Recticel Insulation: Building Safety Act frequently asked questions

Recticel Insulation has produced an article that details the frequently asked questions arising from the Building Safety Act.

Why is the Act being introduced?

The Building Safety Act aims to make unprecedented reforms to improve building standards and safety in the UK. Its implementation follows Dame Judith Hackitt’s post-Grenfell Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Building a Safer Future.

Who does the Building Safety Act apply to?

Building owners and those who commission and carry out construction projects such as developers, designers and contractors. In essence, the Act applies to the built environment industry as a whole.

What legislation is included within the Act? 

Key measures include assigning liability to those responsible for building safety defects in the form of remedial costs and in more serious cases, prosecution. This provides one example of how the new legislation affords more rights, powers and protections to residents and homeowners.

The Act also implements Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendation that stakeholders should have access to a ‘golden thread’ of good quality information in the way buildings are designed and maintained in order to uphold safety.

Does the Building Safety Act apply to all buildings?

The onus for competence is ascribed to all building works subject to the building regulations. The legislation applies particular controls to high-risk residential buildings. These are classed as buildings of more than 18m in height or have seven or more storeys and two or more residential units.

Who is tasked with overseeing the reforms?

Three bodies have been set up to oversee the reforms: the Building Safety Regulator; the National Regulator of Construction Products, and the New Homes Ombudsman.

What are Gateways in respect of the Building Safety Act?

These apply to the three stages of a building’s development: Planning; Building Control; Final Certificate. At each of these stages, a building’s duty holder must prove they are effectively managing building safety risks for a project to progress. Gateway 1, for example, requires the earliest consideration for fire strategies to ensure passage through the planning process.

How will the Act affect the building industry?

The Building Safety Act provides a framework for the delivery of better, high-quality homes. For designers and contractors, it reinforces the need to build to current standards and follow best practices throughout all stages of a project.

Ensuring each construction operative is aware of the new legislation and what it requires may require additional training or upskilling. All those involved in building delivery should be mindful that the Act ensures liability for defects and operational safety continues post-construction.

When will the Act become law?

The Building Safety Act 2022 received Royal Assent on April 28th April 2022. It will be fully implemented in October 2023. 


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