How Kingspan Insulation is implementing the recommendations of the Hackitt Review

22 April 2020 Kingspan Insulation UK
Published in May 2018, the final report from the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety (also known as the Hackitt Review or “Building a Safer Future”) set out a revolutionary approach to raising fire safety standards within the construction industry, considering not only the design and construction, but all aspects which could affect the safety and performance of a building throughout its lifespan.

Key Recommendations within the Hackitt Review

Building a Safer Future cover

The final report includes 53 recommendations, and in her introduction, Dame Judith Hackitt makes it clear that these together describe an “integrated systemic change not a shopping list of changes which can be picked out on a selective basis.”

The recommendations are focused on multi-occupancy higher risk residential buildings (HRRBs) that are 10 storeys or more in height, but it is noted that the new framework would also benefit a wider range of buildings.

A new regulatory framework is set out, together with clearly defined dutyholder roles, and a new Joint Competent Authority (JCA) to make sure that it is followed. The JCA would involve Local Authority Building Standards, fire and rescue authorities and the Health and Safety Executive.

The framework is designed to simplify the requirements, and at the same time make them more robust. It provides better oversight, clear lines of responsibility, incentives for good practice and real sanctions for poor practice. It also involves the most important people – those who will be living in the building – and provides them with greater reassurance and an effective way to raise any issues.

Outline of the recommendations:

  1. The Framework

  • New regulatory framework for HRRBs

  • New Joint Competent Authority (JCA) (This was established in January 2020 initially on a shadow basis)

  • Mandatory incident reporting mechanism for dutyholders


  1. Design, construction and refurbishment

  • Rigorous and demanding dutyholder roles and responsibilities

  • Series of gateway points to strengthen regulatory oversight

  • Stronger change control process

  • Single, more streamlined regulatory route to oversee building standards

  • Rigorous enforcement powers


  1. Occupation and maintenance

  • Clear and identifiable dutyholder

  • Requirement for dutyholder to present a safety case to the JCA

  • Clearer rights and obligations for residents

  • Regulator (JCA) for the whole of the building in relation to fire and structural safety in occupation


  1. Residents’ voice

  • Greater transparency of information on building safety

  • Involvement in decision making through resident associations/panels

  • No risk, independent route for residents to raise concerns


  1. Competence

  • Overarching body to provide oversight of competence requirements

  • Industry led technical guidance with continuing oversight from government prescribed organisation

  • Simpler yet more comprehensive regulations and guidance


  1. Guidance and monitoring to support building safety

  • Guidance on how to meet the Building Regulations should be owned by the construction industry whilst government provides regulatory requirements and oversight of the system

  • New structure to validate and assure guidance

  • The entire regulatory system should be reviewed at least every 5 years to ensure effectiveness

  1. Products

  • More effective testing regime with clearer labelling and product traceability

  • Periodic review process of test methods and range of standards

  • More effective market surveillance system


  1. Golden thread of building information

  • Digital records for new HRRBs, to include changes after occupation

  • To be used by dutyholders to demonstrate the safety of the building throughout its life cycle.


  1. Procurement and supply

  • Make sure that high safety, low risk options are prioritised

  • Consideration of full life cycle cost

What steps Kingspan Insulation is taking to implement the changes

From the outset, Kingspan Insulation has been committed to ensuring that all recommendations from the review are fully implemented, and in December 2018 the Government also committed to delivering the new framework. Kingspan has already taken steps in a number of areas to support this effort.


Chapter 7 of the final report noted the challenge of identifying materials once on site.

We already undertake a number of measures designed to support product traceability for our ranges. For several years, we have printed clear labels which are placed on packaging and provides the following key information:

  • Date of manufacture
  • Time of manufacture
  • Thickness
  • Plant
  • Initials of the line leader​
A batch number is also printed on the facing of each board.

In addition, we have implemented a new sales process for Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board. This ensures we are aware, and have a clear written log, of all sales of the product into buildings, whether it’s purchased directly from us or through a distributor.

The process centres around a Request Form which must be completed each time the product is ordered. The form requires project teams to provide key details including the project name, address, contact details for the client, main contractor and sub-contractor, along with all relevant information to ensure the ordered products and systems have been signed off as compliant by Building Control. It is important to ensure all this information is supplied as orders will not be released until the form is satisfactorily completed, which may lead to delays.

