BY JUSTIN FURNESS, CAB SENIOR CONSULTANT
On 28 April, the Building Safety Bill received Royal Assent. The Bill has completed all the parliamentary stages in both Houses and now becomes an Act of Parliament.
Now more than ever, designers, clients and contractors will need to collaborate to comply with building regulations and build good practice for managing information about the building – information that is appropriately shared to demonstrate how a building will remain safe when occupied.
As the HSE, establishing the new Building Safety Regulator, puts it: “Anyone who still holds onto the idea that building safety is something that can be left to the later stages of design and construction needs to change their thinking. Good building design starts well before the planning stages and carries on right through so that buildings are safe to build and safe to live in and use.”
There is much more to come, starting with the registration of high-rise buildings from April 2023 and the new safety management requirements applying from October 2023.
The new Building Safety Regulator (BSR) adds: “As our powers continue to increase in the coming years, people will see fundamental changes to the safety and performance of all buildings and increased competency among industry professionals that raises standards year on year.”
Notably, the Building Safety Act will establish building control as a regulated profession, helping to create a unified profession, working to a consistent set of standards. The role of the BSR will include the holding of building control bodies (BCBs) and individual building control professionals to account.
Over the coming months HSE will consult on a number of areas including:
operational standards rules, including key performance indicators and the strategic context for building control oversight
code of conduct and competence framework for registered building inspectors (RBIs)
professional conduct rules for private sector registered building control approvers (RBCAs).
Our role as a respected trade association must be in part to guide Members through legislation changes such as included in this Bill, while striking that difficult balance between adding to what you must do, in terms of more testing and reporting, for example, whilst maintaining the status quo.