The UK government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has opened two consultations relating to proposed changes to the Building Safety Act 2022 in England.
The first consultation concerns the new safety regime for occupied higher-risk buildings – defined as those buildings which contain at least two residential units and are at least 18m in height or at least seven storeys – and covers proposed changes to building regulations under part 4 of the Building Safety Act.
This new more stringent regime is designed to place legal responsibilities on ‘duty holders’ – those who commission building work or who participate in its design and construction – and ‘accountable persons’ – those who are responsible for managing structural and fire safety in higher-risk buildings when occupied.
The DLUHC would like to hear the thoughts of stakeholders, such as professional bodies, associations and fire or building safety officials regarding policy proposals for the in-occupation phase of higher-risk buildings, in areas such as:
- Accountable person(s) and the principal accountable person
- Safety case approach and the safety case report
- Mandatory occurrence reporting
- Residents’ voice and duties on residents
- Golden thread contents
- How the golden thread is managed and stored
- Duties on the accountable person(s) and the principal accountable person to share information
- Key building information.
The second consultation covers proposed changes to building regulations under part 3 of the Building Safety Act (which relate to England only). Stakeholders are asked for their views on intended legislation the UK government plans to introduce to create the building control procedure for higher-risk buildings.
However, in addition to regulations aimed at higher-risk buildings, the government also wants to ensure the Building Safety Act and its secondary legislation enables building regulations to be fit for purpose across the board, with new approaches in the Act also applying to all building work where appropriate.
The consultation covers:
- New duty holder and competence requirements on all building work and additional duties for those working on higher-risk buildings
- New hard stops to strengthen building control for higher-risk buildings before a building is occupied
- The approach to Regulator’s notices to support building projects which comprise both higher-risk building work and non-higher-risk building work
- Additional requirements for building work carried out in existing higher-risk building work, e.g. refurbishments
- Stronger change control during the construction of higher-risk buildings
- The process of certifying building work that have been carried out without building regulations approval (regularisation)
- Establishing greater record keeping and management in higher-risk buildings (golden thread)
- A mandatory occurrence reporting system in higher-risk buildings
- Stronger enforcement and sanctions for all building work
- Wider changes to the building regulations to align the existing system with the new system
- Commencement of building work and transitional provisions for changing to the new higher-risk building regime.
To find out more about the consultation on the new safety regime for occupied higher-risk buildings, including how to respond, click here.
To find out more about the consultation on implementing the new building control regime for higher-risk buildings and wider changes to the building regulations for all buildings, including how to respond, click here.
Both consultations opened on July 20th and will run for 12 weeks, closing on October 12th 2022.