BOOK NOW | Design for Life? Fire safety and building resilience
In-person and online – 6 x Friday AM (10am-1pm) – Every Friday from 12 January 2024 (16 Feb session moved to 23 Feb due to half term) – £500
Formally recognised by:
“The RIBA welcomes the LSA Design for Life programme that supports architects in developing their competence in fire and building safety, for regulatory compliance and beyond. The sessions will help architects prepare for the design risk management element of the RIBA health and life safety mandatory competence assessment.”
“The London School of Architecture’s Part 4 programme provides exactly the kind of support that the profession needs to respond to the most urgent issues facing our cities. I am delighted to see this innovative professional development programme focus on the issues that practitioners in London are grappling with including inclusion and social value, fire safety and community heritage. Ultimately upskilling the sector on these matters is going to lead to a built environment that better serves Londoners.”
Jules Pipe CBE, Deputy Mayor
Are you aware of the changes to building regulations in relation to fire, health and life safety? Can you demonstrate your individual competence and organisational capability?
In the wake of Grenfell, the Hackitt review and amendments to Building Regulations you must demonstrate competency in fire, health and life safety.
These competency requirements are not coming, they are here. Regulators mandate them; insurers value them; clients and the public demand them.
And your professional status – both as a registered architect and a chartered member – relies on cultivating that competence.
But we believe that competence is merely the foundation. Knowledge, skills, experience and behaviours are enabled by research, training, collaboration and sound ethical bases. In fact, they turn competence into excellence.
We want to work with course participants who share this commitment to excellence.
What will I get from this course?
- Individual competence and organisational capability: This course will prepare you for the RIBA health and life safety test, providing practice questions in the same format as the formal assessment. Non-chartered members will be given access to the RIBA’s assessment portal. All learners will also be given advice on how to prepare a reflective statement for the ARB.
- Excellence beyond competence: Through design exercises led by industry experts, you will learn international principles of fire safety and how these inform UK statute. You will also explore ways to work critically and creatively with local building regulations. Together, you will workshop key challenges of life safety design, applying first principles to practical problems. It is a client’s duty to demand competence of their consultants. This course will give you the confidence not only to exceed competence, but market this excellence and respond to these client demands.
- Extending beyond statute: Participants will be introduced to the concept of a ‘resilience strategy’. You will be challenged to review design decisions from the perspective of an insurer, and be shown how to reduce building insurance premiums through design.
- Commercial nouse: You will be offered expert guidance on how to fee for life safety design, how to minimise design liability for fire safety, and how to keep public indemnity insurance premiums to a minimum.
A direct response to the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, the Edinburgh Schools scandal, and a new regulatory landscape (including the introduction of ARB and RIBA’s core competencies for ‘Health and Life Safety’ and the passing of the Building Safety Act 2022), Design for Life? responds to the professional, moral and ethical imperative of all architects and practitioners in the building industry to equip themselves with the essential and latest fire, health and life safety knowledge, and to learn how to apply it in practice.
Design for Life? cover all topics included in the RIBA’s ‘Health and Life Safety’ Mandatory Core Competency – a requirement of Chartered Membership for 2024 renewals – and the ARB’s competence guidance on Fire and Life Safety, unpacking the implications of these documents for professional competency.
But more than this, the course will arm your teams with the latest design and technical knowledge alongside a confidence in selling professional service to clients, and an ethical framework to keep the public and our communities firmly at the centre of decision-making and accountability.
Course format and objectives
Design for Life? is a six-week course structured around the lifecycle of a building project, covering fire, health and life safety from Appointment to Concept Design, and Technical Design to Use. While addressing the gamut of health and life safety risks associated with building design, particular focus is given to the risk of fire, and related concerns of regulatory change, product certification, professional competence, the user’s voice, and design ethics.
The course is led by Dr Liam Ross (Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh; author, Pyrotechnic Cities: Architecture, Fire-Safety and Standardisation (Routledge, 2022)) and supported by an expert advisory panel including Ian Abley (former Technical Consultant to RISCAuthority), Paul Bussey (Senior Technical Consultant, AHMM), Paul Hyett (RIBA Past President, Expert Witness to the Grenfell Inquiry and Partner at Vickery Hyett) and Arita Morris (CGL Architects and Chair of the NLA Expert Panel for Technical Competency).
Participants will leave with a toolkit of related documents and skills to integrate with their professional practice, confidence to sit the RIBA Health and Safety test, a prepared reflective statement as required by the ARB, a broader understanding of the ethical, legal and design consequences of their work and a greater confidence in offering fire, life safety and property resilience guidance in practice.
- Rules – Fri 12 Jan – In-person
What caused the Grenfell Tower fire? Was regulation to blame? How is the architect’s competence defined, and when are other forms of expertise required?
- Money – Fri 19 Jan – Online
What are the economic consequences of fire, health and life safety concerns? How does Insurance shape building design? What civil liabilities are architects exposed to? How can architects reduce insurance premiums by design?
- Design – Fri 26 Jan – In-person
What is fire? What design principles should we employ to limit its spread? Are ambitions for enhanced fire-safety and sustainability incompatible?
- Materials – Fri 02 Feb – Online
How do materials respond to fire? How is that performance certified, and can certification be trusted? How can detail for fire-safety, and recognise unsafe details?
- Risk – Fri 09 Feb – In-person
What are most significant risks in construction? What are the principles of design risk management? How can architects design out risk, and how can they limit their own risk exposure?
- The user – Fri 23 Feb – Online
Why were the safety concerns of Grenfell’s resident’s ignored? What can architects do to ensure the ‘user’s voice is heard? What is the ‘responsible person’ responsible for, and how can their insights improve design?
Course contributors and advisors
- Dr. Liam Ross: Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh; author, Pyrotechnic Cities: Architecture, Fire-Safety and Standardisation (Routledge, 2022)
- Ian Abley: former Technical Consultant to RISCAuthority
- Paul Bussey: Senior Technical Consultant, AHMM
- Paul Hyett: RIBA Past President, Expert Witness to the Grenfell Inquiry and Partner at Vickery Hyett
- Arita Morris: CGL Architects and Chair of the NLA Expert Panel for Technical Competency
- The course runs for over six half-day sessions in a hybrid format (with some weeks in-person and some weeks online), every Friday morning 10am-1pm from Friday 12 January 2024
- In-person weeks will be held at the LSA’s premises: 4 Beechwood Rd, Dalston, London E8 3DY
- The teaching format for each week (in-person versus online) will be confirmed with participants by no later than the end of November
- To ensure high contact, we’re recruiting a small cohort of no more than 35 – spaces are very limited
- The course cost is £500 per participant
Get in touch about the course
Are you keen to learn more about Design for Life? and the Part 4 programme, or would you like to schedule a call with the Part 4 team before making a booking?
Please share your details below and we’ll be in touch (we aim to respond within 48 hours Monday to Friday). You can also reach out to us by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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