestions detailed in consultation responses are analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:

  • indicate the need for policy development or review
  • inform the development of a particular policy
  • help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
  • be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented

Final decisions on the issues under consideration will also take account of a range of other factors, including other available information and research evidence.

While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations