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Draft Building Bulletin 100

Volume 450: debated on Friday 20 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he will put into the public domain the responses to the public consultation on draft Building Bulletin 100, Designing and Managing Against Risk of Fire in Schools; if he will summarise the responses, indicating those which called for local authorities to be instructed either to install or evaluate the benefits of installing sprinkler systems in any new school buildings or within the plans for refurbishment of existing school buildings; when he will publish his response to the consultation; when he will publish the work commissioned by his Department from the Building Research Establishment on sprinklers in schools; and if he will make a statement. (95536)

There were 66 responses to the 12 questions asked in the public consultation on the draft of Building Bulletin 100 (BB 100) and a summary of these will be placed on the Department’s website early in November. 74 per cent. of respondents agreed with the proposal that sprinkler systems should be installed in a new school if the need for them was indicated by a risk assessment. However, 58 per cent. thought that there needed to be more guidance on sprinklers than was contained in the draft.

This finding reinforced the need for the cost benefit analysis study of sprinklers that we had already commissioned form the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

However, we have since asked BRE to carry our further work on developing a risk assessment tool. We also commissioned consultants to carry out a study to establish reliable figures for the costs of installing sprinklers in schools. Their survey covers a minimum of 20 primary and secondary schools, and is analysing both installation costs and maintenance costs.

Both these pieces of work commenced in July and should be complete by the end of October. Data from all of these studies, and substantive responses from the public consultation, will be incorporated into the final draft of BB 100. We expect to publish this early next year.