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Building Safety Bill: Management, Safety and Construction Regulation

Building Safety Bill Management Safety and Construction Regulation

The Building Safety Bill has finally received Royal Assent, and become an Act of Parliament on 28 April 2022 (“The Act”).

The Act has been introduced following a whole-scale review of the fire and building safety regime undertaken by Dame Judith Hackitt (the former Chair of the Health and Safety Executive) following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. This new legislation is set to tackle many of the wide-ranging issues that have been encountered across the built environment in some of the major fire incidents, from build through to occupation and building management (in particular for ‘high-rise’ and ‘high-risk’ buildings).

The Act introduces new legal requirements, roles and responsibilities, intended to improve building safety and management. To summarise, some include (although are not limited to): the golden thread, and building safety cases (which involves gathering and passing on vital safety, construction and ‘as built’ information); new roles and competency requirements; the promotion of avoiding ‘race to bottom’ on any associated construction costs (which is likely to impact supply chain selection, vetting and appointment); encouraging risk be better ‘designed out’ at source; new planning gateways, as well as a new building certification process.

There is also the introduction of two new regulators, and changes to the time period to bring defective premises building claims, the approach taken by developers to remediation, and the limits on the overall level of costs that may be passed on to leaseholders. Brabners Property Team regularly support many housing and registered providers on a wide variety of issues; and some of the most topical and current issues were explored in detail with business leaders in our ‘Ask the Leaders’ series.

At the end of March 2022, the ‘Cultural Change in Construction’ Conference (as part of the UK’s ‘Construction Awareness Week’) also took place in London. Key stakeholders and leaders, including Government Minister of State for Building Safety and Fire, Lord Greenhalgh and Dame Judith Hackett, from across industry, gathered to discuss relevant issues that arise from implementation of the Act – some of the key themes and messages from the day, included:  

To conclude, the Act is likely to be viewed by many as some of the most fundamental reform of regulation of the construction and residential property sectors. Inevitably, this will have a sizeable impact on business, commercial considerations and the regulatory landscape and enforcement that we are likely to see moving forward.

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