PRP

Government response to the Building a Safer Future consultation

By PRP – 3 April 2020

The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, made further announcements yesterday (2nd April) regarding the introduction of future building safety legislation. Much of this was expected following recent industry consultations and government announcements, but there are of course still many questions that need to be answered, and we know that MHCLG and the HSE are continuing to work on the policy proposals and the programme for introducing and implementing the legislation. Andrew Mellor, Partner at PRP, highlights the main changes brought about by this new announcement:

Building Regulations Part B

  • Confirmed that sprinklers and wayfinding signage will be required for all buildings above 11m – height definition, introduction date and transition requirements all to be confirmed
  • Evacuation alarms may be included in a later change to ADB following testing of the systems
  • Full Review of ADB being commissioned

Building Safety Bill

  • The Building for a Safer future proposals will apply to multi-occupancy residential buildings over 18m or six storeys whichever is reached first. The introduction of six storeys is a change from the consultation document. In future, other buildings may be included in the scope of the legislation
  • The Building Safety Regulator will be led by the HSE. Besides the building compliance oversight duties, the new Regulator will issue best practice building safety advice, advise on updates to the Approved Documents, oversee and publish reports on the performance of Local Authority Building Control and Approved Inspectors
  • Gateway 1 requirements now apply to buildings with a height above 18m and not 30m as the consultation document proposed
  • Gateway 2 – the Regulator will be the Building Control Body and applications can be staged if an application for the full building design would delay construction
  • Gateway 3 – partial occupation of buildings will be allowed
  • Applications will need to be made to the Regulator for refurbishments of multi-occupancy residential buildings over 18m or six storeys where Building Regulations apply to the work or the work affects building safety
  • Golden Thread – the Government will publish guidance on what data must be collected and how it should be accessed and shared
  • The Regulator will have the power to issue enforcement notices and impose sanction fines. Fines will be unlimited for Dutyholders (client, Principal Designer and Principal Contractors)

Competency

  • The Government is working with the BSI to develop competency standards for the Principal Designer, Principal Contractor
  • and Building Safety Manager roles. Third party accreditation bodies will be established

Other legislation and guidance

  • The Housing Health and Safety Rating System and Fire Safety Order are also being reviewed and the former may in future include minimum standards
  • The Building Safety Bill may be used to improve other legislation to help make buildings out of scope (e.g. below 6 storeys) safer
  • And finally, a voluntary Building Safety Charter is being developed for the industry to use that will be administered by the Construction Industry Council

By Andrew Mellor, Partner at PRP.

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Amelie Barrau, Head of Communications and PR at PRP a.barrau@prp-co.uk / 07715122576

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