SOCOTEC UK’s guide to BSA 2022

Following the Grenfell Tower fire and the closure of 17 schools in Edinburgh in 2017 due to safety concerns, an independent review of building and fire safety proposed a clear culture change. SOCOTEC UK has a guide to registration requirements for higher risk buildings (HRBs) under the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA).

What is classified as an HRB?

Where building work takes place, an HRB includes any building of seven storeys or 18 metres high that incorporates at least two residential units, a care home or a hospital.

Care homes and hospitals are exempt from the requirement to register, which applies to all other HRBs, as this is done through the Care Quality Commission. Other exemptions include secure residential units, hotels and military barracks.

Is complying with the BSA mandatory?

Some aspects of the BSA are already in force, with the next tranche of measures taking effect in October 2023. Final aspects are expected to become law in 2024, and registration of relevant buildings will become a legal requirement. All occupied HRBs must be registered by 30 September 2023, and after 1 October 2023 all new HRBs must be registered on completion. Not registering relevant buildings will be a criminal offence punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine.

Who is responsible for registering a building?

This is to be done by the accountable person (AP). This is the individual or organisation that owns the building or is responsible for the maintenance of the building. Where there is more than one AP, a principal AP (PAP) will need to be nominated.

What information do I need to provide to register a building at this stage?

  • the name of the AP or PAP and which parts of the building they are responsible for
  • the number of floors at or above ground level
  • the building height in metres
  • the number of residential units
  • the year of building completion
  • its address or addresses
  • the building type – single, connected or a structure of multiple parts
  • if the building was completed by the 6 April 2023, the date and reference number of the building control completion certificate and the body who issued the certificate; and
  • registration fee.

What happens after registration?

You will be asked for Key Building Information (KBI) including:

  • any ancillary buildings
  • building usage – for example, residential, office, commercial, shop, recreational, industrial or storage
  • basement provision and usage
  • building materials used and percentage split of building material
  • insulation materials – if more than one type is used, the percentage split must be stated
  • roof type, pitch, insulation and waterproofing
  • any fixtures attached to the building and the materials used
  • the number of staircases
  • type of energy supply and energy storage in the building
  • a list of fire and smoke equipment and their locations in the building; and
  • building evacuation strategy.

What if I do not have all the information?

The HSE requires that you make all efforts to obtain the information required or at least show the steps you have taken to obtain all necessary information.

What happens after providing the KBI?

The Building Safety Regulator will instruct you to make an application for a Building Safety Assessment. This will include the AP/PAP’s provision of a safety case, mandatory occurrence reporting system and a resident engagement strategy.

What is a safety case?

This is a study of all the potential fire and structural hazards within your building. The safety case must show what these potential risks are and how they are managed. Usually this will involve a fire and structural survey. Key aspects need to be summarised in a safety case report. A mandatory occurrence reporting system should:

  • include an ongoing integral and regular building safety risks management process
  • maintain a whole-of-building approach and allow for urgent safety reporting
  • identify and capture safety occurrences; and
  • enable safety occurrences to be formally reported to the Building Safety Regulator.

What is a resident engagement strategy?

  • it provides residents with building safety information; and
  • it allows residents to voice their concerns, complaints and opinions.

What other responsibilities does the AP/PAP have?

They are responsible for maintaining a golden thread of building information – an accurate, digital account of all building information and works carried out.  


Ask the experts

As the BSA represents the biggest shake-up of the system of building regulation since WWII, CABE Technical Director Richard Harral and CIBSE Chief Technical Officer Hywel Davies have taken part in a CPD video to discuss the new building safety regime and its ramifications.

They look in more detail at how far-reaching it is and the changes it presents for residential buildings and HRBs, from planning and design to construction and management. The pair also discuss what their respective associations are doing to help members, and the wider building industry, meet requirements around competency for HRBs in particular, but also for all other buildings.

Both experts will also be taking part in the live event collaboration between CABE and CIBSE in December. CABE’s Built Environment LIVE and CIBSE’s Build2Perform are co-locating for a free, two-day technical symposium and exhibition.

Register interest at builtenvironmentseries.com/live-2023 

Watch the CPD video at buildingengineer.org.uk/harral-davies

Image credit | Alamy

Jobs

Permanent

MRICS Building Surveyor

Building Surveyor MRICS Glasgow Edinburgh Your new company A homegrown Scottish consultancy with pr...

Permanent

Senior Quantity Surveyor

Senior Quantity Surveyor opportunity in Essex Your new companyOpportunity to join a privately owned...

Permanent

Senio Building Surveyor

Senior MRICS Building Surveyor IMMEDIATE REQUIREMENT: MRICS Senior Building Surveyor - £75,000 + P...

Permanent

Quantity Surveyor (Civils)

Quantity Surveyor required for National Civil Engineering organisation based nr Wrexham We are deli...