RIBA, RICS and the CIOB call on Government to revise sprinkler requirements


12th March 2019

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) have signed a joint statement calling on the Government to require the installation of sprinklers in all new and converted residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, student accommodation, schools and care home buildings of 11m in height or above. They have also called for the retrofitting of sprinklers in buildings when relevant refurbishment takes place.

The joint statement comes ahead of a Westminster Hall debate, introduced by Jim Fitzpatrick MP, on fire safety and sprinkler systems to be held this morning (Tuesday 12 March 2019). The statement reads:

“As leading chartered professional bodies in the built environment, we believe further action is required to improve the fire safety of buildings in the UK.

Lives, stock and property are saved by the use of Automatic Fire Suppression Systems (AFSS), which includes sprinklers. At present, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland differ in their requirements on sprinklers yet the science of fire knows no political or geographical boundaries.  

Harmonising building regulations across the nation states of the UK regarding the installation of sprinklers would provide clarity to the industry and help protect the public.

We support the installation of sprinklers in all new & converted residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, student accommodation, schools and care home buildings 11m or above in height, and retrofitting to existing buildings when refurbishment occurs as ‘consequential improvements’ where a building is subject to 'material alterations’. We also support the installation of AFSS including sprinklers below this height on a case by case basis of risk. 

Each of the professional bodies will bring forward guidance for our own professionals in line with this statement in the absence of government legislation.”

Paul Nash FCIOB, Past President of the CIOB and Chair of the Past President’s Quality Commission, said:

“The need for harmonisation across the regulatory framework in the UK is essential.  CIOB, through its work on quality and in support of the Hackitt recommendations, fully endorses this statement.”




Elaine Cooper
+44 (0) 1344 630 744

Recent News

The CIOB is committed to contributing to a diverse and inclusive construction sector, one which delivers the best opportunities and better...

Published: 4th May 2021

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has introduced two new categories: ‘Client of the Year’ and ‘Team of the Year’.

Published: 27th April 2021

A new report entitled 'Job Quality in the Construction Sector' has been produced by TASC, the Think Tank for Action on Social Change, in...

Published: 22nd April 2021