New buildings process
Back to Previous

New buildings process

Date published

Learn how the Building Safety Act impacts on the new buildings process.

Planning applications

HSE is a statutory consultee for planning applications that involve or may involve a relevant building. As part of their planning application to the local planning authority, applicants will need to show that they have:

  • considered fire safety needs relevant to land use planning for the proposed building

  • considered these needs at an early stage

  • incorporated your thinking into your planning application.

HSE provides local planning authorities with fire safety input on proposals. Examples of fire safety needs relevant to land use planning include:

  • site layout

  • water supplies for fighting fires

  • access for fire services.

As part of the building safety reforms, the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) is now the building control authority for high-rise buildings.

Design and construction

Before building work starts

Before starting any building work, applicants now need to submit a design application to the Building Safety Regulator via the Gateway system. The application will include information that shows how the design will:

  • meet the building regulations

  • manage change control

  • help duty holders meet legal requirements, including on:

    • competence

    • golden thread of information about the building

The application will need to show the assumptions that have been made about the occupied building once built. Any assumptions and proposals must be reasonable and justified.

Developments that are built in stages

Any proposals for phased construction or occupation should be agreed at the design stage. Construction work should not start on a phase or stage without approval from BSR.

During construction

Building work must not start until approved by BSR. There will be ongoing requirements, including:

  • site inspections at key milestones

  • ​reporting certain occurrences

  • managing change

  • identifying and storing the golden thread of key information about the building.

Some changes in design may need further approval from BSR before work can proceed. Design and construction.

When the building is completed

At completion, BSR will:

  • assess the application against the building regulations

  • undertake final inspections of the completed building work

  • assess the documents to be given to the building owner.

On approval, BSR will issue a completion certificate.

Before occupation

After a completion certificate is issued, the building will need to be registered. An application to register the building should be made to BSR.

Residential units must not be occupied until the building is registered.

Building work carried out without approval

It will be an offence to start prescribed building work without Building Safety Regulator approval and the Regulator will have enforcement powers where breaches occur.

The Building Safety Regulator will carry out inspections during construction. This could involve site inspections, requesting information such as the golden thread, change control log(s), or other evidence of building regulations compliance.

It will be able to undertake tests or take samples of building materials by cutting into or laying open building work and will be able to prohibit the covering up of work for a period.


Useful information and resources

<h4>Structural Fire Engineering</h4>

Structural Fire Engineering

Provides best practices for the field of performance-based structural fire engineering design.

<h4>Industry CPD: Fire protection of steel-framed buildings</h4>

Industry CPD: Fire protection of steel-framed buildings

This CPD module, sponsored by Steel for Life, provides an introduction to fire protection of new steel-framed buildings. It will provide an overview of the performance of steel in fire, legislation and standards on fire resistance, fire resistance periods and...

Cover image of

Structural aspects of cladding

Guidance on the loading, movement, calculations, tolerances, fixings and testing of 11 different cladding systems, including: rainscreen, moulded large panel, framed and unframed glazing, insulated metal, built-up metal, masonry, fabric and unitised...

An image of a controlled fire experiment

Performance based design of buildings in fire

Mark O’Connor, Director and Head of Specialists in WSP's Property and Buildings business, discusses tools and techniques to design efficient structural fire protection systems.

<h4>Introduction to structural fire engineering</h4>

Introduction to structural fire engineering

A comprehensive introduction to the design of primary building structures during fire, for all principal structural materials. 

<h4>Managing Health & Safety Risks (No. 6): The management of H&S risks during design development</h4>

Managing Health & Safety Risks (No. 6): The management of H&S risks during design development

This article demonstrates how engineers involve themselves in many tasks in connection with civil and structural engineering projects, but manage risk above all else.