In England and Wales, the Government has introduced new legislation (the Building Safety Act 2022) covering the design, construction and management of higher-risk buildings (existing and new) and the building control regime. The legislation is designed to provide greater safety, quality, transparency of the building process and accountability of the professionals involved. Furthermore, the Act aims to provide key stakeholders, such as residents, with reassurance and confidence that the buildings that they are utilising are safe.
The Building Safety Bill 2019-20 was announced in the Queen’s Speech on 19 December 2019 following the Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017. On 28 April 2022, the Bill received Royal Assent, becoming law as the Building Safety Act 2022.
The main aims of the Act are to:
Create an enhanced safety framework for high-risk residential buildings, taking forward the recommendations of the Hackitt review.
Provide clearer accountability and stronger duties for those responsible for the safety of high-rise buildings, with clear competence requirements to maintain high standards.
Give residents a stronger voice in the system and ensure that they fully understand how they can contribute to maintaining safety in their buildings.
Strengthen enforcement and sanctions to deter non-compliance.
Develop a new, stronger and clearer framework to provide national oversight of construction products.
Develop a new system to oversee the whole built environment, with local enforcement agencies and national regulators.
Require that developers of new build homes belong to a New Homes Ombudsman.
We are still expecting further information and clarification on the Act from the Government, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Building Safety Regulator (BSR). In the meantime, we are providing support and guidance to our members and will be updating this section as information becomes available and further resources are developed.
Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures UK (CROSS-UK)
IStructE is also involved in CROSS-UK, which aims to help professionals make structures safer by publicly publishing safety information based on reports received. CROSS-UK is a trusted provider of free safety information for the built environment.
Find out more about CROSS-UK
Building Safety Act - All Change (Griffiths & Armour)
Read further on the Building Safety Act and how changes may impact those operating within construction, with a focus on the liability and insurance implications for construction professionals.