Written by: Griffiths & Armour on: 13 Sep 2022
Building Safety Act 2022 – Higher Risk
The Building Safety Act received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022. It is intended to implement the recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s report into building regulation and fire safety following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. The Act applies to England and Wales with elements also applicable to Scotland and Northern Ireland. Parts of the Act came into force on 28 June, and a number of further provisions will apply over the next 18 months.
The Act establishes the role of the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) to oversee the safety and performance of all buildings, and in particular ‘higher-risk’ buildings. Such buildings are defined as being at least 18-metres in height or having at least 7-storeys, and which contain at least 2 residential units. In relation to these higher-risk buildings, the Act defines two specific roles:
The Accountable Person, whose responsibilities include:
- Registering the building with the BSR.
- Assessing building safety risks.
- Taking steps to reduce the impact of a major incident.
- Complying with their obligations around engagement with residents and managing complaints.
- Appointment of a Building Manager.
The Building Manager, whose responsibilities include:
- Managing occupied buildings.
- Ensuring compliance with the Building Assurance Certificate.
- Notifying the Accountable Person of any issues.
- Operating the complaints system.
- Mandatory reporting of structural and fire safety occurrences to the BSR.
The Act also places general duties on those who procure, plan, manage and undertake work to ensure ‘higher-risk’ buildings are safe. Dutyholders including the Accountable Person must compile and maintain a ‘golden thread’ of information throughout the lifecycle of every higher-risk building. This must be kept digitally and made available to all residents.
In addition, the Act requires that the construction of higher-risk buildings must meet the requirements of ‘gateways’ at the following stages, to ensure building safety is considered:
- Planning Application.
- Prior to commencement of building works.
- When building work is finished (to obtain the BSR Completion Certificate).
Further information on Construction Property Risks is available via RMworks, the online risk management portal available to all clients of Griffiths & Armour.