“The Building Safety Act makes ground-breaking reforms to give residents and homeowners more rights, powers, and protections – so homes across the country are safer.”DLUHC July 2022
“The Building Safety Act overhauls existing regulations, creating lasting change and makes clear how residential buildings should be constructed, maintained and made safe. Full implementation of the Act is in October 2023, which means each building owner should have their building safety regime in place by this time.”Health & Safety Executive Feb 2023
MAKING SENSE OF
The Building Safety Act
The Building Safety Act is a wide ranging regulatory change that impacts all stages of the design, construction and operation of Higher-Risk Residential buildings. The key themes of the reforms in the occupation phase (Part 4) relate to Responsibility, Risk and Residents.
Legal responsibility for Building Safety has been clearly identified with the creation of the Accountable Person (AP) in law.
Where more than one AP is present within the building, a formula can be followed to identify the Principal Accountable Person (PAP).
The PAP or singular AP is ultimately responsible for building safety and regulatory compliance.
PAP responsibilities include:
- Building registration
- Safety case
- Golden thread
- Building assessment
- Resident engagement
- Mandatory occurrence reporting
The PAP is legally responsible for the risk management process in their building, including:
- Risk assessment
- Creation and maintenance of a safety case
- Storage of information digitally
- Sharing of prescribed information with stakeholders
- Continuous risk management review based on mandatory occurrence reports, complaints and other notifications.
The new regulatory regime is risk-based as opposed to the existing rules-based regimes. This means that the new regime is designed to avoid box ticking and sets continuous review and management of risk as a behaviour.
Residents are now legally recognised as stakeholders in the management of building safety.
New duties are placed on both building managers and residents to engage in and support continuous safety improvement.
APs are legally compelled to engage with residents through a formal resident engagement strategy.
Residents are now legally compelled to behave in a way that does not undermine building safety and to comply with appropriate safety-related directions from the building management.
What this all means
The introduction of the Building Safety Act has introduced significant complexity into the relationship between the stakeholders in over 13,000 high rise residential buildings in England.
The bulk of the Building Safety Act commenced in October 2023 despite much of the secondary legislation being new and in some cases missing. The new Building Safety Regulator has committed to the launch of the Building Assessment Certificate (BAC) process from 1st April 2024. Failure to submit an application within 28 days of request is an offence.
Our team is expert in providing building managers and owners with the fastest route possible to compliance with the Building Safety Act. We work continuously to understand all aspects of the Act and design approaches and technology to simplify the process.