If a contractor makes a sales enquiry with us directly, we will immediately reserve the stock and then send the Request Form to be filled in. Once a fully completed form is submitted, the details will be logged within our records and the order will be released.

A process has also been established for distributors to allow for the continuation of stock orders. To take part, distributors must agree to log sales and submit the Request Forms to Kingspan Insulation on a monthly basis. Failure to provide these forms will result in the suspension of stock orders.

Distributors who have chosen not to participate in the scheme can still sell Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board, however, this will be restricted to a project specific basis.  As with orders taken directly by Kingspan Insulation, we will reserve any stock requests. The distributor will then be sent the Request Form to send on to the customer for completion. Once a satisfactorily completed form is returned the order will be logged and the products sent out.


BS8414 test

The report also highlighted that a “clearer, more transparent and more effective specification and testing regime of construction products must be developed. This should include products as they are put together as part of a system.”

In our opinion, assessments carried out using the large-scale test BS 8414 under the performance criteria within BR 135 provide a rigorous and well considered testing method for assessing the real-life reaction to fire performance of complete cladding systems as they will be installed.

Kingspan offers a suite of panelised facade, rainscreen facade and insulated panel systems that have been tested to BS 8414 and pass the requirements of BR 135. Full details of these, including the classification reports, can be accessed on our BS 8414 Tested Systems page. Up-to-date information about which building types these tested systems can be used on under current regulatory guidance  in England, Wales and Scotland can be accessed on our fire safety regulations page.

Golden Thread

A digital image of a building on top of architectural drawings
Chapter 8 of the report emphasises the need for a “Golden Thread” of information about a building. This would be created during the initial design and updated throughout the construction and lifespan of the building, providing all duty holders with clear information about the products used within the building and their respective performance.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) provides a natural process for delivering this “Golden Thread”. BIM describes a process where a digital model is created for each building and populated with performance data. At Level 2, it requires all parts of the project team to accurately digitally model their individual elements and for this information to be pulled together into a master model at defined stages within the construction process. This model can then be passed on to the dutyholder responsible for a building’s maintenance and updated over time.

Kingspan Insulation was one of the first manufacturers to produce bespoke BIM objects for our products. These can be dropped into models and are pre-loaded with detailed performance information, supporting improved accuracy. All our product BIM objects can be freely downloaded from the National BIM Library. You can also receive BIM objects from our U-value calculator along with the your calculation.


Knowledge Base - a person in front of a computer with a lightbulb image above their head.
Both the interim and final Hackitt Reports also established the need to raise the skills and knowledge of individuals involved at all stages in the lifecycle of buildings.

Kingspan Insulation seek to support specifiers, installers and developers in a variety of ways. Our product literature provides an overview of each product’s performance characteristics and guidance on what applications they are suitable for and how they can be handled and installed. These are supported by helpful video guides which clearly demonstrate best practice when installing our products.

We have also developed a comprehensive online knowledge base where readers can browse through articles covering a range of topics, from detailed guidance on the latest regulations, to helpful FAQs on common industry terminology. Additionally, we offer a number of free CPD seminars, some of which are accredited by RIBA or CIBSE. Each last around an hour and, to make them as accessible as possible, can be booked to take place in offices.

This work builds on the information Kingspan has provided for many years through the publication of technical bulletins on key industry topics, including how to interpret the guidance given in Approved Document B.


The Hackitt Review highlighted the need for clearer marketing communications from manufacturers, backed by relevant testing and third party certification where possible, and following robust internal procedures. In 2019, Kingspan formalised its document sign off process to ensure that all literature has been reviewed by the relevant in-house experts, and that all information is correct and in line with current regulatory requirements and guidance.

Continued process

The work to implement the full recommendations of the Hackitt Review is ongoing and Kingspan is committed to supporting this, both by applying them within our own practice and supporting all parties responsible for the design, construction and care of buildings in applying them to their own. You can find up-to-date information about fire safety including articles, videos and sign up forms for our CPDs in our Fire Safety Matters section.

Kingspan Insulation Ltd

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