13 July 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Members of the Construction Industry Council (CIC) including the BIFM, CIBSE, and RIBA have formed the International Fire Safety Standards (IFSS) Coalition. It was launched at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland this week.
The representative forum for professional bodies, research organisations and specialist business associations in the construction industry has joined more than 30 organisations from around the world to develop "landmark industry standards to address fire safety in buildings in the public interest".
The coalition consists of local and international professional bodies and standard-setting organisations committed to developing and supporting a shared set of standards for fire safety in buildings. The standards aim to set and reinforce the best practice professionals should adhere to ensure building safety in the event of a fire.
The group was formed because as "the property market has become increasingly international with investments flowing across national borders, the sector still lacks a consistent set of high-level global principles that will inform the design, construction, and management of buildings to address the risks associated with fire safety", according to the CIC.
Differences in materials testing and certification, national building regulations or codes, and standards on how to manage buildings in use, particularly higher risk buildings, means there is confusion, uncertainty and risk to the public.
Once the high-level standards are developed, the IFSS Coalition will work with professionals around the world to deliver the standards locally.
The standards will be owned by the IFSS Coalition and not by any one organisation.
As its first order of business, the IFSS Coalition will set up a Standards Setting Committee that will draw on a group of international technical fire experts to develop and write the high-level standards to ensure that they are fit for purpose across global markets.